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 (509)

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.

In June of 1987, I was the patient of an HMO doctor.  I found out later from his other patients he had the reputation of being a butcher, harming his patients more than helping them.

When he tested me for allergies, he gave me a large injection of histamine to prove that any reaction I had to allergens being tested was lesser by comparison.  As he injected the histamine, I heard a "fizzzzPOP" inside my brain, and immediately went into shock.  When I got home I collapsed on the floor and passed out till the next day.  I awoke to find a heavy crusting of blood in and around my left ear.  There was nothing wrong with my hearing; I did not rupture my eardrum.  The center of the associated pain was slightly above and in front of my ear, about an inch inside my skull.

From that day forward I have had brutal migraines on my left side.  Every time I try to explain my migraines to a doctor, he is completely dismissive, claiming that it isn't possible for my brain to bleed out through my ear.  Even though my MRI's have shown no damage ever, there is an injury.  Doctors use my MRI as proof that I am malingering.  

I have learned from review of research articles, that very little is known about the deeper brain.  It cannot be observed during a patient's life because it would cause too much trauma to the outer brain tissues in any attempt to go deeper.

I have had an ischemic stroke, and most recently, brain damage.  Although I was a gifted writer, I went from no mistakes to 10 or 15 per page.  All the mistakes are omitted words.  This brain damage was the direct effect of medical care being withheld.

Even though I have suffered greatly for many years, I am still a medical pariah.  Doctors have ice water in their veins.  They are so concerned about protecting their high incomes and significant assets that they now have overtly adversarial relationships with patients like me (or perhaps all patients).

Most recently, my pain management clinic dumped all narcotics patients, so I am starting over again. Until I am able to overcome the overwhelming prejudice, by assembling my entire medical history (and doing whatever else needs to be done), no one will touch me.  I was even refused treatment at two local emergency rooms. 

As a result of this calloused attitude toward me, I have been unable to obtain any help for the last eight months.  This summer, at the height of hot, humid weather with low barometric pressure, I experienced very obvious brain damage to my language ability, which I described above.  Last week I had my first cluster headache, reflecting my deteriorating condition.

For three months I could hardly get out of bed.  My husband chose to retire so he could help me get the medical care I so badly needed.  We are working together now to prepare a thorough history, and also to carefully vet potential doctors using internet reviews and other resources.

How has the medical profession sunk so low?  They may not be ashamed, but I feel deeply ashamed on their behalf.  My husband and I are planning to move to California in hopes that the medical profession there has not been rendered incompetent due to arrogance and self-serving, self-centered concerns.  "First do no harm" is a distant memory  for them.  I wish I could report a single doctor who is treating me humanely, but there is no such person.M

6 years ago this May, I was rear ended while sitting at a stop light.  Unfortunately I also had 2 other major events going on around that time with 2 people that I cared about and I have fibromylgia.  The morning after the accident, I had a headache and it hasn't gone away since!  My legs also bother me and the symptoms sound like restless leg syndrome but maybe the accident or fibro has something to do with it?  As for the headaches, I had an MRI and brain CT and nothing was found.  I tried a chiropractor and an acupuncturist and neither helped.  :(

I had a car accident 9 yrs ago and the roof of the car came down on me, hitting the right upper back side of my head. I blacked out and the impact destroyed a vertebra and almost got paralyzed. Got some nerve damage on my neck but survived. To this day I get really bad headaches on the same spot that the roof of the car hit me, I do get normal headaches too but the one where the car hit always feel like if the accident just happened.

I recently received a hit to the head with the side of the window. It hurt bad but I did not black out. Neither did I bleed. Then three days after I had a headache, took some medicine and that was it. But then about two days after I began to experience very low pain headaches nonetheless it was annoying me. Then from time to time I feel pain on the right side of my head. I don't know why because the blow was to the top left side of my head. Not sure to wait it out or seek help ASAP.

My headaches are getting worse since my fall, I have tried ibuprofen and other similar drugs. I really need help with this

I' d like to add that some prayer to God, or at least some introspection to the self can also give hope for any head injuries, etc. All perhaps is related, i.e. the physical, mental as well as spiritual. People this way shouldn't lose hope.

