Barber shop
A massage after a haircut is very common in India, which often ends with a neck-crack - Representational image LOUAI BESHARA / Contributor/Getty

A man from the Indian capital city of Delhi has suffered nerve damage following a neck massage at the barber's. Ajay Kumar's phrenic nerve, which serves the diaphragm and controls breathing, have been damaged.

The incident took place in August, when like several Indian men, Kumar, who had gone to the barber's for a haircut also asked for a massage. Getting a massage after a haircut is very common in India; it often ends with a neck-crack, where the barber holds the person by the chin and tilts the neck sharply to the left and right.

Everything was fine for the 54-year-old for sometime after he came home from the barber's. But soon, he became increasingly breathless and was rushed to a nearby hospital.

Doctors there discovered that he had damaged his phrenic nerve during the neck-crack routine. They also found that his diaphragm had been paralysed, which would probably necessitate life-long ventilator support considering the nerve rarely regenerates spontaneously, The Times of India reported.

"He has been put on non-invasive ventilation for breathing support and may continue to be on it," said Dr Anand Jaiswal, director of respiratory and sleep medicine at Medanta - The Medicity, hospital.

Dr Jaiswal also warned that neck massages at salons could prove life-threatening as barbers are not trained masseurs.

"The neck massage and neck-crack that barbers ritually perform after a haircut can cause long-term damage to neck joints and surrounding tissues, muscles or nerves or even cause bilateral diaphragmatic paralysis like in this case," he added.