Headaches caused by vehicle accidents can be severe, incredibly painful, and debilitating. They can also be symptomatic of a more serious underlying condition, so headaches should never be ignored.
Common Causes of Headaches After a Car Accident
Headaches are a common consequence of vehicle accidents, and they can have numerous causes. Some of the most common reasons why headaches develop after a vehicle accident include:
- A blow to the head. Perhaps the most obvious post-accident headache cause, an impact that damages the soft tissue of the head, can result in a series of headaches.
- Whiplash. Whiplash is a back and neck strain or sprain caused by an abrupt jerking motion of the head. It is one of the most common injuries stemming from vehicle accidents. Headaches are a typical side effect of whiplash injuries, due to inflammation of the muscles, tendons, and nerves in the neck. These headaches are often very painful, even to the point of surpassing any neck pain caused by the whiplash injury.
- Hypertension. Abnormally high blood pressure, or hypertension, is a common consequence of the post-traumatic stress caused by a vehicle accident. Any increase in stress or anxiety levels has the potential to cause headaches.
- Concussion. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury caused by a blow to the head or a jarring of the brain inside the skull. Headaches are common in the aftermath of concussion injuries. They may occur as an isolated symptom, or as a component of post-concussion syndrome. Post-concussion syndrome is a very mild form of traumatic brain injury.
Common Types of Headaches Caused by Car Accidents
The most common types of collision headaches include:
- Post-traumatic headache. This type of a headache is typically caused by trauma sustained by the head and neck during a vehicle accident. Post-traumatic headaches may result from damage to nerves and tissues in the neck and in the brain. These headaches seldom appear immediately after an accident; they typically take days or even weeks to develop. They can persist for as little as a week or for as long as three months.
- Post-concussive headache. Also known as migraines, these headaches are caused by chemical changes in the brain. Typical symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to bright lights and loud noises. Severe migraines may also result in difficulty sleeping, loss of balance, foggy thinking, and fatigue.
- Spasm headache. Damage to the neck and upper back muscles can cause headaches. Symptoms that typically accompany these headaches include stiffness, swelling, and a reduced range of motion.
- Whiplash headache. Whiplash headaches typically manifest near the base of the skull, and they are frequently accompanied by neck pain or stiffness, dizziness, and fatigue. These headaches often don’t appear until many days or weeks after the collision.
- Fracture headache. Fractures to the skull or neck bone may cause painful headaches. Pain is often most intense at the back of the head and neck, and it is frequently accompanied by nausea, confusion, slurred speech, and neck stiffness.
- Pinched nerve headache. Occipital neuralgia, or a pinched nerve, may be caused by compression of the spine or a herniated disc. When nerves are compressed, the injury victim will experience intense pain, burning, numbness, and tingling ranging from the neck to the back of the head.
763-254-PAIN Can Help You Get the Assistance You Need
If you’re experiencing headaches in the aftermath of a vehicle collision, it’s critically important that you seek medical attention right away. A qualified physician can help you determine the source of your injuries, alleviate the pain you’re experiencing, and chart the course for your recovery. You need an advocate who knows how to connect you with an experienced and compassionate doctor to determine the source of your injuries, manage your pain, and treat your condition. You also need to consult a qualified attorney who can help you receive the compensation you deserve from the at-fault driver. When you call 763-251-PAIN, we will guide you through the medical and legal car accident maze. We are your #1 resource for medical and financial recovery from Twin Cities vehicle accidents, and we’re here to help!