Stuck between rock and a hard bass

January 19, 2009

Credit the post’s title to Declan Patton and Andrew McIntosh, who published their research on the adverse effects of headbanging on December 2008.

This is no joke, ladies and gentlemen, this is a serious study on “the risks of mild traumatic brain injury and neck injury associated with head banging”. This concerns me, as occasional headbanger (there has to be some purpose to my long hair) and I was eager to know the conclusions of this study. 


"Head banging tempo v the Head Injury Criteria (HIC) for various head and neck ranges of motion (45° to 120°). Abbreviated injury scale thresholds indicated as horizontal lines." Taken from BMJ 2008;337:a2825


So, if you are a headbanger, there are a few things you might consider doing to reduce the risk of injury:

  • “limiting the range of neck motion through a formal training programme delivered before a concert”; I will be looking forward to get my Certified Healthy Headbanger card, bet on that;
  • “substitution of (…) Michael Bolton, Celine Dion, Enya, and Richard Clayderman, for heavy metal”; this means it’s time to borrow some of my parents’ CDs concerning artists such as Joe Dassin, Leonard Cohen and the legendary brazilian romantic singer Roberto Carlos;
  • “personal protective equipment such as neck braces to limit range of motion”; neck braces yes, but in black leather and sporting spikes a few inches long – which will lead to other types of injuries, but that’s research for you, raising further questions in the attempt to answer one

Now a bit more seriously, kudos to these brave people who investigated upon a matter which is given few thoughts altogether. All you mini-moshers out there, take heed! 

D. Patton and A. McIntosh 2008Head and neck injury risks in heavy metal: head bangers stuck between rock and a hard bass. Available here. I advise you to also check out the comments section


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