This has been the most helpful page out there that I've found. I was head butted a few months ago at work, trust me it's a long story. As many of us know from personal experience, the work comp doc was not very helpful. My headaches grew to a point of desperation, so I put a post on Facebook begging for advice. One of my friends asked if I had tried acupuncture. Since I hadn't and she was having positive results for a different condition, I decided to give it shot. So far I've had two treatments and I went from throbbing headaches everyday to enjoying my first weekend in two months headache free. I can't say it will work for everyone, but I'm glad I can finally start living fully again.

Me too -I was assaulted and hit in the face. as i fell i caught myself with only a minor bump to the back of my head - FUNCTIONAL NEUROLOGIST is helping.
Three weeks ago I had a terrible fall, face planting straight onto concrete. No loss of consiousness, but a lac above my eye and contusions from my glasses as well as broken cartilage in my nose with a mega bloody nose. Seemed to be recovering well enough until a few days ago when I began to have balance issues. Then today I was hit with a long, but quite bearable headache. In reading other posts I became aware of recent short term memory loss and spelling errors and word searching. I now think this must be a mild case of post concussion syndrome. Would anyone agree that my symptoms, though mild, fit the pattern?
I was hurt at work when a limb fell from a tree and hit me on head and neck. I started therapy after 5 weeks and still continuing therapy. I have had a dull to sever headache constantly. Driving I notice will get headache going also sun light. I hope in time with therapy and rest that these headaches will finally go away.
My daughter got a concussion in February 2013, she was in 8th grade. The doctors (sports medicine docs) told her to rest and gradually try to get back to school. After 4 weeks of rest she was sent to a Neuropsychologist. She missed 4 full weeks of school and then finally was able to attend 1/2 days until the end of the school year. She went 1/2 days in the afternoons while the other kids were at their specials classes (art, gym) and her teachers graciously worked with her one on one. If it wasn't for that she wouldn't have finished the 8th grade. She went through and is still going through numerous therapies. I will say that I would insist on therapy sooner because her first headache relief was from physical therapy for her neck at 5 weeks from concussion. Then she had Vestibular therapy (for balance, dizziness, etc.) this was amazing. She was a gymnast always flipping and flopping and after her concussion she couldn't even turn around in a circle without falling over. Vestibular therapy corrected that for her. Then she had Light and Vision Therapy, her eyes weren't working as a team and that caused a lot of her symptoms. The light therapy seemed crazy but it did seem to help and its purpose it to relax the brain and nervous system. She got tempoary glasses with prisms in them to help her eyes too. Then she saw an Occupational Therapist to help with everyday things and now she is seeing a Speech Therapist, not for speech but for memory. She is now in 9th grade and has a 3.7 gpa which is great but she is worried about remembering things long term and taking exams and keeping up with her sports also. It's been a long road and we aren't to the end yet but these are things that have helped her. It is also very important to stay hydrated, have regular sleep schedules and to eat healthy. She can tell when she overdoes it and she will get a "Concussion" headache still, she can tell the difference.
I understand. My son had a trauma in school....hit in the eye with a football was given no care. Then found to have a chiari malformation..had surgery and has never been the same. He has fallen and hit his head 3 additional times. He has severe headaches dizzy sensitive to light and sound...nasuea...memory and motor function issues concentration problems and all we get are meds. Nothing helps. He suffers in hell everyday only 18 no life no function nothing to look forward to. We have been to every doctor possible and i dont know what to do?? They just keep saying post traumatic brain injuriy....P.T. Concussion..P.T. vascular headache but noone knows how to fix.?????
These stories have been so helpful. Could we start a chat support group? I was in a very bad car accident in March 2013.The car went off the road around a curve and down a 20 foot embankment,hitting 16 trees and landing upside down in a creek.I lost consciousness several times and can't remember anything. I was lifestared to a trauama hospital. Miraculously,I only fractured the occipital condyle,dislocated my pelvis,broke some ribs and had multiple head contusions and 2 bad concussions.It wasn't until August 12 that I started getting daily headaches. Honestly, Im so exhausted. I'm still in P.T.,but my life has stopped! I cry and don't know why,sentences blend together,the anxiety and panic attacks are so scary. The dr's presribe drugs and just set up another appointment. I know I should be so grateful God spared my life and that He has a purpose for all this. I do try to be. I feel so alone. Im still single and was scheduled to return to school in January. Why can't I fight this? Any suggestions? And if anyone is interested in an online chat support group,let's do it. Because we understand each other and that's so important
