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Kassirer Marilyn R. M.D.; Manon, Naomi
The Clinical Journal of Pain: June 1993
Case Report: PDF Only


The current trend in dancing includes “head banging” with extreme flexion, extension, and rotation of the head and cervical spine. We suggest that dance-related severe pain in the cervical area may result from head banging.


A cohort of 37 eighth graders ages 13 or 14 participated in a dance marathon for charity lasting 7 h.There were 26 girls and 11 boys.


During the dance marathon, three “heavy metal” songs were played during which head banging could be done.


The painful syndromes that relate to head banging were evaluated by a convenience sample of the 37 marathon dancers in the eight grade.

Main Outcome Measures:

A self-selected age-matched control group is included since 17 adolescents participated in head banging and 20 did not.


Of the head bangers, 81.82% of the girls and 16.6% of the boys had resultant cervical spine pain that lasted 1–3 days. Only 26.2% of non-head-banging girls and 0% of non-head-banging boys had cervical spine pain lasting 1–3 days. Of all the 8th-grade participants, 62.16% had pain somewhere. Other types of pain included leg pain, back pain, and headache. Only three adolescents took any medication for their pain.


The head-banger's whiplash is a self-limiting painful disorder. The easy resolution of the pain problem in adolescents is a tribute to the resilience of youth.

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.