Can a Head Injury Cause Headaches?

headaches, chiropractor for migraines

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is fairly common in the US. Around 2.8 million cases of TBIs occur in the country each year. Mild TBI (mTBI) is the most prevalent type. It can cause a temporary loss of consciousness, less than an hour of post-traumatic amnesia, headaches and migraines.

Quite a lot of patients suffer from bouts of headaches after a head injury. Others turn to a chiropractor for migraines due to the debilitating nature of their headaches. Besides the symptoms mentioned, doctors note other signs of mTBI, such as difficulty in finding balance, confusion, visual problems or disturbances, and lethargy.

 Mild head injury or concussion often result from the following:

  • Falls
  • Motorcycle or other vehicular accident
  • Accidents in workplaces
  • Injuries from military service
  • Recreational or sports accidents
  • Physical assaults


Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS) – A Brief Introduction

Post-concussion syndrome is a complex disorder that occurs when symptoms occur for weeks, months, or even years following a mild traumatic brain injury. 

After the injury, some patients tend to display post-concussion syndrome or PCS. Doctors explain that this could happen even after a few years have passed since the injury. It’s also important to note that the symptoms developed under PCS aren’t related to the initial injury. Hence, patients generally don’t suffer from loss of consciousness. Instead, they can suffer from the following:

  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Vertigo or dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Light and sound sensitivity
  • Visual problems or disturbances
  • Cognitive issues, including difficulty concentrating or memory loss

Out of the common PCS symptoms, headaches are the most prevalent. That’s why patients usually consult with a chiropractor for migraines to find relief. This is especially true for mTBI patients who also suffered from neck bone misalignment during their head injury. With proper chiropractic care, patients can slowly restore their cervical bones’ normal alignment and remove the pressure on the brainstem and the rest of the spine.


Types of Headaches You May Experience After an Injury

Almost 90 percent of symptomatic mTBI patients claim that they experience headaches following their injury. In most cases, patients who already have mild to severe headaches before the accident also suffer from mTBI headaches. Here are some of the usual types of headaches that mTBI patients describe:

  • Migraines

You can easily distinguish a migraine from a typical headache by the throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head and the symptoms that accompany each attack. Some of these symptoms include sensitivity to sounds and lights, visual changes, vomiting, and nausea. A chiropractor for migraines is the best professional to approach if you want to alleviate your symptoms.

headaches, chiropractor for migraines

  • Rebound headaches

Rebound headaches often come about due to pain reliever abuse. There are several instances when patients who overuse their pain reliever medication end up with severe bouts of headaches. They usually happen if you miss a dosage or if you start taking a lower dosage. You can also trigger rebound headaches if you suddenly decrease your regular consumption of caffeine.

  • Tension headaches

Patients often describe the pain they feel when they have tension headaches as tight and squeezing. It almost feels like you are wearing a snuggly fit hat around your head. Muscle spasms and stress often accompany this type of headaches.

  • Occipital neuralgia

Ever felt a sharp and severe pain in the back of your head? It might be just occipital neuralgia (ON). Headaches caused by occipital neuralgia often occur because of irritation of the occipital nerve.

  • Cervicogenic headaches

Besides migraines, cervicogenic headaches are among the leading causes of visits to a chiropractor for migraines in the country. It’s a type of headache triggered by neck injuries. Due to the injury, nerves located near the neck gets irritated. The pain often worsens when you attempt to move the neck or alter that head’s position. 


Addressing the Cause Allows for Healing

If you got into an accident that injured your head and neck, it’s highly advisable to start your healing journey as soon as you can. By doing so, you can manage other lingering symptoms, and you can finally enjoy long-term relief from your pain.

Make sure to have both your head and neck assessed to gauge the level of damage. It’s also good practice to consult with an upper cervical chiropractor for migraines to have your axis and atlas bones realigned. The atlas and axis are two bones located on the uppermost section of your spine. The atlas comes with a unique shape that allows it to hold the head in place and ensure smooth movements. Your head sits on your neck, so it’s crucial to ensure that it’s in good shape after the accident.

During an injury, the atlas might slip from its original position, causing pain and pressure on the neck, brainstem, and head. That’s why, if you want to ensure a smoother and faster recovery, it would be helpful to make use of upper cervical chiropractic care.

An upper cervical chiropractor for migraines has years of experience. As such, they can perform gentle, precise, and accurate movements to guide your upper cervical and head to realign. They take images of the neck bones to gauge the misalignment level and provide the best assistance to you. 

With great precision and detail, upper cervical care chiropractors can make the necessary corrections over a long period. This allows your body to heal naturally from the injury.  If you suffer from migraines or headaches after a recent injury, you can try consulting with one of the chiropractors near your area. You can search for a chiropractic doctor who can help you manage your persistent headaches.

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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.