Headaches After Head Injuries — Post-Traumatic Headaches

Seymour Solomon, MD, Headache Unit, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Headaches After Head Injuries — Post-Traumatic Headaches

Headache immediately following a head injury usually clears after minutes or days but sometimes headaches may persist for months or rarely years. The long-term headaches are called post-traumatic or post-concussion headaches.

One can understand why headaches may follow a moderate or severe injury to the brain such as a concussion (bruise) or laceration (tear). What has been more difficult to understand and has presented an ongoing controversy are chronic headaches following mild head injuries.

Mild injuries of the brain are characterized as a concussion (a brief disturbance of brain function causing loss of consciousness or transient difficulty in thought processes).

Because the neurological examination after mild head injury is normal and standard tests as well as imaging studies (such as MRI or CT of the head) similarly fail to reveal abnormalities, many thought that the symptoms following mild head injury were psychological.

But microscopic studies have shown disruption of the nerve fibers in the brain due to the stretching or shearing forces of the trauma. Other subtle changes have been noted in brain functioning.

The clinical features of post traumatic headache may vary from one individual to another. Most headaches would be now classified as chronic tension-type headache. These headaches are typically a steady ache affecting both sides of the head and occurring daily or almost everyday. They are of slight to moderate intensity but intermittently, upon this base of low grade headache bouts of severe or moderately severe headache may occur and these often are similar to, if not identical with migraine (one sided throbbing pain associated with nausea and sensitivity to light and noise).

Unfortunately, people who experience post traumatic headaches also experience other symptoms of the post-traumatic or post-concussion syndrome. There may be other neurological symptoms such as dizziness, ringing in the ears, vague blurring of vision, psychological symptoms occur such as depression, anxiety, personality change, disturbance in sleep, and impairment libido.

Finally, people with the post-concussion syndrome have changes in their mental functioning, primarily difficulty in concentration, inability to work efficiently and associated difficulty maintaining attention and retaining memory.

The treatment of post-traumatic headache, as well as other features of the post-traumatic syndrome is symptomatic. That is each symptom is treated individually because, unfortunately, there is no medication that will alter the underlying disturbance in the brain.

Most often treatment of the chronic tension-type headache consists of such medications as the tricyclic antidepressants (for example amitriptyline). These agents not only diminish depression but also decrease pain.

The periodic worsening of headaches, if they have characteristics of migraine, are treated with typical migraine medications (for example, sumatriptan for an acute attack).

Non-drug methods of therapy are also advisable. Healthy habits should be encouraged by elimination of nicotine and alcohol, by recommendations for regularity with regard to sleep and meal time and by exercise at least every other day. Relaxation techniques may be helpful. These can be learned by biofeedback techniques as well as by such methods as meditation.

Last but not least is attention to psychological factors. The family, friends, and employer or teacher should be educated so the fact that headaches are not purely psychological but have a basis related to the disturbed structure and chemical functions of the brain. A psychologist may be helpful in teaching pain coping techniques and in treating the psychological symptoms that are part of the post-traumatic syndrome.

Fortunately, most headaches following head injury gradually taper off within the first three to six months. Even those unfortunate individuals who experience symptoms much longer can be helped.

 

Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.

Posted on BrainLine December 15, 2008. Reviewed August 9, 2018.

About the Author

Dr. Seymour Solomon is a neurologist in Bronx, New York and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Burke Rehabilitation Hospital and Montefiore Medical Center. He received his medical degree from Medical College of Wisconsin and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He is one of 41 doctors at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital and one of 78 at Montefiore Medical Center who specialize in Neurology.

From Help for Headaches. www.headache-help.org.

Comments (447)

Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.

Very Insightful. Thank you.

well.. I got 36 stitches in my head at age 1.... I'm  now 30. I was dealing with migraines on a monthly basis, good fun. Had trouble concentrating, never lived a day without anxiety so it actually took me a long time to realize I had it. Had to teach myself everything to get by in school because I lacked the attention span and focus to hear the teachers out without my brain going off into its own tangent. If life was a video game, then I've been playing on hard whilst everyone else got to play on normal. Every day was tough but I forced myself through it and eventually wound working as network engineer after graduating school/college.  At this point I honestly didn't think anything was wrong with me, I had never not felt this way and I assumed its how everyone was. I never really gave my head injury much thought when I was younger and how it might of made me a different self to what I was meant to be, theres just no point dwelling on something I couldn't change and did not want my parents to feel guilty again over what happened, they been through enough as it is. I was still getting by in life and doing well in school/work so why bother digging....until I hit my mid twenties....The evil beast known as depression grabbed his pal Anxiety and proceeded to give me a 24/7 mental ass whooping I will never forget. It was like my brain was locked in solitary and depression had paid off the warden so it could deliver me my daily shanking. It was horrible and I wouldn't even wish it on anyone, not even Hitler.

