The “headbang”, this dance linked to heavy metal dangerous for health

The “headbang”, this dance linked to heavy metal dangerous for health

Delphine Schiltz, edited by Juliette Moreau Alvarez
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06:50, January 11, 2023

The fans of Hard Rock and metal adore this style of dance. “Headbang” or “headbanging” is an English term that refers to violently swinging your head at a frantic pace. If it fits perfectly with the favorite music of “metalheads”, this dance would nevertheless not be without danger to health. Several studies, including one published in The Lancetidentified cases of cranial hematomas linked to this practice.

Neurological risks

Concretely, the “headbang” generally goes well with a good sound of metal and consists of swinging your head up and down and from right to left, sometimes in a circle and often with a movement of your hair, all this in rhythm with the cadence. music. This dance is a real mess for Romane, 22 years old. She is co-organizer of the Winter Fest, a very young festival sort of Hard Rock and metal which will be held this Saturday, January 14 in Vendée, in Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez.

The young woman recognizes that sometimes the “headbang” can be painful. “All I could notice was small aches in the back of the neck,” she describes. “When I play sports, and I have aches, it’s the same feeling. So, I tell myself that it’s simply muscular. A concert, it doesn’t last too long, so we can let go .”

And yet, at a certain level, this practice can cause brain hematomas or vessel ruptures, according to neurologist Jean-François Chermann. “The song lasts 2 to 4 minutes. It’s really extremely long,” explains this concussion specialist. “When there are these movements which are extremely intense and extremely ample, the cervical do not maintain the brain”.

In addition, the brain is relatively “free” in the cranial box, underlines the specialist. The surrounding meninges form only a “thin cushion” between the brain and the bone structure. “This is what leads a bit to these ‘whiplash’ phenomena”, specifies the neurologist, adding that the practice of “headbang” is even more risky for people over 50 whose brain is more fragile.

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