Constant Headaches After an Accident
Headaches Are the Most Common Symptom of Traumatic Brain Injury
In the aftermath of a collision or traumatic injury to the head, one of the most common symptoms of a traumatic brain injury are headaches that persist even after the passage of time. Medically, the constant onset of headaches following an incident is called “post-traumatic headache” and they can be very serious and debilitating. If you are experiencing headaches over a week after an injury it is important to see your doctor for a referral to a neurologist as soon as possible, especially if the injury involved your neck or your head.
Our brains are fragile and not fully understood. Some headaches resolve in a matter of weeks or months post-accident, but some headaches do not resolve and they become permanent. It is critical to work with a headache or traumatic brain specialist early to seek treatment. Medications, therapy, injections, or shots can provide temporary relief. But even with all of the best treatment available sometimes chronic headaches are permanent and disabling. Post-traumatic headaches are extremely painful, invade thought processes, compromise the ability to work, and take over normal aspects of everyday life.
Types of Traumatic Headaches
Victims of whiplash, neck injury and head injuries may develop several different types of headaches. Here are some of the most common:
Tension-type post-traumatic headache: The most frequent type of headache following brain injuries. Up to 85% of individuals with post-concussion syndrome experience these types of tension headaches (wherein it feels as though the head has been squeezed at the temples). You may have a muscle strain headache if you are experiencing severe pain at the base of your skull.
Post Traumatic Migraine Headache: Migraine headaches occur in 15% to 20% of individuals who have suffered a form of post-traumatic syndrome. Headaches that result from injuries to the head, neck, and shoulders can trigger a post-traumatic migraine headache a week or more after the initial injury and can become permanent and debilitating.
- Pinched Nerve Headache: A pinched nerve can be caused by trauma. The nerve may be near the shoulders, hips or neck. Pre-existing spinal degeneration or age can make a person more susceptible to developing a nerve injury that causes pinched nerve headaches. Symptoms may include a tingling sensation, weakness in muscles and limbs, or radiating burning pain. The more severe the pinched nerve is the more severe the symptoms will be.
- Concussion Headache: Concussions can result in headaches from the brain colliding with the inside of the skull. Symptoms may include dizziness, confusion, nausea, drowsiness, ringing in the ears and vertigo. Worsening symptoms can include memory loss, slurred speech, and unconsciousness. If you have any of these symptoms go to the emergency room immediately because bleeding on the brain can cause increased pressure can be life-threatening.
- Cluster like headaches: Headaches that are very severe but brief. An estimated 8% of individuals with post-concussion syndrome will experience these types of headaches.
- Whiplash headaches: Usually take place after car accidents where a victim suffered a whiplash injury. The ligaments that hold the spine in proper alignment can be damaged. Scar tissue and ligament laxity results. The spine continually slips out of alignment causing muscle spasms and pinching of the occipital nerve at the base of the skull. When the nerves are pinched, headaches result. This causes occipital headaches that are difficult to manage and may cause permanent limitations in daily functioning and activities.
- TMJ: Although temporomandibular joint dysfunction (commonly called “TMJ”) is not a headache or migraine condition, it can be caused be associated with post-traumatic headaches. TMJ is typified by symptoms in the jaw.
Symptoms Associated with Traumatic Headaches
Close to 40% of all head trauma victims suffer from post-traumatic headaches. These headaches may be accompanied by worsening symptoms such as visual disturbance, vertigo, nausea, and dizziness.
Headaches sometimes are indicative of other serious diagnoses. Post-Concussive Syndrome or Traumatic Brain Injury can be discovered during the medical assessment of headaches, especially if the patient is experiencing the following:
- difficulty concentrating
- personality changes
- sensitivity to light
- difficulty finding words
- short term memory deficits
Sweetser Law has over 35 years of handling headaches cases caused by trauma or whiplash-type injuries. Our results speak for themselves. The jury’s confidence in the honesty and integrity of the individual plaintiff is going to be critical to the outcome. Sweetser Law Office is with you every step of the way.
If you are experiencing Post-Traumatic Headaches, Sweetser Law Office recommends tracking the intensity, duration, and frequency of the headaches. You can keep a record of your day to day activities, indicating how your capability of performing normal activities has changed, how long they last, the severity of each headache, and what makes the headaches better or worse. This helps a headache specialist diagnose the correct symptoms and provide the proper treatment.
The insurance defense industry typically claims headaches are not real and are made up to recover compensation. They also sometimes claim an individual’s headaches were pre-existing, a side effect of other medications, or that they are a genetic disorder that runs in the family. Finally, they often say the headaches are not that bad and the injured is exaggerating for financial gain. All of these allegations are unfair because the insurance companies know that headaches cannot be seen on a standard X-ray or MRI like a broken bone.
Sweetser Law Office is here to ensure you and your family’s rights are protected because no one deserves to be left with debilitating headaches caused by another’s carelessness without recourse. We are here to ensure your voice is heard, and we will fight for the justice you deserve.