2 years ago the depression and anxiety got the better of me. A lifetime of fighting/tolerating it made me have a complete breakdown. I became super flaky at work and would use any excuse to stay home. My stress went through the roof, which in turn made the anxiety and depression even worse. I couldn't sleep, sometimes for up to five days at at time. I was sick of being tired but not being able to sleep, then sleeping forever and waking up even more tired than before. Its amazing how anxiety can make you shit more whilst eating less...Mentally I was circling the drain, It had all just gotten on top of me and I felt like I was drowning .So I quit my job and did some soul searching. I studied every piece of literature I could find regarding all the different personality disorders and how they interact with different personality types when treated with various medications. Came to the conclusion that my symptoms pretty much mimic someone who suffers ADHD with underlying anxiety and depression.

I sort out a specialist in the field (not a gp) laid out my case and he agreed to treat me. Now on Dexamphetamines and life has never been better. I can pay attention and listen without my brain doing its own thing. Im interacting with others with ease where as before it use to be a soul draining chore that would spike my anxiety making me quick to anger and short fused with people (never violent, just think grumpy dwarf) My anxiety is almost completely gone whilst medicated. To put it into perspective if you imagine my anxiety was like swimming against a tidal its now just a very gentle ripple. After 28 years of swimming against mental tsunamis a small ripple is child play, its just background noise I no longer notice. Im pulling out of my lifelong depression and stress levels have never been lower. The drugs them selves don't really have any noticeable side effects other than a little bit of a headache if you don't adequately hydrate and eat whilst on them, unlike most anti depressants that just turn me into an emotionless constipated zombie with no libido.

As a result of all this my migraines have stopped being monthly visitors to maybe once in a blue moon. Being able to sleep properly again without a stomach full of worry and self loathing has released a lot of tension  and I feel somewhat normal for the first time in my life. The last two years have been the best I have ever lived. Even though im rebuilding from the ashes my former self left behind, I now have the confidence tools to do it.

So anyone reading this who has suffered a TBI and are experiencing similar symptoms, go see a psych and make your case for some dexies. They have completely turned my life around, might do the same for you.

Has he tried acupuncture? There are also herbal formulas that could be helpful.

My son was in a car accident 14 yrs ago. His head and neck went through the front windshield and he was thrown back into the car. He has a scar about 4 inches on his forehead. A CT scan was done upon arrival to the hospital and they said their was a minuet fracture on the forehead and instead of transferring him to a trauma center hospital the doctor numbed his open laceration and stitched him up. They quit counting stitches when they got to three hundred. The Dr did not admit him into the hospital and instead kept him in the ER room for 9.5 hours. When we took our son home we have always said we took home a different young man than we knew. His personality changed to a complete opposite. The Dr's treated him with Tylenol from then on. 7 years later he was attacked by three men who hit him in the head in the same spot as the first injury against a steel pool and beat his face up leaving him with a broken cheek bone in the upper orbital area. A CT scan was not done. Same hospital as the last. Two yrs ago he was drinking and got out of hand at a football game and was asked to leave. He fought with the officers who took him down and slammed his head into the cement flooring. He had a concussion, a CT was done again but at a different hospital two days later (he was in jail). It showed a concussion with a small area of bleeding. He has suffered almost daily headaches since the first accident. He has not worked and has been denied SSI because of his drinking and marijuana use. Marijuana does not get rid of the headaches, it makes him not care because he is "high". Dr's have tried all kinds of medications on him. He has been waiting for his State insurance to approve Botox injections which has not yet happened. He was in alcohol and addiction rehab for 60 days voluntarily and got out less than 20 days ago. The headaches are still there after getting off of drugs and alcohol and caffeine. Any suggestions would be appreciated. He is ready to start using marijuana again. Has anyone tried a pain control doctor or a headache specialist?

I hit my head hard in a quad accident November 13th. I was unconscious for 15 to 20 minutes. Since then I have had several problems. Headaches pretty much all the time range in severity. Highest being migraine and nausea otherwise mild. Never seems to completely go away. I've become extremely sensitive and emotional. Depressed. At times I have trouble speaking and thinking. This has nearly destroyed my marriage. Im going to mention this medication to my doctor

I had a "mild" concussion 3 years ago. I still suffer from PCS. Found that I became depressed early on due to not being able to honour my responsibilities, and didn't eat much which seems to have not helped my brain heal as quickly. The constant naps have died off and I'm finally able to walk more than 15 minutes without getting a headache and being symptomatic for a week straight. I find that melatonin helps me get a better rest at night and increases my threshold and allows me to get headaches less often. The more stressed, the higher blood pressure, the more headaches. Everything in moderation. I'm only 25 years old and very fatigued due to my brain being so tired but it does get better! Mark your improvements on a calendar and watch the changes and improvements unfold.

I had a concussion July 6th 2015 and still have the headaches and at times having difficultly dealing with things in general. I guess depending on others for rides, in new York an unknown loss of consciousness 6 months no driving is very depressing but almost over

I have the exact same thing but has been for 3 weeks, headaches every day after hit in the nose

After receiving a direct blow to my nose and the bridge between my eyebrows, I began to suffer daily headache. Mild to moderate severity with intermittent and variable location. Intensity variable . Xray showed broken nasal bones but no facial, orbit fractures. Still receiving some sharp zingers that seem to run from temple to temple. Also there is an underlying mild dull tension type ache on rt. Temple most of the day. Sometimes naproxen helps ,, apap not helpful. Sleep OK but its common to wake up and begin the day with headache. I'm noticing I'm more forgetful lately. e.g. walk to office to get phone charger and when I arrive, it takes a moment to recall what I came to retrieve. Also hypertension patient. My assault happened 30 days ago. Sometimes dizzy from sitting to standing position.

