It turns out that so-called heavy metal “headbangers” do just that, and violently enough to occasionally result in brain injury, whiplash, and other problems.
The July 5 issue of The Lancet includes a letter to the editor that describes treatment of a subdural hematoma in a 50-year-old man who presented with a worsening headache that had been going on for 2 weeks. He had an unremarkable medical history and denied substance abuse.
What he did mention was that just before his headache began, he attended a concert by Motorhead, a seminal speed metal band. And like many others in the audience, he spent much of the concert headbanging, which letter author Ariyan Pirayesh Islamian, MD, describes as “a contemporary dance form consisting of abrupt flexion-extension movements of the head to the rhythm of rock music, most commonly seen in the heavy metal genre.”