I suffered a mild brain injury in Oct 2012. The only reason I knew it was a concussion was that I developed some shooting pain (occipital neuralgia) a few days later. If not for that I would have only thought I got a good bonk on the head. Afterwards I experienced pretty debilitating post concussive syndrome- near constant headaches, light sensitivity, nausea, difficulty concentrating, memory issues, muscle soreness, TMJ, irritability, and feelings of hopelessness and grief. Then one day in March I went to see a guy who practiced "functional neurology". He tracked my eye movements and was able to quickly set me up with brain exercises that helped me improve function in the damaged area of my brain. Totally drug free, inexpensive, and I experienced immediate improvement. I got back to most of my normal activities fairly quickly. When I experienced struggle, he'd see me quickly and alter my exercises, and it always helped. He's recently moved away and I'm now experiencing occasional relapses, which are a bummer. But I have found another functional neurologist in my area and I plan to continue treatment with him. Anyway, it's a process, but I hope my story can help someone else. I am totally on the path to healing. Although I can't claim 100% success just yet, there are things we can do other than wait it out and take drugs!
I've been suffering headaches for years already after an injury I had on the top left side of head around eyebrow I visit doctors but they just give me pills to take some of them help and the pain goes away but after several months to a year it would come back and last the whole day for one or two weeks. This site gave me some good information I needed.
Share every ones pain and stories, my TBI was 9 weeks ago and the headaches were also insane. Nausea, dizzy, walking like a drunk, the more I pushed the worse it was, BP through roof, huge spikes of pain in head, head constantly feels full, this electrical sensation at top of head and so on. 2 weeks ago really became scarry and bad, numbness in lower face, numbness in left arm, right ear plugged and I lost memory of what I'd been doing that day. Ended up in emergency (2nd time), new CT scan which is overlapped with prior and told no significant changes noted. They have found damage Eschemia but say it's consistent with someone my age with prior BP treatment. Doc gives me some wafers for nausea, Tylenol and tells me it's concussion and like many sports pros make take year. So everyone knows rest of story, sorry we can't help, suck it up and go home. HERE'S ONE TIP FOR PAIN that the Doc gave that REALLY HELPED. Emergency Doc said he takes a very aggressive approach with his newly diagnosed Concussion patients by telling them to go home, Blacken Out light in a room ( Blacken means NO Light, Not even LED's) and stay there one week. No TV, computer, phones, reading, exercising or anything that stimulates brain. I went home, used and tacked up construction sized Glad bags over windows, blocked out all light, tapped over LED's with Duck Tape and Oh There is a GOD, what a difference it made. It was like so welcome a reprieve that would make you cry. Freinds helped bring me groceries, the first 3 days I couldn't eat, no motivation and then I started to notice change. The last 3 days I noted significant improvement (from 1-10 scale with 10 as worst pain) mine went from 8-9 scale down to 4-5 and then finally 2-3. Rule is once pain free try 15 minutes light duty exercise or reading, retreat back to where you were if pain returns. And on and on. They gave me the sheets for a program for TBI injured youth in Canada at www.thinkfirst.ca which gives 6 Steps to guide you. They said same principles apply for Adults and program developed by Nurosurgeons, Nurologists and MD's. reference site menu for sheets for coaches, parents, patients and even nurses, Docs. All I can say is I still have major problems ... But this blacken a room out strategy is a God sent reprieve. All it costs is the time to try, commitment to stick it out (it's NOT easy) and the Glad Bags large enough to black out windows and all light. It's also amazing the fight you sense your brain going through those first days. Slept like I hadn't in 8+ weeks. Still struggle with any progress but I can go home and find relief, not perfection, just relief and it's Beeutiful .... Why didn't someone say sooner. BKD