About four years ago, I slipped in the bathroom and hit my head. Usually, when I hit my head I have a moment of paralysis. Yeah that happens. But this slip was different. For about a year, I have no headaches, whatsoever. They started appearing a year after, when I was very much stressed, angry and depressed. I noticed that the pain was ONLY on the formerly hit area. After that incident, I started to become more forgetful, I get sharp, pulsating headaches on the hit area, tingling sensations in my body, especially hands, and nausea. I haven't got my head checked, so I think I might have had a concussion that time. Also, the headaches appear and last for a long period time over the day, and then it spreads through the lower back of my head.

Last week I was at a dead stop when a Tahoe rammed me. I know now that I lost consciousness, and the top of my head felt like it would explode. Pain subsided but was in shock. Went to ER and had CT scan and nothing wrong.My head didn't hit the wheel so I was surprised I had a concussion. Today on the news they were talking about concussions and how the brain is surrounded my liquid which then is surrounded by bone. Thus when I was hit, my brain actually connected full force with the head bone. This suddenly made sense. Now to deal with all the symptoms. Your comments have all helped me see that what I am experiencing is normal.

I've started seeing a chiropractor who is treating the vertebra at the top of my neck, underneath the base of my skull. X-rays showed multiple whiplash, first injury was 15 years ago, second about 10 years ago and the final straw 3 months ago. I'm hoping a program of gentle manipulation will stop the tinnitus and headaches eventually. Anyone else had success with this treatment?

I am 41 currently. When I was five I was bit in the head by a dog and had migrines as well as light/sound sensitivity. Over the years they have tapered off in frequency but I'm still prone to them when stressed. Earlier this month I recieved a head laceration at one of the spots where I had been bit and I've been having low grade throbbing still (2wks). Given my long standing migrine problems from the dog bite I would have thought it would have stopped already but I've really just been reminded that my head had felt this way all the time. I just learned to deal with it because I had no referance of not having to. It was either succumb to the pain and sensitivity or work with it. This new injury is 16 days old. Im unsure if I can take months of feeling like I have a constant sledgehammer in my head and I have never been good with pill taking or pleased when I have to resort to it. Its at least an inch long on my left side and as I said along the scarring of the old wounds. I'm wondering if after reading your article if its going to be worse being in the same location as the old?

A helpful hint if you are looking into a brain scan . An MRI will serve you better than a CT scan. It is deeper and you will get better results.

I've had about three concussions two of those within 7 months of each other. Two are from volleyball: colliding with another players knee, then having my shirt stick to the floor which immediately stopped me and caused me to smack my forehead. I get severe headaches everyday. Mostly on one side of my head only but occasionally it's both sides. I think that concussions are a serious problem with young athletes and they are definitely not a "made up" injury.

Hello my names Ralph, I'm a 21 year old male, around July 2015 I was at work and fell back words which led to me hitting the back of my head on the pavement. At the time I didn't report it, after a few hours it went away and after 2 days I started to receive headaches at work, i called my boss an told him about it, an we went to the clinic i was see by a Dr who told me i should be ok, but they didn't have a Mri or x-ray machines there so they might have missed something. After 1 month I felt cured. Then 2 days ago (2 mouths after the accident) the headaches and neck pain came back. I've started to notice a pattern now for my headaches. I get them every time I'm doing unhealthy or something bad to my body, like not getting enough water or enough sleep or drinking caffeine or any kind of soda or not getting enough exercise, or whenever i miss a meal. Anyways I'm a see my Dr and tell him about it. Thank you all that comment it feels great knowing I'm not alone, sorry for all of us that are here right now, one day the head aches will leave for good, I'll comment back when that day comes.Love you all.

I had a car accident two months ago and my headache keeps getting worse.and my car hit the back of another car in front of me and the airbag came out  and i hit my head on the airbag and my head went all the way back on the seat's headrest. At that time I didnt go to emerg but went after few hours they did not do any ct scans and i kept asking my doctor for a ct scan for a whole month they all say its a minor concussion but my head still hurts like crazy feels liek something is contracting inside and radiating too sometimes. I have been telling the doctor for a CT scan but they dont agree to it and its been two months now and i am in university currently and all the workk i used to do fastly i am only able to do a little and then doze off to sleep and then do a little so its affecting my studies too and its nursing degree and im scared im gonna end up failing or something. And this is also affecting my personal relationships as I keep getting panic attacks still but I am able to calm myself but my whole body is just in such a bad state that sometimes i feel like i have no control on my own thoughts and feelings and I just end up doing stuff I normally wouldn't do and I always feel like killing myself or just going somewhere and getting drunk like crazy. I am going through depression and anxiety and panic attacks but I have my moments when I feel really normal like nothing ever happened and those are the times i am still scared to get back in my negative thoughts and panic attacks.So I dont know if I should talk to university head department and talk to my teachers and tell them about my situation and also that I am feeling like it is going to affect my studies so should i ask them for help in some way or the other. Also I dont know anymore if I should ask for MRI or CT scan referral from my family doctor or just go to emerg and just get one done already. I really need to know if I should just take it all in and not talk about this with anyone and give my body all the time it needs to heal  and not tell all the teachers about this or should I let my teachers know and tell them that I will be taking things slowly and ask them for techniques to motivate me for studying? 

