DISCLAIMER: I'm not a doctor so don't take my word for anything you read... do a little research and stuff yourself. Just trying to give you a heads up about the act of rocking out.
WHEN ROCKING OUT GOES A BIT WRONG
You go to gigs to let off steam. You enter a different world. It's a safe place where you can can scream and shout and smash into other people without fear of being arrested... unless you take it a bit too far.
I remember going to my first gigs and waking up the next day with a sore neck - it didn't really matter at all. It was just the sign of a good night; along with ringing ears and a hangover.
I started playing shows not soon after and then I was throwing myself around and banging my head more than ever before, and with more conviction and energy than I thought was possible. Sore necks would last for a few days sometimes... maybe even a week or more.
As the years went on my neck spent more time hurting than not, and it became normality. These days after more than a decade of being silly with my neck I am in constant pain which isn't cool. So I decided to take a look at the real dangers of headbanging. Does it do permanent damage? COULD IT KILL ME?
This is the thing that you get if you're in a car crash. It is caused by a sudden acceleration or deceleration in head movement, and it's symptoms are what you might call a bangover. Sore neck, maybe soreness moving down to the shoulders and also a headache.
Headbanging is a constant acceleration and deceleration of the head and neck... so it's like many small car crashes, putting a real strain on your neck muscles, connective tissue and spine. I don't wanna sound like a mum, but that doesn't sound good eh?
When anyone gets older their chances of getting arthritis increases. Anyone that has a job or hobby where they repeat the same movement over and over, putting a strain on joint has an increased chance of getting the condition.
Needless to say, if you are headbanging on a regular basis then your neck is going to suffer. The cartilage in your spine can wear out just like any other joints. As the cartilage does wear out there will be more strain put on the surrounding tissues cause pain and swelling. Bad stuff.
This sounds extreme and the last thing you want to worry about whilst rocking the f##k out but seriously... it could happen. A couple of years ago a 50 year old guy at a Motorhead gig suffered bleeding on the brain from banging his head like a true rocker. The risks are said to be "very low" by experts... so you'd be looking at a freak accident type of thing if you did succumb.
HOW TO AVOID INJURY WHILST HEADBANGING
The best way to not get injured is to not do it (the kind of tip your Mum may give you). If you're going to do it anyway then there are some ways that you can swing your head about a little more safely.
Save the headbanging for slower songs - faster bpm songs have been linked to a greater chance of injury.
Don't use such a large range of movement - so don't tilt your head as far back and don't throw it as far forward.
Warm up - as with any strenuous physical activity it's good to stretch and warms up a little as many studies show this aids injury prevention. You athlete, you.
It's kind of shocking to see that there are real dangers; tangible injuries that do sometimes occur. Waking up with a bangover will probably be nothing more than a day or two of discomfort, and then you are free to just do it all again next weekend. But occasionally the damage is permanent or at least cumulative.
Technically headbanging could kill you, not trying to ruin your fun but it's a fact to take into consideration. It could at the very least give you some very minor temporary injuries that don't even bother you.
If someone had told me I could cause permanent damage to my neck when I started playing gigs I wouldn't have listened anyway, and if I had that fabled time machine then I would do it all again!
Just trying to keep you safe!
Remember that if you want to work together on any projects; music videos, lyric videos or anything else you can think of, then CONTACT ME HERE or email firstname.lastname@example.org now!
Until next time... I'm Adam Fitch and I make music videos...