Understanding Injury-Related Headaches Better


Migraines and headaches quickly develop after a head injury or trauma. In some instances, these headaches only appear long after an original injury happens. 

MTBI or mild traumatic brain injury happens more often than most people believe. Each year, in the United States alone, about 1.4 million new cases of traumatic brain injuries happen. Furthermore, about a third of these incidents are mild head injuries. Even mild head injuries may have a long-lasting and negative impact on an individual’s daily life. 

What Are The Common Causes of Mild Head Injuries?

  • Military service-related injuries
  • Sports or recreational accidents
  • Falls
  • Vehicular accidents
  • Work-related accidents

Certainly, it is crucial to understand that loss of consciousness is not a requirement to get a concussion or mild traumatic brain injury. 

What Is Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS)?

Post-concussion syndrome or PCS is a complex situation that arises when the signs of a concussion persist for weeks, months, or at occasions, even years following a mild traumatic brain injury. Surprisingly, the risk of developing post-concussion syndrome has no connection to the severity of the actual injury. Losing consciousness or sustaining a severe head trauma does not mean a higher likelihood of developing persistent symptoms of PCS. Post-concussion evidence can include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Changes in vision
  • Fatigue
  • Increased sensitivity to sound and light
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Cognitive changes like memory loss or trouble concentrating

Among these symptoms that can stick around after a head injury, the most common one that people deal with are post-concussion headaches. These headaches vary from person to person. They are also comparable to a neck injury that happened at the same time as the head injury.

What Types of Headaches Typically Occur After Injury?

Most people often experience vertigo or headaches after suffering a mild head injury. In some cases, they are worse. They occur immediately after an injury if you already have a history of problems before the accident.

Cervicogenic headaches

This type of problem can be the result of an injury to the tissues of the neck. Many of the spinal cord nerves begin at the neck and go up to the skull and scalp.  These nerves may suffer irritation. As a result, headaches originating from the neck or shoulders develop and extend through to the top and back of the head. Shifts in the position and neck movements of the head can aggravate cervicogenic headache pain.

Occipital neuralgia

Occipital neuralgia (ON) triggers severe pain in the back of the head.  These types of headaches generate pressure, aching, stabbing, or throbbing pain because of irritation on the greater occipital nerve.


An episode of migraine involves a dull, throbbing headache that frequently occurs on only one side of the head (it can still affect both sides). In addition, migraines can include vomiting, nausea, sensitivity to light, sound, and smell, and also visual changes that precede the headache (also called an aura).

Tension headaches

This kind of condition is a tight, squeezing sensation, similar to that of a rubber band that is tightening around the entire head. This condition links to muscle spasms and stress.

Rebound headaches

These are commonly set off by pain medication that treats headaches. Rebound headaches happen after taking medication consistently. Unfortunately, when you miss a dose or intentionally take less, the headache strikes again.  Caffeine can also contribute to these kinds of headaches, especially if you have regular, high caffeine consumption and you consume less than your normal amount. Caffeine is a regular ingredient in various over-the-counter medicines used for headaches and pain.

Finding a Headache’s Root Cause to Bring Healing

Begin your road to recovery from any lingering symptoms by addressing the root cause of current problems. If you already have a history of head injury, even if it’s just a mild one, finding the origin of the problem is still one of the best actions you can take.

Whenever you experience an injury or trauma to the head, remember that these could lead to a mild concussion or even a sub-concussive force. Therefore, there is a high likelihood that it also affects the neck. When this happens, there may be spinal misalignment and soft tissue damage too. Hence, these could be the root sources of your current headaches, dizziness, migraines, or other post-concussion symptoms. 

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care For Headache and Migraine Relief

Upper cervical care is here to help relieve your pain and discomfort. If you need migraine relief, a reputable upper cervical chiropractor is ready to help you heal by finding the source of your problems right at the root.

Upper cervical doctors focus on the alignment of the uppermost vertebrae, or atlas, which holds the head. The atlas (C1) vertebra has a unique shape and function in the spine. Also, it supports the head and enables its wide range of motion. The way the atlas moves the skull has everything to do with its relationship with the vertebra beneath it called the axis (C2). With all this mobility, the atlas (C1) can easily misalign during trauma or injury to the head.

Upper cervical care uses mainly gentle and precise techniques. It uses digital imaging to get precise measurements of each patient’s misalignment, down to fractions of a millimeter. Also, its accurate and gentle adjustment technique is what allows for the corrections to hold in place for more extended periods. As a result, the body gets more time to trigger its natural healing process without interruption.  

Many people who suffer from headaches or migraines linked to an old injury become frustrated with other care options that haven’t fixed the problem. Thankfully, there is a gentle and precise option that can give people with migraines and headaches a natural and long-lasting relief.




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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.