My mother was in an rear-end automobile accident when my twin brother and I were both at the age of three or so, give or take a year or two. The both of us are about to turn seventeen years of age within two months and still she has severe migraines. How anyone can live with headaches like that for such a long time is mind-blowing to me. In some ways I despise my mom for how she acts at times, most likely due to such horrible headaches and being human of course. I respect her for her strength but we both know she has no strength left. My mother is tired and in incredible pain. She's gone to countless neurologists and other doctors of that sort to try to help her. They're all the same. They act as though they know exactly what the problem is, regardless of how adamant she is that the last doctor tried the same thing and nothing worked. Nothing ever works. I'm not sure what kind of medication she's on but it's definitely very strong. My mother has also broken her neck a few years ago and has had surgery for it as well, the severe headaches still existed before it happened but doctors still try to blame it for the pain. There was also a benign tumor in her brain as well. It wasn't huge or anything in my opinion, but anything in the body that isn't where it's supposed to be is pretty huge. She's had brain surgery as recent as a year and something ago, maybe two years at this point, because of the tumor. It was removed and she admitted that headache pain lessened, barely, but it did lessen at least. She wakes up everyday with headaches and they persist through the day. They never stop. Ever. No human being should have to go through this. After her brain surgery she's not quite the same woman that she once was. We expected there to be changes though. I don't think she realizes the problems themselves. She would never hurt my brother or myself purposely but the problem is that she doesn't seem to realize that she occasionally puts us in danger. She nods off at times and one of her eyes seems to want to stay out of focus sometimes too. Her medicine makes her a bit loopy and so she tries to take as little as possible. She takes less than even her doctor prescribes because she's afraid she'll act strangely. After the surgery, whenever she seems to be tired it's as though she's doped up on medication. She was once on medication so strong that she actually peed on my brother's floor, but in her defense, she thought it was the bathroom. Both my brother and I think her license should be revoked for her own safety and others. She would never hurt anyone or herself purposely but she's becoming a danger to others. We're afraid that if we talk to her doctor about this that he'll revoke her medication and she'll have no relief whatsoever. The problem is that medication doesn't cut it. It only ever dulls the pain to be remotely bearable. Bearable? How could any of this be bearable? My mother wants to go be taken off of her medication and no longer drive, after much convincing by the rest of the family. She only wants relief. It's not her fault that she does these things. There has to be some kind of cure. She's willing to try anything. She's given up to be honest, but I haven't. I refuse to let my mother live like this. Please help me. There has to be something to help. Endless medications are not the answer but that seems to be the only option as of right now. I'm afraid of what she might do if she has to continue living in pain like this. I've never thought of my mother attempting to kill herself, but that doesn't mean she wouldn't try it. A cure would be fantastic. It really would, but I stopped believing in fairytales a long time ago. I'm not really sure what I'm asking exactly. I just want my mother to be better. Are multiple medications the only thing that can help? I feel like that's the answer in the article but I don't want to believe it. There has to be something else that can help or at least work better than what she's using now. I know I'm ranting and I'm sorry. I don't know all of her medical history and am probably wasting everyone's time but I need answers. If not answers than at least something to go on. I'm no genius neurologist but that doesn't mean I can't try to do something. I'm not asking for medical advice because I know this isn't the place for it but I needed to rant to someone. Thank you to those that read this.

Hang in there Lucy . Got hit in the head by a co worker and I am experiencing the same thing. I am trying oral form of gabapentin . Find that it helps

I have PC headaches since Lamictal was discontinued. What now?! My HA are like a yr ago when I had my fall & concussion. Have to wear sunglasses even inside! Any help with meds & pains that work? Lucy

I'm getting headaches from an auto accident In July 2014 had bleeding and swelling on the brain. will it ever to away

My car accident rear ended Nov 2014 seat belted in was hit while at rest going 35mph she never braked. I lost memories, asked for my deceased father, had to relive his death like it had just happened. I have word finding, memory, ringing in ears, blue streaks seen in eyes, motion sickness can't handle cognitive therapy, tapping, EMDR, all make me sick, any rapid eye movement makes me sick. I get a strong pain left side of skull. Only goes away w sleep. Yesterday I felt off, I have vertigo now as well. I was at a store w my husband an overhead light wasn't working right it was flashing, my head went nuts, I had to put on my sunglasses and go sit outside, not the 1st time it's happened but I fail to notice things as much. I stupidly put my hand in boiling water not thinking to use a spoon to ck pasta. I can't do mental math. I forget things. But this pain in my head frightens me. I think this post makes sense. If I didn't have auto spell on my phone I wouldn't be able to write this. I was supposed to be going to law school. I don't know now. I can't retain info. I make lists then forget. I feel dumb and I dislike it. I've never been emotional now all I do is fall apart. I was diagnosed with TBI, PTSD, POST CONCUSSION SYNDROME, TITINITUS? I'm scared if I wasn't already taking a med for anxiety I'd be having seizures. Thank you for this article. I'm in touch with my Dr's I have a great team. I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

