Woman Broke Her Neck Cracking It — Mom Warned "You're Gonna Break Your Neck"

In a viral video, a woman shares how she broke her own neck from cracking it. Let this serve as a PSA! Cringeworthy details ahead.

Melissa Willets - Author

Jul. 6 2023, Published 11:36 a.m. ET

In the "biggest fears coming true" category, a creator on TikTok who shares content as @lilyzacharias related the story of how she broke her own neck by cracking it during her first few days at college.

Lily began the harrowing tale by joking that she never worries about having to share a fun fact about yourself, saying hers is the "ultimate one."

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As we soon hear, her mom warned her against cracking her knuckles and neck, which had become a habit over the years. In fact, her mom cautioned her constantly, "You're gonna break your neck."

And then she did. Keep reading for all the details.

A woman broke her neck with her own hands while sitting in bed.

It was week one of her freshman year at the University of Missouri, when as Lily said, she woke up and started her "morning routine," which involved popping her neck in both directions, and making "pop, pop, pop" sounds.

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But, as Lily said, "On the second one, it went 'pop, pop, snap.'"

"I was in pain — like, big time pain," Lily confesses in the hard-to-watch clip, going on to admit, "I was so afraid to call my mom, 'cause I didn't want her to be right."

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But Lily couldn't move.

Finally, after hysterically crying to her mom on the phone, and her mom frantically calling the dorm to get an resident assistant to help her daughter, the RA came into the room.

At that point, the RA convinced Lily to walk to the ER, because an ambulance would have been expensive for her parents! It wasn't far, but remember, Lily had broken her neck!

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Upon being seen, indeed her worst fear was confirmed, with the doctor determining Lily had a compression fracture of her top two vertebrae and had "strained and sprained every tendon and ligament" in that area.

So, how common is it to break your own neck by cracking it?

Although Lily spent her first few weeks of college in a neck brace, according to Healthline, this scenario isn't super likely.

First, what's the popping noise one hears? Well, when you crack your neck, you are essentially stretching out the joints in that area. Fluid then spreads out in the joint capsule. The fluid turns to gas, and thus, you'll hear "pop."

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While it might release pressure in your neck joints, the practice of cracking your neck can be harmful, as we've learned from Lily. The risks include pinching a nerve, muscle strain, and even puncturing a blood vessel (terrifying).

According to Intercore Physical Therapy, however, it's indeed rare that a person would actually fracture their neck from cracking it, but, well, as we see with Lily, it can happen.

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To be fair, Lily also confided that she has hypermobility disorder, making her joints more flexible, which may have led to the accident happening in her case.

The good news is that two weeks in a neck brace and months of physical therapy later, at least Lily has a good story to tell — and she says she realized what is really important in life.

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Meanwhile, Lily's post also inspired over 7,100 comments at time of writing, with someone finding another silver lining to her story: that unlike what you see in the movies, you don't necessarily die instantly if you break your neck in this way.

And, folks on TikTok were generally convinced that cracking their necks was something they would never do again after hearing Lily's horrific account. Thanks for the PSA Lily!

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