A heavy metal fan had to be treated for a blood clot on the brain caused by furious headbanging at a Motorhead concert.
The 50-year-old German man developed the condition after getting carried away at one of the hardcore rock band’s performances.
It is the fourth documented case of subdural haematoma linked to headbanging – one of which proved fatal.
Soon after the concert, the man started suffering a constant, worsening headache that affected his whole head.
With the pain showing no sign of abating, he went to Hannover Medical School for treatment.
A CT (computerised tomography) scan confirmed he had a subdural haematoma – a clot caused by blood leaking into the space between the skull and the brain – on his right side.
Surgeons drilled a hole into his skull and successfully removed the clot, and the man made a full recovery.
Subdural haematomas are most often caused by blows to the head, but the man said he could not remember suffering such an injury.
Doctors writing in The Lancet medical journal said: “Our patient had no history of head trauma so we assume that headbanging, with its brisk forward and backward acceleration and deceleration forces, led to rupturing of bridging veins causing haemorrhage into the subdural space.”
A review of the medical literature revealed three previous cases where headbanging led to blood clots.
One, an acute haematoma, resulted in sudden death.
Other conditions attributed to headbanging have included a torn carotid artery, whiplash injury, fractured neck, and air in the chest cavity.
Headbanging was defined by the doctors as “a contemporary dance form consisting of abrupt flexion-extension movements of the head to the rhythm of rock music, most commonly seen in the heavy metal genre”.
Motorhead were one of the pioneers of “speed metal”, marked by fast tempos of more than 200 beats per minute.
The surgeons, led by Dr Ariyan Pirayesh Islamian, finished their report with a veiled compliment for the English band.
“This case serves as evidence in support of Motorhead’s reputation as one of the most hardcore rock’n’roll acts on earth, if nothing else because of their contagious speed drive and the hazardous potential for headbanging fans to suffer brain injury,” they wrote.