i suffered a tbi in 1974 following a road accident.i went through the windscreen of a car.i had multiple broken body parts my neck included,therefore patching that all together took preference.i had lacerations all round my head. the scar goes down the centre of my brow l h side brow bone broken ,continues down tight across my left eye socket at the top down to the corner along over to the top of my ear then round the top joining in a circle at the middle of my head. i have headaches all the the some worse than others .but lately i been getting a severe stabbing pain from ltor in my head n my gp reckons it is just nerve pain. he says the brain doesnt feel pain ,correct, and my headaches have nothing to do with my brain i anm in lincoln england please advise who i can see thank you H X
I am so glad I found this. I thought I was making up my symptoms. Headache going on for a year, loss of concentration, logical thinking, memory. But I will not go for antidepresants, they have too many side effects. I will try alternative therapies, balanced lifestyle.
yo i really hope this doesn't last 6 months, i gave blood at school and 2 hours after i passed out due to low blood pressure, because i was passed out i do not know if i knocked my head but i lay down for an hour and then had to go, yet i had a head ache ALL that day, and ever since then thank you everyone...i have been getting one everyday. i am very sensitive to light and noise and temperature and really stressed out about things that usually don't stress me out. school has become very difficult and my exams are coming up.. i think i need to go to my doctor :O
About a month ago I was injured on the job. I was attacked by a patient at a campus for developmentally disabled adults. My head was slammed onto the floor..... I now get headaches everyday and some get so bad that I end up getting sick. Light hurts my eyes, trying to do paperwork (light duty) is frustrating, and I end up staring at a wall when people talk to me for a long time. The husband isn't very supportive because he said he got hit all the time in football as a teenager and was fine. I have young children so I can't rest like if like to. Im thinking of getting acupuncture. Anyone have luck with that? Any natural way of handling this?
Im so glad i found this. I had an work accident Aug 2012 I am 6' tall and i felt straight on my face i broke my left hand and smashed my face pretty bad. It was the biggest bang i ever heard when my head hit the concrete. I went into shock and started throwing up. Several hours later i went to the hospital and had a cat scan done and had my hand put in a temporary splint. The CT showed no mayor injuries so they told me I'm fine. They did not even say that i have an concussion and that i should stay home for a few weeks. So i only concentrated on my broken hand for the next 2 month. I went back to work 2 days after my accident on light duty. Looking back now i should had stayed home for 6 weeks and give my brain a rest. I had a headache everyday, and been told that is normal give it 6 month and everything is back to normal. 1 year later i still have a headache everyday. My memory is horrible i've been living Groundhog Day over and over. I make doctors apt always same day same time so i have 3 apt on Thurs at 10 until i remember and reschedule 2. Before the accident i could multitask ,i was good in math, i could solve 2-3 problems at the same time. Now i can do nothing anymore. I was in the middle of renovating my house. You have to be thinking 10 steps ahead putting in a bathtub or sink, i get stuck on the 1 thought and even if i make it to the 3rd thought its gone right after i stop thinking about it and the next day i have to start all over from scratch. This whole thing is so frustrating even little things like i wanna get up to get something by the time I'm standing i forgot what i was gonna get. In the middle of driving somewhere i forget how to get there. If you tell somebody they say 'oh your getting old' . My first doctor try to tell me that I'm depressed and i told her no i am not depresses I'm totally frustrated, and that i would like to see a neurologist. That is 10 month after accident. That apt was the best, the doctor actually knew what i was going thru, she said that all my little shortcuts that your brain creates probably are gone and that my brain will create new once but it will take some time. She suggested acupuncture but l&i doesn't pay for that so i went for cranial pressure point massage to get rid of my headaches, but i still have headaches. My pressure that i had every morning got better. Im maybe lucky that i have no migraines, just an headache, that i got use to living with without meds. Will go for acupuncture in the next few weeks. I will call my insurance to see how much my copayment is. I have big hope for that, if it works i will come back to this site and update on it. I hope everybody will find what works for them. Don't give up
