A car accident can cause a headache right away or months later. Episodes may also go away in a few weeks or last for months. Treatment can depend on the type of headache, so it’s important to have a doctor review your symptoms.
A post-traumatic headache is a type of headache that can occur within 7 days of having a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or after regaining consciousness. This can happen after a motor vehicle accident, sports injury, or a fall.
This type of headache occurs in
In this article, we’ll discuss the types of post-traumatic headaches that tend to occur after motor vehicle accidents and which treatment plans doctors may recommend.
The most common headache types after a car accident include:
Whiplash headache, also called cervicogenic headache, can occur after a neck injury that results from a traffic accident or a slip.
Researchers behind a
Other symptoms of a whiplash headache may include:
- neck stiffness
- pain around the eyes
- pain on one side of your face
- vision problems
A concussion is a brain injury that causes the brain to bounce or twist. The
When there’s a forceful impact, your skull may fracture, causing bone displacement or splintering of the bone. This requires immediate medical care.
A skull fracture may cause headaches, loss of balance, and bruising. Headaches can be persistent, and the pain usually occurs at the back of the neck or head.
Muscle strain and spasm (tension) headache
Tension headaches happen when the neck and scalp muscles contract and become tense.
They may cause pain on both sides of the head and the back of the neck, and it may feel as if you have a band wrapped around your head.
Occipital neuralgia is a neurological condition that occurs when there’s damage or inflammation to the occipital nerves which run through your scalp.
It causes burning, throbbing, and aching pain.
The pain may resemble migraine-like pain, according to the
The scalp may also feel sensitive to the touch, as touching it may cause severe pain.
Can headaches start months after a car accident?
Post-traumatic headaches typically occur within
If you’ve been in a car accident, it may be best to see a doctor so that they can assess your symptoms and determine the cause of your headache.
They may ask about any head, neck, or face injuries you may have recently had and perform a physical exam.
Medications, physical therapy, and home remedies may help treat post-traumatic headaches.
Medical professionals may prescribe medications depending on the type of headache you may have.
If the pain persists, you may have to take preventive medications. These include:
Some home remedies may help prevent headaches, such as:
- maintaining a regular sleep pattern
- taking medications as instructed by your doctor
- avoiding drinking caffeinated beverages
- engaging in aerobic exercises, such as walking and stretching
How long you experience headaches after a car accident depends on the type of headache. In most cases, post-traumatic headaches resolve in a
A post-traumatic headache can occur after a motor vehicle accident. There are different types, such as whiplash, fracture, and tension headaches.
These may affect one or both sides of your head. Pain may also develop in your neck.
It may be a good idea to see a doctor if you have a headache and have recently had a head injury. They may perform diagnostic tests and recommend the proper treatment for your symptoms.