I am nowhere near as bad as the person suffering from an IED blast overseas. My heart goes out to that soldier and I will pray for that person.

hi all, i was in an ied attack in iraq in july 2013 and i got home in 2014. after coming home and my high level of  adrenaline finally receded after four months i had migraines and anxiety attacks and dizziness and balance problems. now after 11 years and several neurologists, ear nose and throat specialists, pain doctors and many different procedures and medications-i have TBI and the migraines are caused by the damage to my brain. nothing physical affects them at all. i have had shots in a series of three into my spine multiple times which did nothing. i have had the "magic shot" in the base of the brain stem and it did nothing. i ended up two days in the hospital after that on an I.V. drip. i am so glad i have a very high threshold of pain otherwise i would not be able to deal with this everyday. then there is the weather...i feel every weather front and change in warm weather and cold weather. too hot, too cold, start moving, bend down, mow the lawn, work on the car...simple things and i am in even more pain. my left eye was injured by having a blood vessel rupture and i have scar tissue there. it looks like i am in this for the long haul.

continued/// so i am now on permanently disability with the possibility of never being able to return to gainful employment. Doctor told me today that my brain will never go back to how it was before, i will always have cognitive issues, memory issues, mood disorders and need to stay on my medications. This is what i had already figured but i needed to hear it from him i guess. He first needed me to calm as my anxiety was threw the roof because of what has happened to me over last 3 years along w the fall. so i sit in room no lights or sound with ice on top of my head, it is worse when it is cloudy out or when barometric pressure raises, so winter hear in northeast is bad for me, and so far this summer is as well. I have been walking and learning which type of headaches/migraines i get as some are due to stress, my back, the weather, anxiety, or vascular, and when i get migraines, my entire legs hurt as well, they are heavy and very sore. so from head to toe i got pretty messed up, but it could be worse and i am grateful to be here so i dont complain too much anymore. but have to have a social life around my headaches so cant plan too much til last minute. I am hoping to see some friends at a local tuesday concert and hope that i can deal with it, going to bring meds with me and just have to accept that this is part of me now. I am going on 40, and this isnt the only head trauma i have had, just the only one i have had checked. so the head can only take so many blows to it. i try to walk, read, and do things like i use to to see if i got better, in last year i have come a long way, but i still have a ways to go. even if i can just get into a part time job someday. it would be nice just to get out of house, although i am still afraid to leave it on some days cause of my symptoms. so i really dont get out much, and i even push men away that i meet cause i dont want them to have to be with someone like me, i need to find someone who is going to be patient understanding and sensitive...otherwise it wont work....but i am truly blessed to have had my daughter when i did, she will be 16 and helps me a lot even though she has an attitude and i still have my mother here as well, she just turned 74 but is like 60. I really dont think many people realize what this PCS is like and recovering from a concussion, it takes more then realized. I dont know how the football players are able to go back and play weeks later. They are the lucky ones, unless they just deal with it as well, cause any activity i do gives me a headache/migraine as well. so i have to learn my limits with both my back and my head. I wish you all the very best,,,,and may god bless!

Apply for medical assistance and/or Obama Care.

I had a fall summer of 2012, fell down my three steps to concrete in basement. My butt hit it and my lower back middle back hit the two steps and my head hit the top step being the landing. I iced my back a little that night and went to work the next day. I didn’t feel a thing. I was going through a divorce at the time and had a lot going on and financially i was paying for lawyers etc. Exactly a year later i took a week vacation as my legs were hurting and i thought i needed my knee shots again. I went back to work that Monday and i couldn’t hold anything or do much with my hands at all. my entire body was numb. So I first went to a orthopedic who told me i have fractures of my transverse processes in my lumbar back but there was nothing he could do as they were already healed. And that i should see a neurologist. So i went to see one, they sent me for mri of the head as i was complaining about headaches. So first to treat me I started going for Mg infusions. That didnt help. so then for a straight year almost i was getting nerve block shots and even tried botox. That didnt help me either. There was white matter found in my periventricular area of my brain, and being that i have fibromyalgia as well they first ruled out ms. My first primary doctor said i was fixated on the fall, when i knew i wasnt that was when i was on my short term disability with my job. So i changed my primary doctors and am so happy i did! He is amazing and specializes in chronic diseases. I have been dealing with constant headaches since they year I went to get checked out. The reason my primary doc now thinks i didnt feel anything for that year was cause i had so much going on and everything caught up to me. So now i get treated for my back. And for my head I get SPG procedures which do help some, with people with regular migraines every 3 months, i go every 3-4 weeks. continued////

I have had headaches every since I banged my head 2 years ago and I have noticed since then I have mood swings and it's hurting the left side of my face where I banged my head this has been going on for a year I haven't been to the doctor because I didn't worry and now I am worrying

Following a minor head injury and subsequent concussion 5 weeks ago, I have experienced constant headaches, which worsen towards the end of the day. Unfortunately I am unable to take regular pain relief for any length of time, because of unpleasant side effects. The most effective treatment I have had so far has been cranial osteopathy. The treatment is very subtle, but with an experienced, professional practitioner can be very effective. I would recommend it to anyone who has on-going symptoms.

