What is A Post Traumatic Headache?
A headache that occurs after a car accident is usually referred to as post traumatic headaches since they are caused by the trauma of being in a car accident. These types of headaches are very painful and can be debilitating.
Victims may start suffering from these types of headaches immediately, but it is not unusual for the headaches to begin hours or even days after the accident.
What Is a Concussion Headache (Traumatic Brain Injury)
A concussion headache is an injury to the brain, which is usually caused by a blow to the head or sudden movement that affects the way the brain operates. The brain is surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid, which helps protect the inner walls of the skull during trauma. A traumatic brain injury is also quite common.
However, a vicious blow to the head or the neck area can sometimes cause the brain to strike the wall of the skull which which can lead to bruising. Migraine headaches are very similar to a concussion and are often associated with the following symptoms: upset stomach, vomiting, sensitivity to light, sensitivity to sound, confusion, dizziness, and tinnitus.
In some instances, this type of headache is also a accompanied by memory loss, changes to speech patterns, problems with sleep, and anxiety. Another name for this type of head injury is also called post concussion syndrome.
Muscle Strain or Spasm Headaches
A muscle strain headache or muscle spasm headache is one of the most common causes of headaches. It can be caused by a non traumatic event or due to trauma. This type of headache is caused when the muscles of the neck area, head, or upper back are injured or strained.
During an auto accident, the violent jolt to the neck and head may tear or injure different soft tissues, which causes a strain or spasm of the muscle. Muscle strains can also lead to a reduction of motion, pain during particular movements, tenderness and the soft tissue, inflammation, and redness.
A whiplash headache is caused by a sudden or violent force which is applied to the head or neck. When neck muscles and ligaments are strained by the sudden, violent movement of the head or neck a whiplash headache can occur. This whipping or jerking action may strain or tear the soft tissue.
This type of headache is usually at the base of the skull and is usually accompanied by neck pain or tightness, disturbances of vision, dizziness, tiredness, loss of concentration and memory, and difficulty sleeping. Sometimes, a whiplash headache can take days or weeks to take effect.
A fracture headache is caused by the fracture of the skull or neck. This type of headache can cause very intense pain. The pain is generally located in the upper neck and back of the head but it can also be close to the injury site.
The symptoms associated with this type of headache can include upset stomach, vomiting, lack of self-awareness, tightness of the neck, slurring of speech, and even seizures.
Occipital Neuralgia Headaches
This type of headache can also be referred as a pinched nerve headache. The nerves can be pinched because of the compression of the nerve at its root. During a traumatic event such as a car accident, the compression of the spine or a herniated disc can lead to a pinching of the cervical neck roots or it can even irritate the greater occipital nerve, which is located at the base of the skull.
What Should I Do If I Have A Headache That Won’t Go Away After a Car Accident
Headaches are a very common source of pain. At least 70% of all people can get a headache multiple times a year. In the United states alone, around 50 million people will complain about having a severe headache. There are many reasons and causes that headaches occur, such as stress and hormonal imbalances.
However, if you are experiencing a constant headache after being involved in a car accident or even days or weeks after the trauma, it’s very likely that you have sustained injuries from the vehicle accident which is causing your headaches.
You Should Seek Immediate Medical Attention For Post Traumatic Headaches
There are many possible reasons and explanations why you might experience a headache that won’t go away after a car accident. The only way to know for sure what is exactly causing your headache is to seek medical treatment from a professional so that you can get a proper diagnosis. You can also rule out something dangerous like a traumatic brain injury.
You Should Never Try To “Tough it Out” and Forego Treatment or Diagnosis
The worst thing that you can do when experiencing a headache after a car accident is to ignore it entirely. The simple answer is to not wait for your symptoms to get better or go away, as this could make your condition worse.
Many clients believe that they are not injured after a car accident because of the adrenaline their body produces. Don’t trust yourself. Go see a medical doctor and start treatment right away.
Follow The Recommendations of Your Doctor or Pain Management Professional
After your initial diagnosis, you will most likely be prescribed medications and possibly physical therapy. The treatment for your injuries will be based on the diagnosis, so it’s crucial that you don’t attempt to self-medicate.
If you have any concerns, clarifications that you need, or any other questions, you should not hesitate to contact a medical professional. You do not have to endure this pain by yourself.
Know Your Legal Rights and Assert Them
As your attorney, we can help figure out if the symptoms you are experiencing and the injuries that you have are related to the car accident you were recently involved in. We will help prepare all of the documentation necessary to make and file a claim with your insurance company.
We will guide you the entire process, make sure that all your legal rights are asserted, and assist you in receiving compensation for your injuries which you are entitled to after the car accident.
Common Causes of an After Car Accident Headache
Unfortunately, a headache that won’t go away after a car accident is all too common. Headaches are caused when a victim suffers some type of trauma to the head, neck, or brain.
This trauma can be a direct violent blow to the head, or it can also be caused by a sudden movement or shaking of the head from the forces of the car accident.
Common causes include:
- Trauma or injury from the victim hitting their head on the steering wheel, airbag, dashboard, window, or any immovable object inside of the vehicle.
- Pinching or compressing of nerves in the cervical spine and at the base of the skull.
- Soft tissue injuries including muscle tears, muscle strains, and muscle spasms in the upper neck and upper back area.
- Actual fracture of the spine or skull.
- Herniated discs or bulges of the spinal column.
Types of Headaches List
The term post traumatic headache can include many different types of headaches. Below are some examples of the different types of headaches that an auto accident victim can suffer from:
- Muscle spasms
- Chronic pain in the facial area
- Dysfunction of various nerves
- Headaches that don’t go away for days
- Tension headaches
- Cluster headaches
- Whiplash headaches
- Fracture headaches
Will I Recover From a Headache After A Car Crash
Every injury is unique and the recovery process will vary based on the seriousness of the injury that you sustained during the crash. Typically, headaches will get better over time and become less frequent.
Headaches don’t always appear immediately. Sometimes, they can appear hours days or even weeks after the incident occurs. A doctor or medical professional can help you figure out the source of your injuries, help alleviate the pain associated with it, and greatly reduce the chance of the headache becoming chronic.
We want to take the stress out of experiencing headaches after a vehicle accident. Let our experience work for you and we can help you get on the road to recovery.
Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Headaches
Regardless of the timing of the onset of a headache, they should not be ignored because it can be a symptom of a different serious injury. Some of these serious injuries can include traumatic brain injuries, concussions, internal bleeding, and other types of closed head injuries that haven’t been diagnosed.
We understand that you hope these headaches will go away by themselves, but a person who is suffering from this type of headache pain must seek immediate medical treatment. Timing is of the essence to help you receive the proper treatment and to help you put yourself on the fastest road to recovery.
The quicker you document and treat this type of injury will help prevent it from becoming a long term disability.
Treatment for a after car accident headache will usually start with medication such as:
- Prescription Antidepressants
- Various beta blockers
- Anti-Seizure medications
- Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or stronger prescription strength drugs
Do You Need Help? Call The Car Accident Attorneys At The Clark Law Office
If you have suffered from a headache after a car accident you should know that you have legal rights and that you can be compensated for your injuries. A personal injury attorney can assist you. Call us at 517-347-6900 for a free consultation. We charge no fees unless you win your case.