In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some common headache and migraine concerns many victims of vehicle accidents feel in the aftermath of their incidents. Whiplash and other car accident injuries can lead to several different headache types and risks, including for traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
At Peterson Chiropractic, we’re proud to provide numerous expert chiropractor and related services for auto accident therapy, including for many patients struggling with headaches and migraines for several reasons (including those unrelated to car accidents). In today’s part two, we’ll go over several additional headache types that may show up as the result of a car accident or similar trauma.
Whiplash is highly common in motor vehicle accidents, and it’s caused by major force suddenly forcing the head far forward and backward, separated from the neck in ways that jerk and strain soft tissue. Many who experience whiplash also go through whiplash headaches, which are focused near the base of the skull in most cases.
In many situations, the whiplash headache will be just one of several symptoms related to whiplash. It may also come with neck pain or stiffness, fatigue or dizziness. Like other whiplash symptoms, it also may not be completely noticeable for days or even weeks following the accident.
Muscle Contraction/Spasm Headache
One of the single most common headache formats experienced after car accidents is the muscle contraction or spasm headache. It tends to take place when a sudden jolt to the neck or head tears or otherwise damages a portion of soft tissue, which in turn strains or spasms the muscles in that area. Those experiencing this form of headache may also notice limited range of motion and tenderness in the area, and may even see visible redness or swelling.
In severe cases where a fracture in the skull or neck bone takes place during the car accident, medical attention should be sought for this injury. In addition, it may come with severe fracture headaches, with pain at the back of the head and neck or simply localized near the injury site. Brain injury is a significant risk with fracture headaches, with symptom severity depending on the type and level of the fracture. Other symptoms here may include nausea, confusion and slurring of words.
In other cases, a compression of the spine or disc herniation in a car accident may pinch the upper cervical neck roots or irritate the greater occipital nerve (at the base of the skull). This may lead to pain and tenderness from the back of the neck and base of the skull, and this pain may extend up to the back of the head and even feel similar to a headache.
For more on managing headaches following a vehicle accident, or to learn about any of our chiropractic care services, speak to the staff at Peterson Chiropractic today.