For all of you with nausea after concussions - I had persistent nausea after a car accident and after 9 months of trying different things, my primary care sent me to a GI specialist who prescribed reglan (for a very short period of time) which stopped the nausea.  Unfortunately, fell and struck my head recently and am having headaches, but try the GI doc if you can.

To the 51 year old who just posted. I'm suffering as well after my boyfriend shook and slapped me violently. Immediately I experienced severe dizziness, ringing in my ears and several hours of nausea and vomiting. It's been over a month and I still have headaches, eye pain and dizziness. Unfortunately I have no insurance and have not seen a doctor but am seriously considering it being I'm not getting better.

I am a 51 year old female.  I was assaulted and landed on my head on pavement.  I blacked out briefly.  I suffered a right parietal hematoma and concussion.  I'm one month out from this injury and these post concussion headaches are constant and make me feel nauseated. It's awful.  I'm scared how long this will last.  My head is still sore.  Going to a concussion specialist Thursday.  My left eye twitches throughout the day, my memory of finding certain words, or like putting chips in the fridge, are just part of my memory problems, I'm tired, get worn out quickly, have trouble sleeping, and have found myself getting off balance.  Lights and noise bother me.  The only thing that takes the pain away are Percocet but I try not to take these unless the pain is severe.   I start with 3 Advil which usually does nothing though.  On top of being very angry from being victimized, I feel so robbed for not being able to do my daily activities that have practically ceased to try and get better.  I love biking,  walking, gardening and golfing and I'm unable to do anything.  I'm reading about these headaches lasting for months!  Ugh!  From my CT scan it showed no fractures and no bleeding either.  Something is very wrong with my brain and the pain is awful.  I just have to lay down because I get so nauseated.  I'm going to reiki, having massages and I think I will try acupuncture next.  So frustrated. 

We are using Botox to manage headaches extending from sub-occipitals over top of head. From cervical and whiplash injuries in car accident. Perhaps Botox would be an option for you?

Peace to all, sorry we are all in this mess. My TBI was back in 2012 but still I have a feeling as if there were a band around my head, and a tightening. The pain and sensitivity on top of my head is still there but not as bad anymore now that the swelling slowly went away after steroids. But that tightening feeling is unbearable. Nothing touches it. Anybody else able to do anything about this? 

Hi I was in car accident on April 27 2015 our car flipped 3 to 4 time I was passenger first flip was on my side I banged my head so many time I was unconscious during the accident went hospital doc said I have concussion MRI and ct was good still dealing with pain dizziness nausea and ringing in the ears feels such pressure on my head my jaw joints makes weird sound too any suggestions my doc said take it easy its gonna take a while to get better

One thing I noticed is that the more I think, use my brain with troubleshooting at work, the worse I feel. I had a fall on May 5, 2015 and I'm still having problems, especially with headaches. I'm still missing hours at work but I have to go so I won't loose my job.

I suffered a concussion after a slip and fall accident 18 months ago. I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We have a post-concussion clinic here that was amazing in helping with my balance/dizziness issues, word finding and cognitive therapy. I also am part of the Headache/Chronic Pain program through Mary Free Bed Hospital. I am SIGNIFICANTLY better than I had been, but I still suffer from headaches daily. They can be mild and ignorable, but can become intolerable. I have a great doctor who totally believes me and works with me, even though progress has been tremendously slow. I know not everyone has access to such services, but see if you have post-concussion specialists in your area. They are used to dealing with things that seem difficult for others to believe. My doctor has me off all pain meds (except when my headaches are really unbearable.) And I just started The Explain Pain program (noigroup.com) I am still experiencing daily headaches 18 months later, but I can tell you it CAN get better. 

About 10 years ago i got hit in the back of my head by a snow boot while sledding. I was pretty shaken up. At that moment everything turned black and i felt like i couldn't hear anything. I quickly got up and went back to the car but i felt lost; i didn't remember where i was and was roaming around until i found my car. I never went to see a doctor and ever since that incident i get frequent sharp head pains on the back of my head where i got hurt. I sometimes forget things i was told or had to do. And i don't have recollection of my childhood. I only remember small things. I have gone to the doctor complaining of my symptoms but she said it was probably a neck problem, which doesn't make sense. I'm sensing its a long term post concussion problem but what do i know. The best advice that i could give is: if u have gotten hit on the head go to the doctor.

I'm 31, and I fainted in the middle of the night trying to use the bathroom, and was very dehydrated.  I woke up on the floor, and suffered a concussion and have not been the same since.  That was Feb 2015.  It's been 4 months.  I had a headache that didn't go away for a month, and I still have double vision.  I've been seeing doctors, but the neurologist said that it just requires brain rest.

