Let’s have a salon chat about Washbowl Stroke Syndrome, also known as Beauty Parlor Stroke Syndrome. This syndrome is rare but very real, and a stroke is a serious matter. That’s why we launched the Check-in Wellness Check program earlier this year. The program, an extension of the Shop Docs project, founded by Dr. Annette Grotheer, MD, MPH of Aventura Hospital & Medical Center, reflects our commitment to being proactive about our health.
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients. Aventura Hospital & Medical Center’s sister facility put together one of the best breakdowns we’ve seen on Washbowl Stroke Syndrome. Here are a few excerpts:
Beauty parlor stroke syndrome can occur by having your head bent backward, or hyperextended, improperly or for a long period of time during a shampoo at the hair salon. Dr. Robert Coni, medical director of the stroke program at HCA’s Grand Strand Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, S.C., explains that, because of this, the blood vessels in the back of your neck could become compressed or damaged (a tear) and result in a stroke.Read the entire article here.
“Sometimes the blood vessels in the spinal canal are extra-long and can get ‘kinked’ by the pressure placed there,” he said. “This can create a bulge in the interior wall of the artery that effectively blocks blood flow or cause a compressive injury to the artery.”
Either of which can lead to neurological symptoms, including dizziness, weakness on one side of the body, blurry or double vision, loss of vision and clumsiness;…
… it’s a relatively rare condition, according to Dr. Coni. It’s just become increasingly recognized with better technology.
“People who are older are more at risk because of the likelihood of arthritis in the neck which can cause a greater degree of compression in the blood vessel, especially with the positioning of the head during a shampoo,” Dr. Coni said. “But it can occur in young people, too – in car accidents where there’s a whiplash injury or after something like chiropractic manipulation.”
The best way to prevent beauty parlor stroke syndrome is to avoid hyperextension of the neck all together or for a long period of time, and make sure you have effective neck support during a hair wash at the salon. (Even a towel on the cradle of the wash basin might do the trick!) …the most important thing you can do is speak up if you’re uncomfortable.”
Beauty parlor stroke syndrome [washbowl stroke syndrome] is not known for being fatal, but any stroke at the base of the brain can have devastating and lasting effects. That’s why if you or a loved one experiences any type of stroke symptoms, get to the ER as quickly as possible.
Know the signs and symptoms of a stroke. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this knowledge allows you to take quick action and perhaps save a life – maybe even your own.
Stroke Signs & SymptomsFor more information, visit the CDC website.
• Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
• Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech.
• Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
• Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination.
• Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
What to Do
Call 9-1-1 right away if you or someone else has any of these symptoms.
Acting F.A.S.T. can help stroke patients get the treatments they desperately need. The stroke treatments that work best are available only if the stroke is recognized and diagnosed within 3 hours of the first symptoms. Stroke patients may not be eligible for these if they don’t arrive at the hospital in time.
If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and do the following simple test:
F—Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A—Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S—Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is the speech slurred or strange?
T—Time: If you see any of these signs, call 9-1-1 right away.
Note the time when any symptoms first appear. This information helps health care providers determine the best treatment for each person. Do not drive to the hospital or let someone else drive you. Call an ambulance so that medical personnel can begin life-saving treatment on the way to the emergency room.
Further, the CDC recommends these ABCS of stroke prevention:
- Aspirin: Aspirin may help lower your risk for stroke. But do not take aspirin if you think you’re having a stroke. It can make some types of stroke worse.
- Blood Pressure: Control your blood pressure.
- Cholesterol: Control your cholesterol.
- Smoking: Quit smoking or don’t start.
At Karline’s Salon and Spa, we stand together to prevent stroke because 80 percent of strokes are preventable. Whether it’s an extra towel under your neck at the washbowl or a check-in wellness check with our Self-care Saturday team, your comfort, health, and well-being is a priority at our sanctuary for hair and personal care.