Although suffering from a headache after a car accident is common, the pain may not appear until several days or even weeks later. The headache pain you feel may be so mild at first that you either ignore it or take a non-prescription pain reliever to feel better. Unfortunately, this does little to make the pain in your head go away and you eventually realize that you should visit a headache specialist. Some of the most common causes of post-accident headache pain include:
Fracture: A fracture of the neck bone or skull can cause severe headache pain. It can originate from the back of the head or closer to the impact point at the time of injury. If you experience a fracture and delay visiting a headache specialist, it could result in a permanent brain injury and severe headaches that become more challenging to control.
Post-Concussive: A concussion is a serious injury to the brain due when the head strikes against a hard object. Migraine headaches are a common symptom of concussion and the one that you might notice first. You may find your migraines triggered by bright lights and extreme sensitivity to sound and motion.
Pinched Nerve: Also known as an occipital neuralgia headache, this type describes nerve compression that takes places after an accident. Nerve compression of the neck or at the base of the skull can cause symptoms such as burning, numbness, tingling, and significant pain.
Post-Traumatic: This occurs due to trauma to your neck or head during the accident. The pain can originate from multiple sources in your body and it is common for it not to show up until many weeks have passed.
Spasm: Also known as a muscle contraction headache, this type happens when you injure the muscles in your neck, upper back, or head during an accident. As your headache specialist will explain, the sudden jolt of a car accident can injure or tear soft tissues and cause them to spasm.
Whiplash: You can get whiplash when your head gets forced forward and backward in quick unnatural motions due to the force of impact striking your vehicle. Because the injuries typically affect the base of the skull, headache pain is a common whiplash symptom. As with other symptoms, it usually takes a few weeks to appear.
Of course, you may not recognize your type of post-accident headache on this list. That is all the more reason to visit a headache specialist as soon as possible.
Why Time is of the Essence When Scheduling an Appointment with a Headache Specialist
When you strike your head or neck in a car accident, symptoms could start developing immediately that you can neither see nor feel. A severe headache is often the first indication that anything is wrong. By that point, you may have developed a serious condition such as whiplash or a concussion in addition to dealing with headaches.
1-800-WE-TREAT makes it easy for you to find the medical care you need immediately after a car accident. We recommend visiting a headache specialist experienced with treating victims of head trauma as soon as you can. Contact us today for a recommendation.