My daily headache has gone away, but I still get them, and they can last for days.  All I feel like doing is resting when I have a headache.  My cognitive thought is also impacted.  I feel very weary of taking on any new challenges.  I am expecting my first child.  Honestly, reading these is scaring me a lot.  I realllllly hope I get better.  I'm supposed to be helping my wife, and I'm really struggling here.  I try to pretend to be ok, so that I don't worry her.  I am hoping for the best.

I am a soccer goalie, and when I was in 7th grade I played for my schools team. One game I was kneed in the head by an opponent as I dove for the ball. I'm not the type of person to show my emotions or to quit, so I kept playing for about 1-2 more minutes. I finally told my coach to take me out of the game once I couldn't see straight anymore and I burst into tears on the bench. It felt like someone was squeezing my head in their fist. After I went to the ER it was determined to be only a mild concussion and after just about a week I was cleared. Then I also played on the same team my 8th grade year and yet again took multiple hits to the head including getting hit in the back of the head when I turned around to get another ball during practice. This caused me to move forward as I went to pick up the other ball and I smashed my head on the goal post. At first I didn't suspect a concussion, but after about a week, I became suspicious when I got a 75 on a vocab test (I usually get between 90-100) I also came home from school almost everyday and took 3-4 hour naps. When I went to the doctor this time I was told to take a week off of school to rest my brain. After I took this week, I began going to a concussion specialist who gave my school a list of accommodations for me. Luckily I had taken a baseline test before the concussion and when I took it again to compare it, my results had dropped by over 60%, my balancing test also came in way below average. This concussion began in mid October and I have seen the concussion specialist every 2 weeks since then and now it is May and I still have barely shown any improvement. Also during January and February I did all of my school work from my house due to my unique situation. FYI I'm a 13(at the time of the concussion)-14(since January) year old girl who plays soccer, basketball, lacrosse, field hockey, and has a black belt in karate. I am also a straight a student (until my second concussion)

i got knocked out about 9months ago while practicing for fast pitch softball and i went to the doctor and she said it was normal but its been 9 months and the seem to be getting worse always keeping my light headed and dizzy

I fell early this week, and I know exactly how you feel. This post-traumatic headaches/pains are tough to bear. There must be something the Drs can do to help us.

I had a horseback riding accident at the end of January where I cracked my head on a dirt road, had to get 11 staples in the back of my head, was diagnosed with concussion, etc...  CT at the ER was negative.  Typical post-injury headaches, neck strain, and healing of the fairly large wound.  Now 3-4 months out, the headaches aren't as bad, but pretty much any physical activity makes them worse... especially anything jarring such as running, horseback riding (which I do ALL the time), etc...  After limiting myself for quite a while, I just reached a point where I was tired of sitting around and decided I'd rather be active with a headache than be a lump with a less-intense headache.  The bizarre thing is that my ears and face often feel full, my ears crackle, I move my jaw around to try to make them pop (like pressure-related in an airplane), and it's just a very weird headache.  I wondered if all of this was exacerbated by seasonal allergies so I tried meds for that, and nope.  I wondered if it was a sinus thing so I've tried meds for that and no change.  Last time I talked to my doctor about the headaches he said that it just takes time to heal from a concussion.  The ear thing though is pretty annoying, and I find that I have a harder time hearing with background noise.  I am not letting this impact my life in that I'm still doing things, but it is definitely at a price.

My Son is 18. He had a head injury at high school 3 years ago. He has what we call 'turns' at least 2 times a day, where in his words 'it feels like someone has hit me in the back of my head with a baseball bat, and my eyes go black, and my legs go weak'. Also, he has short term memory loss, anxiety, depression, and anti social disorder. Also his maturity has reversed to a cheeky 10 yr old. A specialist told us he has post concessional complicated migraines, that there is no cure, and that he will have them for the rest of his life. We were also told that it is these 'turns' that have created the memory loss ( a 10 year window).  Reading this article, it describes my son to a tee. We were told my son is one of the very few unlucky ones that have this for life. What percentage is that? 

My injury occurred in 1990 when I was 20 years old. My early 20s were past in a blur of vagueness and pour concentration. I always felt so pleased not to have suffered more pain considering the severity of the head injury. I have understood from what I read over the years that I had a fairly major injury, cracking the skull from the forehead to the crown. The x-rays are hard to believe. Although I had little direct physical pain, I did have huge problems managing emotionally and blamed everything on pre-menstrual tension. I would be feeling fine then feel my mood sink into a dark spiral, be overwhelmed with light and sound and feel a physical fragility that wasn't so much pain as hyper-sensitivity. I would cry basically for 3 days, barely able to sleep sometimes, other times unable to wake up. Then I would feel a head ache come on and I remember the relief of the dark mood lifting. After another 6 or 7 hours it was all over, my puffy eyes would go down, my period would start a day later and I could return to a normal life for 3 weeks until the next one. It was only at the end of my 30s that I realized that this was probably my version of a migraine. It was obviously triggered by my menstrual cycle and has eased with menopause which came on in my mid 30s. (Which I was fascinated to realize is frequent after head injuries). I read through the stories here and am so sad to learn of damaged lives and reflect on my own. At least there is some understanding developing through these shared stories. I felt very alone and ashamed and frightened to be excluded from opportunities. I hope my story can help others. 