In 2004 I was involved in a head on collision and when the wreck was discovered i was unconcious and my head was in the windsheild. I do not remember a lot from this wreck or even after the wreck. I was in and out of consiousness and at the hospital they said I only had a concussion and treated and released me. about six months after the wreck I started getting these extremely bad headaches and here I am almost ten years later and I still get these headaches and can barely function when i have one. I have been to several doctors and they all just tell me to take tylenol or the generic and seem to blow me off. After finding this site today I will be going back to a doctor to see if it is possible that this could be a long lasting after effect of my car wreck because before that I hardly ever got headaches and know i get them everyday and sometimes several times a day. This site was very helpful.
Hi I was in a motorcycle accident in 2008 it has now been almost 5 years. I still get headaches all the time. Blurred vision and short term memory loss. A car pulled out in front of me I was riding my 1 year old 2007 gsxr. I Hit the back break nothing, down shifted with the front break NOTHING. I flipped and crushed the car with the bike smashing me into the drivers side door. I broke my back,8 ribs, punctured my right lung, fractured my neck, broke all my fingers ripping my left ring finger off. I broke my left wrist and hand. I hit so hard I jammed my elbows, shoulders wrists and hands. I had a lot of road rash also. I have also lost my job, friends, and loved ones due to the nature of my accident. The woman who caused the accident didn't have good insurance at all. The insurance had $27,000.00 coverage. I cry sometimes because I know im not what I use to be. I use to love life so much more and was a real strong FREE person. Now sometimes I get scared to go out of the house. Thank you all for posting all the situations that you all have encountered. I know there are alot of people like me out there and feel the same way that I do. I also think that I have been misdiagnosed. I hit so hard I broke my full face helmet down the right side and could pull it apart. My head actually hurts atm and I pray to god that it would stop. I know life has its ups and downs and to live is to feel pain. It would just be a lil easier to deal with if I knew it was my fault that im like this. Its very hard for me sometimes and now im diagnosed with severe depression as a result of the accident. Thnx for reading keep ur head up and smile that's what its all about =D
I just found this site and am dealing with a relatively new head injury. My son fell off a scooter and hit his head and bled from the ear. Then, on the way to the hospital to get that checked out, the car he was in was hit by a drunk driver. He had a temporal skull fracture and bleeding in the brain -- a few days later he developed partial facial paralysis. We are 3 weeks out. He is home from the hospital, still having headaches, and trying to figure out what his life will look like now -- he is 16 -- was a straight a student and played multiple sports -- now we are not sure. If anyone has any advice -- looking back on your own journey -- of what you would have done differently at this point, I would love the advice. It's just so hard to know what to do -- they tell you to just rest...but maybe we should be doing more.
Interesting. In 1968, age 11, I flew over the handlebars of my bicycle and landed on my head (and face). The concussion was severe enough (I was unconscious on and off for four hours or more; I don't remember!, and the days afterward are pretty much a blur since I slept through them) that they delayed surgery to repair my broken upper maxila for two days and would wake me up every fifteen minutes for the first 24 hours. Fast forward to about 2003 when I really remember getting headaches (especially with just before we get rain) that feel as though my head is in a vice. The entire top of my head feels almost crawly and the front of my head simply hurts, like a dull deep pain, especially over my eyes. Usually on days like that, all I can do is take a nap. Even as I write this on the umpteenth day of rain, the top of my head seems crawly, and have taken naps three days in a row. I was tested for mold and mildew allergies in 2002 to try to explain the headaches... now I am beginning to wonder if they are all connected to this long-ago concussion. Add to that someone saying to me the other day that my face is assymetrical almost as though I have Bell's palsy. So I am surfing the web to see if perhaps this all is connected to my severe concussion so many years ago.
