'Excessive Headbanging' Could Kill, Say Researchers

But researchers assure us that 'rock 'n' roll will never die'

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 4, 2014 12:06 PM CDT

(Newser) – Researchers are warning of the dangers of seriously rocking out. Doctors in Germany treated a 50-year-old man last year who suffered from a brain injury tied to headbanging, they say, per Wired. "He had no history of head trauma, but reported headbanging at a Motörhead concert four weeks previously," they write in the Lancet. Headbanging is, of course, "abrupt flexion-extension movements of the head," often conducted while listening to heavy metal. "While such shows are enjoyable and stimulating for the audience, some fans might be endangered by indulging in excessive headbanging," the experts write.

Specifically, the man suffered from a chronic subdural hematoma, a very dangerous blood clot under the membrane that shields the brain, Wired explains. One out of 20 people with such a clot die within 30 days of surgery. But in this case, doctors drilled pressure-releasing holes in the man's skull and allowed the blood to drain; he appeared to be fine at a two-month checkup. Another headbanger, however, wasn't so lucky, the experts note; this patient died suddenly in comparable medical circumstances. Still, "we are not against headbanging," says one of the doctors, per the AP. "The risk of injury is very, very low." What's more, "rock 'n' roll will never die. Heavy metal fans should rock on." The study itself offered a similar conclusion: "This case serves as evidence in support of Motörhead's reputation as one of the most hardcore rock 'n' roll acts on earth."

Music fans are headbanging as the Brazilian metal band Soulfly performs on stage during the Greenfield Open Air festival in Interlaken, Switzerland, on Saturday, June 13, 2009.
Music fans are headbanging as the Brazilian metal band Soulfly performs on stage during the Greenfield Open Air festival in Interlaken, Switzerland, on Saturday, June 13, 2009.   (AP Photo/ Keystone, Peter Klaunzer)
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