I am glad that people have made their comments. If is helping me decide on my next move. A little over a year ago, I had two accidents in a row. I went down a death hill on a slide and ended up with a severe concussion and then the next month I fell on the ice and fractured my spine; taking me out for many months. I was heavily medicated and I am not one to be on medications. Not only that...they actually did not work and caused me to become really depressed. Like I said, it has been over a year and I took myself off all medication except over the counter meds. My vision and hearing sensitivity has heightened as well as my neck, hip, and back pain. It affects life tremendously and I am lost in what I should do since my neurologist has no clue on what to do for me and has basically admitted that. Anyways, I think I may ask for a neck for because they only did an mri of my brain. If anyone has ideas for me please write back.

Recommend getting checked for herniated discs in neck. I had continual strain in neck after mva . Had acdf done.feel much better.

This is a very good site.  About 12 years ago, I was riding my bike up on a ramp that was about 3 feet high.  The bicycle stop at the very top and it and myself fell about 6 feet to the ground in which I hit the top of my head on the ground and my head did a very quick turn to the left.  I thought I was paralyzed but wasn't.  Since then I have had headaches mainly when I sit longer than 10-15mins.  It usually starts a an ache in the right side of the neck, then spreads to the whole right side of the head.  the left side is ok.  Advill doesn't seem to work much these days.  Muscle Relaxers help but I don't want to get used to those.  The only thing that helps me not to have a headache is when I'm walking.....all the time.  I've learned to lay down at home or if I sit will usually get a headache that starts as an ache deep in the right side of the neck.  Does anyone have this?  I'm thinking I must have pulled some things deep inside my neck on the right side.  I think it was like a wip like injury.  Can email me at jmfancy@eastlink.sc

~~One user comment was “What works?”; everyone has same symptoms and you just end up repeating it in threads. i agree
2 years since auto accident, Post traumatic, concussion was moderate, disc’s in next and back. Dizziness, double vision,  headaches back of head & pressure. Back\neck spikes of pain typical symptoms. memory problems, interpretting Blah blah
This is what has worked for me, in the same order treatment received. All doctor and rehab was\is under worker compensation care. Not all WC carriers are awful – I have qual-lynx and seemed to have lucked out.
Neurologist: first treating doctor; ordered MRI – MRA – CT Scan. Pain meds vicoden. Flexeril for tightness. Pain meds – I am careful to take only on bad days now. It has been 2 years. I found out quickly – they do not work after a few days, try to space them out to decrease your dependency. Flexeril short term work – ok. Long term not so much. I now take them at night when I’m really tight or muscle spasm. They help me in this manner. Also referred me to Kessler Rehab, for vestibular, head, neck\back problems. Dismissed after 6 months and referred to an Otoneurlogist and pain management. * need to mention first Rehab place(Concerta) put me on treadmill and I blacked out. Worst thing to make a vestibular – brain concussion person is treadmill exercise.
Prolonged dizziness - Otoneurolgist , specialize in vestibular functions gone awry. More PT and meds, meclizine and a few others. Some people have success The meds did not really help me. The PT for vestibular helped me more. I still get bouts of dizziness and am not aware I am going balance. That requires a ton of focus and sometimes I dunno I just blank out.
Neurobehavioral Science – Unfortunately I did not go here sooner. Like article stated; put me on amitriptyline first visit (30 mg – low dose). Also had me goto cognitive therapy.
Basically said after one year this is as good as your gonna get. Not much improvement after that. I like his honesty. So I will say – seek physical therapy and cognitive therapy as soon as a physician thinks you kan handle it. Maybe offset some memory loss and functional.  I have really bad pressure and pain in back of my head. It increases through the day – some days are tolerable some forget about it. I debate a gun. The amitriptyline helped me with the pressure in the back of my head. I still have the pressure but symptoms have decreased. This has helped me not take the oxy or hydro for 8 days consecutive. That is a big stretch for me – max before was about 4 to 5 days. Also Days of having to take more than one has diminished.
Reason I searched for this topic: I ran out of the amitriptyline. I thought my prescription was on auto refill. First day without, I really did not notice a difference. Second and third day wow, the back of my head was killing me. So I missed 3 doses; point is I did not really notice it was helping until I was off. I am back on now one day, head pressure and pain decreased very slightly.
Cognitive therapy – basic terms – evaluates your memory, mental status, cognitive functions? Someone needs to explain this better. Anyway, PT is talking to someone, getting a diagnosis and brain challenges. My diagnosis was agitated depression, focus – meaning visual cognitive problems.
Trust me some of those puzzles are ridiculous. My head hurts afterwards. Again someone more knowledgeable needs to do a paragraph or two on cognitive therapy.
If you read some typo’s or my way of putting stuff out there is off the wall sometimes. Forgive me but that is the way my head is now.
I’m fading now and I hope this helps someone. nybraslxv@live.com

http://www.americanheadachesociety.org/assets/1/7/Alan_Finkel_-_Concussion_and_PTH.pdf

http://www.nucleuscatalog.com/view-item?vendorID=MON12

This may help with the knowledge base.

Pages