HOW COMMON IS HEADACHES AFTER CONCUSSION
Post concussive headaches are very common following a head injury. They can differ in their type and intensity depending on the severity of the head injury. In addition, headaches following a brain injury can be made worse if there is an injury to the neck as well.
TYPES OF HEADACHES FOLLOWING A BRAIN INJURY
1. Strong Headache Due To Severe Head Injury
In a more severe head injury involving a skull fracture or bleeding in the brain cavity, one can experience very strong headaches and nausea when the bleeding in the brain causes intense pressure in the brain cavity. This pressure can cause serious additional brain damage if not stopped. This is a very dangerous situation and needs emergency medical treatment to relieve this. A hospital can run a CT scan right away to determine if there is a brain bleed.
2. Headaches Due to Mild Brain Injuries
In head injury cases where there is no brain bleed, (Typically mild brain injuries) but the brain cells have been damaged, headaches will still occur in the early phase after the injury, and can linger on for months and even years depending on the type of damage to the brain cells.
3. Post Traumatic Migraines Headaches Due To Mild Brain Injury
A person with a “mild” brain injury may experience post traumatic migraine type headache, which is the worst type of headache that occurs in brain injuries. To the person experiencing these headaches, there is nothing “mild” about them, but this is the term adopted by the medical community. Post traumatic migraines are typically caused by inflammation in the brain following brain injury. Inflammation occur when brain cells are damaged, causing inflammation. Inflammation in the areas damaged causes restricted blood flow. Restricted blood flow then causes the migraine type symptoms, which can include intense pain, vision problems, noise sensitivity, the need to be in a dark room and away from any stimulation.
4. Cervical Tension Headaches Due To Neck Injury Along With Brain Injury
When a person experiences a neck injury along with the brain injury, they can also experience cervical tension headaches in addition to or separate from the migraine headaches. These typically start from the back of the neck and work their way over the top of the head into the front and sides of the head.
5. Neuralgic Headaches Due to Nerve Damage Brain Injury
Neuralgic headaches can also occur when the brain injury also involves nerve damage in the head and upper neck. These headaches typically involve sharp stabbing type pains that are often described as feeling like an “ice pick” is digging into the affected part of the head, and can involve tenderness to the scalp.
POST CONCUSSION HEADACHES TREATMENT
Treatment for these headaches can vary from individual to individual. Migraine type headaches after a brain injury may be treated with over the counter analgesics for less frequent headaches. With more frequent migraine headaches, specific types of migraine medications maybe prescribed by a headache specialist, and if those are not successful, Botox injections are another option (but usually seen as a last resort due to the cost of Botox injections).
For more information regarding brain injuries, visit Brain Injury Law of Seattle. If you have a brain injury due to an accident, contact us to get professional help from our qualified brain injury lawyers in Seattle.