Headaches associated with a head injury are of two types. Those that happen immediately after the accident and those that persist for months or even years. There are different types of headaches. The episodes can happen with severe injury to the brain but also with mild injury. They are generally related to concussion, and long-term headaches are called post-concussion headaches.
Headache can often disrupt a person’s life and make it impossible to predict good days from bad. In addition, the person may begin to have trouble at work, and in severe cases, be unable to perform his or her job duties. Let’s take a look at headache as part of a concussion and delve into long-term headaches, their types and treatment.
Headaches Won’t Go Away After a Car Accident?
Headaches are one of the most common problems among those with a head injury such as a concussion after an accident. Concussions are mild forms of traumatic brain injury. An accident often causes the brain to hit the inside of the skull, and this trauma can lead to a concussion. It is unnecessary to lose consciousness in order to get a concussion, although some people do.
Headaches usually happen within the first 10 days after the incident. In order to alleviate the pain and other symptoms associated with the headaches, conservative therapy is used.
Concussion from Car Accident Symptoms
The following symptoms are often associated with post-concussion syndrome:
- Loss of concentration
- Tinnitus or ringing in the ears
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty sleeping
- Light sensitivity
Headache and Nausea After a Car Accident
There are several types of post-concussion headaches. They include the following.
Migraine headaches are due to injury in one part of the brain that often affects the nerve signals in another. Common symptoms are:
- Dull throbbing pain usually sequestered to one side of the head
- Noise and light sensitivity
- The presence of an aura that often signals the onset of a migraine. This can be in the form of bright lights
This type of problem is caused by injury to the muscles and soft tissues of the neck. Nerves in the neck also supply the scalp and skull. Symptoms include:
- Begins in the neck, upper back and shoulder
- Moving the neck can increase the pain
- Not associated with nausea or vomiting
- Range from severe to mild
Tension Headache After a Car Accident
Although the headaches that develop after a concussion are not your typical type of tension headache, the symptoms are similar. They are:
- Headaches that start later in the day
- Described as a tight or squeezing pain that envelops the head
- Mild to severe intensity
Intermittent and Delayed Headache After a Car Accident
The headaches associated with post-concussion syndrome can be remittent. It is difficult to tell when they will come on, however, additional stress or strenuous exercise of the upper back, arms and shoulders can bring it on.
Causes of Headache With Post-Concussion Syndrome
The cause of headaches is thought to be related to structural damage to the brain or the neurons that carry information from one part of the brain to another. The stress that often exists after an accident adds to the increase in headaches. So, in many cases, it is a combination of both physiological damage and an emotional response to the accident.
Factors That Predispose to Post Concussion Syndrome
Several factors increase the risk of post-concussion syndrome. They are:
- Sex: Women are more frequently diagnosed with this malady. However, women are more likely to go to the doctor.
- Age: The older the individual, the more likely they are to suffer from post-concussion syndrome.
Tests Used to Diagnose Headache After Concussion
Depending on the length of time between the accident and the onset of headache, certain tests will be performed to diagnose the problem. Immediately after the head injury, a CT scan of the brain is usually done. This is often performed to rule out skull fracture. An MRI might also be done to determine if a hematoma has formed in addition to the concussion. Unless there is a reason to do further testing, the doctor will usually rely on these tests as well as a history and physical to address persistent headaches.
Treatment for a Headache Following a Car Accident
There are many different ways to treat post-concussion headaches. Some commonly employed methods are:
- Over the counter medications: These are used for mild forms of headache such as tension headaches.
- Biofeedback: This is often effective for relief of neck muscle involvement and preventing migraine-type headaches.
- Migraine medications: Medications such as Imitrex are prescribed to migraine sufferers.
- Ice or heat: These are used for muscle tension headaches and cervicogenic headaches.
- Meditation: Some medications are used to reduce stress that can often increase headache pain. Many sufferers are apprehensive if they feel a headache coming on, and meditation might be helpful.
- Acupuncture: This is a proven alternative method for relieving pain.
- Injections: Injections containing numbing agents or steroids are often used to relieve cervicogenic-induced headaches.
- Massage: Many people rely on the benefits of therapeutic massage to deal with post-concussion headaches.
Support Methods to Relieve Post Concussion Headaches
Lifestyle changes are an important part of dealing with headaches that persist after a concussion. Primary among them is to get sufficient sleep. Exercises such as walking or stretching can help by relaxing the muscles associated with such headaches as well as helping the individual rest. Avoiding foods that are identified as migraine triggers can help.
Common triggers are red wine, cheese and monosodium glutamate, often used in Chinese cooking and an assortment of gravies or stuffings. Restricting pain meds to those times when they are needed is recommended. That way you will not build up a resistance.
How Are Recurrent Headaches Treated?
Severe headaches that reoccur may be helped by the following medication prescribed by your doctor. They are:
- Antiseizure medications
Pursuing a Concussion Car Accident Settlement
The existence of post-concussion syndrome can result in high and continuing medical treatment as well as psychological counseling. In addition, some sufferers are unable to continue working until the symptoms have resolved. The stress of financial hardship can increase the likelihood of headaches.
By investigating the crash to determine cause and building a strong case for compensation, the attorney can resolve this additional burden. Both current medical problems as well as the possibility of headache due to the concussion must be considered. This increases the certainty that medical and other expenses are covered.
If you or a loved one has suffered a concussion or dealing with an ongoing headache after a car accident, get the medical help you need. The Law Offices of David Azizi also provide a free review of your important injury claim so that you can pursue the justice and fair compensation you deserve. Get started today by contact us online or calling (800) 991-5292.