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A 50-year-old man that went to the doctor because of a two-week old headache found out that he gave himself brain damage by headbanging at a heavy metal concert.
“He had no history of head trauma, but reported headbanging at a Motörhead concert 4 weeks previously,” says the study, published in the most recent issue of The Lancet.
He had no history of substance abuse, but had been headbanging for years, according to New York Daily News. He attended the Motorhead concert with his son.
According to TIME, the authors of the study describe headbanging as a contemporary dance form. The dance has abrupt movements of the head and can cause some brain damage, as they found out in the case of this man.
“Headbanging was introduced in the early 1970s,” the authors add. “The number of avid aficionados is unknown.”
The patient gave himself a blood clot (found during a CT scan) on the right side of his brain. The clot was removed by surgeons and the headache was relieved, but researchers are warning people against headbanging.
“While such shows are enjoyable and stimulating for the audience, some fans might be endangered by indulging in excessive headbanging,” the study says.
Not everyone who headbangs is going to end up with a blood clot and in the hands of a surgeon, but they should be aware of the risks of the action.
"There are probably other higher risk events going on at rock concerts than headbanging," noted Dr. Colin Shieff, a neurosurgeon. "Most people who go to music festivals and jump up and down while shaking their heads don't end up in the hands of a neurosurgeon."