Published Jul 04, 2014Thankfully for metal fans, doctors are not writing off the act of headbanging, but a recent study involving a 50-year-old man who suffered a related brain injury after seeing a Motörhead concert has had professionals analyzing the potential risks of banger behaviour.
As CBC reports, medical journal Lancet explained the case of the unnamed man from Hannover, Germany, who had reportedly gone to doctors complaining about a headache that had been worsening over the course of two weeks. While he had no history of head trauma, nor substance issues to report, he revealed that he had been headbanging at a recent Motörhead concert he attended with his son.
A cranial CT scan had revealed the man had suffered bleeding on the right side of his brain. The chronic subdural hematoma, described as a "collection of blood and blood breakdown products between the surface of the brain and its outermost covering [the dura]," was later drained during surgery. He was discharged eight days later, and showed no follow-up symptoms, but doctors did find a benign cyst that may have also contributed to the man's ailment.
According to researchers, the violent back-and-forth movements of headbanging can at times be enough to cause damage when the brain bumps up against the skull, with doctors having also noted other injuries in heavy metal fans.
Though the study concentrated on the possible relation between brain trauma and headbanging, doctors were quick to point out that the concert activity poses a very low risk to most. Just be careful when you're wilding out to "Ace of Spades," that's all.
"We are not smartasses who advise against headbanging," the study's author Dr. Ariyan Pirayesh Islamian of the Hannover Medical School in Germany told CBC. "Our purpose was not only to entertain the readership with a quite comical case report on complications of headbanging that confirms the reputation of Motörhead as undoubtedly one of the hardest rock'n'roll bands on Earth, but to sensitize the medical world for a certain subgroup of fans that may be endangered when indulging themselves in excessive headbanging."