The World Health Organization estimates that about half of the world’s adult population has had a headache in the last year. While most of these headaches are easily treatable, others persist for long, which could be a sign of something worse. For example, after an accident, headaches that occur, also referred to as post-traumatic headaches, can be a symptom of internal injuries sustained during the accident.
In this post, we discuss various types of headaches and when to see a specialist at Lone Star Neurology for an evaluation:
What Causes Headaches?
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke highlights hormonal changes, weather, stress, exercise, or diets as the common triggers of headaches. In addition, a poor posture slipped or compressed discs in the spinal cord, and excessive screen use can lead to headaches. Other triggers include pollen, dust, dehydration, fatigue, allergies, and alcohol. Additionally, loud music, strong smells, and bright smells can trigger headaches.
Why Do Headaches Occur After A Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs after a violent blow to the head, often after an accident. TBIs are characterized by migraines, which vary in their intensity depending on the severity of the injury.
Experts believe that small collections of fluid and blood cause these headaches in the skull. Mild and moderate injuries can also cause these headaches if a person had suffered from a traumatic brain injury before. Further, the headaches can occur due to brain changes caused by skull and neck injuries that are not healed.
In a nutshell, the causes of headaches after a brain injury vary on a case by case basis. As such, always prioritize talking to a specialist to ascertain your headache’s primary cause to facilitate effective treatment. Our Georgia Neurology experts can provide an accurate diagnosis of your headache and advise you on the most effective way to treat them.
What Are The Types Of Headaches That Occur After Traumatic Brain Injury?
Brain injuries can occur due to several reasons, from auto accidents to gunshots and sporting collisions.
These injuries vary in severity and cause the following types of headaches:
Migraines occur when a particular brain area becomes very sensitive and triggers a signal that causes pain, spreading to the other regions of the brain. Characteristics of migraines include:
• Pain lever ranges between moderate to severe
• Sound and light sensitivity
• A throbbing and dull sensation that occurs on one side of the head
Tension headaches are characterized by muscle spasms or muscle tension in response to a head injury or stress. The symptoms of tension headaches include:
• They occur later during the day
• A squeezing and tight sensation on the head or both sides
• Pain ranges from mild to moderate
When you have an injury to the soft tissues or the muscles in the back of the head or the neck, you can get a cervicogenic headache. Essentially, most of the nerves in the neck’s bones and soft tissues are connected to the skull’s scalp and can be painful when injured. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, consider seeing a specialist at Lone Star Neurology:
• Intense pain starting from the neck to the shoulders and the back of the head
• You have trouble moving the neck to the side as it makes the pain worse
• Eye strain and muscle tension in the face
When To See A Lone Star Neurologist Expert
The Havard Medical School advises that you see a specialist if your headache persists for a few days and limits you from doing your daily activities.
Notably, after having a head injury or concussion, you should consult with a qualified neurologist to get an accurate diagnosis of your headache and the most effective treatment plan. Other warning signs to watch out for include:
• Head pain accompanied by frequent vomiting and nausea
• Head pain that increases with coughing or movement
• Change in personality, for example, sudden irritability
• Headaches accompanied by a painful red eye
• Weakness in the arms and legs along with a headache