Two weeks ago i was sitting on a desk at school and was pushed off by a friend. I hit my neck and my head on another desk when i fell. I don't remember the first minute or two afterwards, but i remained conscious. I have had a not stop headache for these two weeks, and i still feel nauseous, irritable and unable to eat much. I went to the doctor the day after it happened and he said it was just muscle damage to my neck. I can't concentrate on my school work or social life, and painkillers don't help with the headaches. Should i get it checked out again?
I had a mild head injury in which I did not black out. CT scan found no evidence of injury. After two months of severe headaches, I discovered that if I ate some breakfast before coffee in the morning, no headaches. Coffee first = headaches.
I am a 47 year old male with a history of concussions from sports as a kid. Even had a fractured skull. Then last July was at a complete stop and rear ended at an estimated 60-70 mph. Was instantly in a fog. Have been suffering through concussion symptoms for months. Lost my job because of it. Through vision therapy and physical therapy have very slowly started to feel a little better. But if I try to live a "normal life" I apparently stress my brain and then the symptoms worsen very quickly. This is going on a year now and extremely frustrating and depressing. I am one of the lucky ones. They tell me I will eventually get completely better. But it takes time and a lot of patience. And the hardest part is trying to not let the depression run your life.
In 2001 I was in a industrial accident resulting in me having a TBI. My left ankle, left knee, left shoulder, lost 4 teeth, left eye damaged and nose half tore off my face. 11 days in a induced coma, 23 months in rehab. Today I am aware of the memory problems I have. Most of all I seem to have daily headaches or migraines. Being in denial I have resisted help for this but recently because of the migraines I am seeking help.
Hi I had a horse riding accident about 3 years ago now. I have never suffered with migraines.... in fact hardly had a headache until then. I fell face first ended up with two black eyes and concussion that lasted 2 weeks. Stupidly I didnt go to the hospital as I should have and for a while after I was ok but about 3 months post accident my first migraine occured. I get what i call flashing lights first....sort of like lightening strikes that glitter starting out at the centre of my eyes and growing towards the sides. So far I can control my pain with prescriptions from the doctors (almogran)as I get the warning signs I take a tablet and the pain never emerges. I can get migraines for up to 5 or 6 days in a row, a one off or not have one for a year and then continually have them for a while. No pattern whatsoever, no stress, no caffeine, cheese, chocholate etc been through all the lists IT JUST HAPPENS!!!
My 15 y/o daughter suffered a concussion (blacked out for 1 minute) playing soccer in August 2012. At the time I was very ignorant about concussions. She wanted back in the game so the coach and refs allowed her to. Afterward, took her to the ER where they put her in a room for 4 hours, then released her. Never once checked on her. Since then. have had MRI, CT scan. Been to numerous drs. She suffers daily headaches, was a straight "A" student(grades have dropped considerably), was hoping for a lacrosse scholarship (is not allowed to play any sports), and has basically lost all of her friends. She has memory issues, light and noise sensitivity, etc. Have started with a new dr who has diagnosed her with "occipital neuralgia". Started treating with injections yesterday after 2 weeks of meds didn't work. Fingers crossed!!
Hi my name is Deborah Berry and I sustain a tbi after a car accident in 1997. I suffered with serious headaches for years. I couldn't move my face or even smile they were so terrible. No one could figure out why? LOL I laugh because now I know what I know now about my body and the body it makes sense. I turned my head 180 degree's my spinal cord was twisted.. I had several herniated disks and a brain injury. The disks in my spine where cutting into my spinal cord stopping blood flow and causing serious nerve pain and damage. It took me years to have my skull and spine adjusted through various methods, natural therapies, health eating... and a healthy lifestyle - with the determination to be well. It was not east but it is possible to heal from PTSD and a TBI.
