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bibliography*The PainScience Bibliography contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers and others sources, like a specialized blog. This page is about a single scientific paper in the bibliography, Patton 2008.

Head and neck injury risks in heavy metal: head bangers stuck between rock and a hard bass


Tags: fun, neck, etiology, head/neck, spine, pro

PainSci summary of Patton 2008?This page is one of thousands in the bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★☆☆?3-star ratings are for typical studies with no more (or less) than the usual common problems. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

It turns out that head-banging, “a popular dance form,” constitutes “a definite risk of mild traumatic brain injury” and the study “helps to explain why metal concert goers often seem dazed, confused, and incoherent.” I can think of other reasons! Part of the reason I wanted to share this beautiful piece of science is that I grew up in a youth culture dominated by heavy metal — a small industry town in northern Canada, Prince George. I was surrounded by head bangers, and they were definitely dazed, confused, and incoherent. And worse! But there is a strong possibility that the daze preceded the heavy metal in many cases.

The risk of neck injury also increases with head banging intensity — although less than one might expect, which we can infer from the way people are able to keep doing it.

original abstractAbstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the risks of mild traumatic brain injury and neck injury associated with head banging, a popular dance form accompanying heavy metal music.

DESIGN: Observational studies, focus group, and biomechanical analysis.

PARTICIPANTS: Head bangers.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Head Injury Criterion and Neck Injury Criterion were derived for head banging styles and both popular heavy metal songs and easy listening music controls.

RESULTS: An average head banging song has a tempo of about 146 beats per minute, which is predicted to cause mild head injury when the range of motion is greater than 75 degrees . At higher tempos and greater ranges of motion there is a risk of neck injury.

CONCLUSION: To minimise the risk of head and neck injury, head bangers should decrease their range of head and neck motion, head bang to slower tempo songs by replacing heavy metal with adult oriented rock, only head bang to every second beat, or use personal protective equipment.

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These two articles on cite Patton 2008 as a source:

This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights: