At Peterson Chiropractic, two of our specialty areas for chiropractic care and related treatments are vehicle accidents and various headaches and migraines. And while these two areas often exist independently of each other, they’re also often intertwined in major ways: Car accidents and resulting injuries like whiplash and others may lead to the formation of several different headache types or risks, some of which are very persistent.
What’s causing these issues following a vehicle accident, and how can your chiropractor help? In this two-part blog series, we’ll go over the answers to these questions plus detail several of the specific types of headaches or migraines that might crop up following a vehicle accident and how you can recognize their symptoms to seek proper treatment.
Headaches, Migraines and Chiropractic Care
For starters, it’s valuable for anyone suffering from headaches due to any cause, vehicle accident or otherwise, to understand how beneficial chiropractic care often is in reducing pain and other symptoms. A chiropractor will discuss your situation with you and get to work identifying the specific causes of your pain, then use manual adjustments to improve spinal function and reduce strain on the neck and shoulders through posture techniques.
In cases where the headache pain is related to a neck injury, a common scenario following car accidents, a chiropractor will also recommend stretches and various exercises to decrease symptoms. These are in addition to the actual treatments we offer.
TBIs and Headaches
One particular concern following car crashes, an issue that also is closely related to headaches, is the potential for a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This term actually covers multiple head injury types, including:
- Concussions: When the brain sustains damage to blood vessels and nerves based on a collision.
- Contusion: Bruising in the brain due to impact with the skull during a collision.
- Intracranial hematomas: Ruptured brain vessels bleeding into the skull or brain – this condition can be life-threatening based on pressure caused inside the brain.
- Diffuse axonal injuries: The ripping of axons, or nerve fibers that pass messages from the brain to other parts of the body.
TBIs often lead to headaches, of which there are several types possible following a car accident. Each of our subsequent sections will go over these types.
A post-traumatic headache is possible during both car accidents and other traumatic events. It may originate from the neck, brain (as a result of concussion), a muscle spasm or from pinching in the upper neck nerve area. In most cases, symptoms of post-traumatic headaches are not noticeable for a few days or weeks.
Concussions are injuries to the brain, and headaches associated with them are unfortunately common. These may also come with nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, sound sensitivity and other symptoms. Severe cases may even include memory loss, sleep issues, balance problems and major changes in mood.
For more on treating headaches and migraines following a car accident, or to learn about any of our whiplash treatment or other chiropractic services, speak to the staff at Peterson Chiropractic today.