I've unfortunately had several types of injuries to the head. First, I fell from a top bunk in college ten years ago, smacked my head on the hard floor, felt nauseous, and crawled to the bathroom, thinking I'd be sick. Nothing happened, crawled back to my room, went back to bed. (Yes, on the top bunk. My roommate was not in town yet, though, luckily.) It took a few weeks, but I finally started to get a migraine that would not relent, no matter what I did. I missed half a semester of classes because I couldn't go outside unless I absolutely had to (such as to buy groceries for my dorm room, since I couldn't keep going out so much for the dining halls, and then obviously to see the doctor). When I told the doctor about my fall, she said I suffered a concussion and should have gone in sooner, because I could have had a subdural hematoma. Scans showed nothing, Imitrex made my skull feel like it was cracking open, and I had to hide myself away for three months before the pain finally started to subside. And then, in October 2008, my parents and I were rearended by a drunk driver when we were at a full stop and he just kept right on going into us, pushing us forward into a divider barrier wall between the directions of traffic. My head started to hurt immediately after impact...but scans showed there was no damage to the head. Turns out the back and side of my head hurt because the soft tissues attached to the skull were damaged, fibers ripped, and it was not actually trauma to the brain. Now, in March 2013, I have recurring head and neck pain, sometimes in the location of the car accident injuries, sometimes in the location of the concussive injury. It's amazing how it seems to continue on, no matter how long the time has passed. What's especially amazing is how the pains in each location can feel exactly as they did immediately following their respective incidents, just at a lower intensity. It allows me to know that it must be affiliated with the earlier incidents instead of worrying that they might be a whole new problem. It's just incredibly frustrated sometimes to wonder, "Why is it starting to hurt now? What did I do?" Because usually, I'm not doing anything particular and it will just start to hurt, no reason.
Almost 30 years ago I suffered a traumatic brain injury as an 18 year old, just a kid. I was life-flighted to Las Vegas and spent almost 4 days in a coma. My life has changed greatly since. Many people that were close to me, especially the love of my life, couldn't deal with the new me. I lost so much through that accident. After fighting for years with seizures and black outs, I am now battling daily chronic head pain, cluster migraine disease, and some residual neurological problems. I have been very fortunate given the circumstances. With life alterations and many hospital stays, I have been able to be a successful attorney/public administrator in high level criminal justice policy. I am married to the real love of my life and have 7 amazing kids. However, I am not aging well with my injured brain. I was forced to take disability and am barely hanging on at times. I am hospitalized on a regular basis. This trial has brought out the absolute best in many people, mostly family. However, it has also brought out the absolute worst in others, including siblings. My oldest brother, a clergy, has many times told me that my sufferings are a result of wrongdoing. He is a cold hypocrite. He is a cruel man deep down and I pity him and his wife. I have made some mistakes, but I have lived a good life. My sister, the judge, has done much in her power to throw hurdles in my way and has secretly made unbelievable surreptitious efforts to destroy my marriage and family. She is mentally ill following a courageous battle with cancer, but the chemo wracked and ruined her mind to the point of serious psychosis. Yet, other siblings and my parents and spouse and kids have been patient and compassionate. The bottom line is that I don't know if i can bare being this ill for the rest of my life. It is so destructive in so many ways. It has taught me much, made me more compassionate and patient. I pray I can endure this. May all of your lives be happy despite the deep tribulations with head trauma. I am sorry to hear of your accounts and sufferings. Let's all stay strong. We have greater capacity than we will every know.
So, in June 2009 I was involved in my 9th IED and this one was an EFP. While my truck was not hit directly (much) I was the gunner and from what I recall I saw the flash and heard the "boom" but never actually "felt" anything unlike all of the previous times. The reason for this was that I was knocked out I guess from what everyone told me. ANYWAY this was just the back story, the reason that I am commenting is because of the time frame that it occurred was such a long time ago and I still have tremendous headaches, memory is still sketchy (depending on the day), I still have symptoms that persist and from what I am reading it does appear that it is somewhat normal for those diagnosed with mTBI to have persistent symptoms for years does that sound correct?
thanks for sharing yr story. I was a chaplain for 12 yrs until last apr --fell and hit my head --2 wks later had what i know now was post concussion. misdiagnosed about my balance problem -- now have white matter disease probably from 2 prior falls which has robbed me of my emotions, faith, etc. now stay with my daughter-- am very discouraged. was highly functioning with master of divinity degree. had shunt last august for hydroenceph and balance problems ---was totally misdiagnosed. my life is ruined!!!!!
