Causes of Post Traumatic Headaches
Car accident post-traumatic headaches often start to occur within the two-week period following the trauma. The good news is that most of these headaches will resolve within six months. However, 10-20% of them never resolve.
Part of securing fair compensation for your headaches and head injuries will be carefully explaining what exactly caused the pain, as well as the specific symptoms you’re experiencing—such as visual disturbances, neck pain, or even brain damage. Headaches are the most common physical manifestation of a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Here are some of the main causes and symptoms of headaches after a car accident:
Whiplash headaches are common after car accidents. The whipping, back-and-forth motion of the neck can cause muscle strain that radiates through soft tissue into the head. This kind of headache might take days or weeks to get really bad, but often starts at the base of the skull and can cause a stiff neck, memory and concentration issues, and trouble sleeping.
Fracture headaches happen when a sudden force is enough to break the skull or neck. Even if these broken bones aren’t serious enough to cause brain injuries, they can still lead to persistent headaches. People with fracture headaches might experience slurred speech, confusion, nausea, or even seizures.
Pinched nerve headaches happen due to compression around the spinal nerves, especially the greater occipital nerve at the base of the skull. A herniated disk, swollen neck muscles, and other complications can pinch nerves at their roots, causing pain, tingling, numbness, and burning up the back of the head.
Concussion headaches are just one symptom of this sort of TBI. If the impact of the auto accident causes your brain to hit the inner wall of your skull and become bruised or even bleed, you could experience intense headaches—along with memory loss, light sensitivity, nausea, ear ringing, sound sensitivity, and confusion. If you’re experiencing headaches after the expected recovery period, you may have post-concussion syndrome.
It’s true that certain medications, such as birth control or heart drugs, can cause headaches, and lawyers representing the at-fault driver may try to use that against your claim. Be aware that overuse of typical pain drugs, such as aspirin and acetaminophen, may cause so-called rebound headaches when used too much.
Insurance companies are quick to deny migraine headaches caused by a car accident. Many neurologists also don’t believe that migraines can be related to car accidents. They might claim migraines are genetic disorders that run in the family, particularly if the headache occurs on one side of the head.
The reality of it is that many post-accident headaches have migraine features. It’s essential to know exactly what type of headache you are experiencing, so the defense doesn’t dismiss your case because you think it’s a migraine. Your lawyer can help you navigate this challenge to your case.
Because of his work as a chiropractor, Harry Brown has a unique perspective and understanding of post-traumatic headaches and their settlement values. Count on him to present this serious injury in an effective manner.
RELATED: How to Prove You Have Whiplash — and How a Lawyer Can Help