Headbanging Can Cause Severe Brain and Spinal Injuries

If you’re a metal fan, and you’re very much into the headbanging business, you might want to reconsider that. A few cases of health issues caused by headbanging have been documented, whereby people have ‘headbanged’ to later on experience headaches characteristic of brain injuries, while some others have even had spinal disorders.


Headbanging – an unhealthy dance move?

Headbanging was introduced by popular heavy metal bands, most commonly attributed to Led Zaplin – ever since, it has become part and parcel of the metal culture. It involves violent shaking movements of the head in rhythm with the music. While headbanging might sound like a cool dance move flowing with the music rhythm, its serious health repercussions cannot be ignored.

A 50-year old fan of metal music from Germany was shown to suffer from a subdural haemorrhage because of great indulgence in headbanging. He sought medical assistance after spending more than two weeks with a terrible headache that only exacerbated over time. He had not undergone any head trauma that could been the reason behind the persisting headache – his medical history was clear of such issues. Nor was he into drugs. However, the CT scan he was made to do revealed that he was bleeding from the right side of the brain. The doctors then removed the blood clot form his brain. But, what could have led to the development of the hematoma? When the experts dug deeper, they found that he had ‘headbanged’ a month ago, and that he was a great fan of metal rock style music. Maybe there is a link between the two?

According to the author of a new paper exposing this deadly facet of headbanging, Ariyan Pirayesh Islamian, a few such cases were reported in the past, whereby headbanging has been linked to health problems. He is of the opinion that this might be more common than it seems, as the symptoms associated with the type of brain injury entailed are subtle.

In his own words: “Even though there are only a few documented cases of subdural haematomas [due to headbanging], the incidence may be higher because the symptoms of this type of brain injury are often clinically silent or cause only mild headache that resolves spontaneously.”

Previous Cases of Health Problems Due To HeadBanging

A musician of Evanescence, Terry Balsamo, experienced a stroke because of headbanging in 2005. Other musicians have suffered from spinal injuries, like Tom Araya in 2009. The lead author of the paper expressed his concern of some fans exposing themselves to the threats associated with headbanging.

The experts behind the study stated that they do not condemn the music genre or the dance move per say, as the risks to have such negative repercussions are quite low. But still, the possibility of undergoing health problems due to headbanging exists and cannot be denied.

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