Reports that headbanging can cause whiplash injuries are by no means exaggerated. According to a variety of studies, whiplash is, in fact, just one of many potentially severe, even fatal, injuries to the neck and head that headbanging can cause.
How headbanging causes whiplash injury
Here are a few reasons that explain how and why headbanging can cause this type of personal injury.
- Cervical spine: The powerful, often aggressive and rapid coupling of flexion and extension occurring at the cervical spine when headbanging is very much like the whiplash injury mechanism experienced during vehicle collisions.
- Muscle damage: Neck movements include looking from side to side/rotation; ear to shoulder/lateral flexion; chin to sternum/flexion, and looking up/hyperextension. These movements are controlled by four groups of muscles, the flexors, extensors, rotators and laternal flexors. Whiplash involves damage to the sternocleidomastoid and infra hyoid muscles, as well as the longis capitis and the longis colli. Headbanging also places intense strain on the sternocleidomastoid, as well as affecting the scalenes and deep-neck flexors and extensors, which are also affected in limited rotation neck injuries.
- Blood vessels: Another reason headbanging can cause whiplash similar to having been in a road traffic accident is that the violent movement can damage small blood vessels in the neck and brain, which can lead to both physical and psychosomatic disorders.
- Repetition: While a single session of head-banging may only minor injuries, repetition increases the pressure on and ultimate damage to nerves; muscles, tendons and other tissue. Eventually, this damage can become serious enough to make the affected person feel as though they have been in a car accident.
- Drugs and alcohol: The effects of drugs and alcohol on the body and brain reduce the ability to feel pain. Headbangers carry on throwing their heads around even when already injured because they are not responding to their usual pain threshold. The resulting damage can be as serious as having been in a motoring accident.
Headbanging vs accidents
Suffering whiplash after headbanging could be interpreted as a self-inflicted injury. If, however, you suffer this painful injury following an accident on the road that was not your fault, you may be eligible for driver injury compensation or, if you were not driving yourself, passenger injury compensation.
Our dedicated Accident Advice Helpline advisers can provide expert advice and assistance to victims of personal injury. Give us a call today on 0800 689 0500 for more information.
Date Published: March 2, 2015
Author: Accident Advice