Why do I have a headache after a car accident? I didn’t hit my head.
Headaches are very common after whiplash injuries such as in car wrecks. These are called cervicogenic or neck-related headaches. They can occur even when you don’t hit your head.
How do neck injuries cause headaches?
Whiplash injuries often cause strain and even tearing of the muscles and ligaments of the neck. The pain from these injuries often refers to the head much like pain from a heart attack refers to the jaw and arm. Likewise, the joints of the neck can also become inflamed from the injury also referring pain to the head. In some cases, injury or muscle spasm can affect the occipital nerves which travel through the neck muscles to the back and top of the head. This can also cause severe headaches.
What does a headache from whiplash feel like?
Often people will complain of a dull aching pain in the back and top of their head. Sometimes the pain will feel like a tight rope around your head. People with pre-existing migraines may note a flare up of their migraines after an accident.
What is the treatment for headaches from whiplash caused headaches?
Treatment for whiplash caused headaches is usually treatment for the whiplash injury. Typically, this involves things like physical therapy and non habit-forming medications such as ibuprofen and mild muscle relaxers. We frequently use a low dose of anti-depressant medicines with extremely good results. Injections to the occipital nerves are also very effective and relatively safe treatment. If the headache persists, referral to a headache specialist may be needed.
What do I do next?
Call us for an appointment at 256-535-8260!