I just had a fall last week and I had no idea I even hit my head but, now my head has been hurting for a week, I just wanted to find out if I was going to be stuck with a headache from now on? This really sucks. The pain is bad. This info is really helpful and I will be going back to the doc.
In 2011 i had a head injury due to a door being broken and me walking into it which caused a concussion/whiplash type injury.I suffered a poor memory with headaches and all lights made my eyes strain and everything go dull.These symptoms lasted a couple of months and slowly subsided. 15 months later and they reapeared again with no warning and i had 9 weeks off work due to the crushing feeling around my temples and all down the front of my face and eyes. I also had facial sweating really bad,loss of balance and my eyes were playing havoc and i couldn't focus on anything without it looking wavey. I had an mri scan and was treated for facial neuralgia, tmj and stress related headaches whilst awaiting the results.The results came back ok which was a big relief and i have now been diagnosed as having top of the chart chronic migraines!!! I always thought migraines were for a few hours or days at the most but mine last all day and all night with no let up on the pain scale.I sometimes think doctors diagnose people with something so they go away and believe all is well when its clearly not.Most of my days are blurry and sometimes i think no one understands my symptoms because they cant see them.Has anyone else been told they look ok so they must feel ok and stop being a hypocondriac and take these tablets and the pain will go away? Has anyone had cluster headaches who could give advice on what they are experiencing and what the pain is like? Im at my wits end not fully knowing if i have migraines but it seems im not the only one suffering in silence in this world! My thoughts go out to each and every one of you and keep going as one day we may see end to the misery we face each time we open our eyes in a morning! xx
I'm 21 and nearly five months ago I experienced a severe concussion due to a bad ice hockey hit. The first three months was filled with continuous head pains, confusion in minor problems and an inability to read. I saw several doctors, all saying different theories, until I finally went to an optician in regards to my suddenly poor eye-sight, turned out I pulled muscles within my eye sockets and my eyes had become strained. I had gone from a student with perfect eye sight to suddenly requiring glasses. I also found emotions triggered my head pains further, and also stress. 5 months later and I'm back playing ice hockey, I still get the pains occasionally and whenever I feel angry or sad my pains flare up. It has been hard trying to get people around me to understand the hardships of balancing concussion with university, fighting through the pain just to ends meet with essay deadlines. I wish doctors had been more helpful and I also wish my friends and family were more sympathetic. I don't have the 'bubble-effect' that I had experienced the first 3 months, but I still feel very isolated and introverted in my life. An odd side effect I've noticed is my ability to comprehend and revise more efficiently. I've certainly improved in my essay writing. An odd thing I know.
i know iam not alone well that doesent help me any igot clubed in the head with a bat 8 times i didnt even know what happened to me tell somebody told me months later just writing this is realy hard i cant keep appointments becuase i forget them i cant drive very far because i get sooo sick, and realy theres knowbody out there that wants to help me i got a cat scan but never heard back from the doctor and ihave tryed too contact him many times time too shrivele up mark
At age 42 I was hit in the head from a professional soccer coach accidentally. My life has been 30 months of pure hell. To any of you going to see Neurologists ? stop !! they are completely useless and fail to understand or believe what you are suffering. I have tried all the prescriptions, followed all the doctors have told me and found myself feeling worse than when this originally happened. My faith in Western medicine is lower than that ant you just stepped on. The little bits of progress I have received come from accupuncture and maybe a little bit of massage. Trying Reikii tomorrow as I have nowhere else to turn. I have a headache 24 hours a day all the time !! Never had a headache in my life before this accident, and fail to understand why this occured.
Hello I am glad to found this info. However I surely struggele to read it after my injury 8months ago. I was electricuted while welding. I have been litely shocked before but nothing like this. Symptoms have persisted and I have been diagnosed with a panic disorder. My belief is that the Panic came on due the memoery loss, fatigue,etc.... on and on and on. I live alone and am struggling to maintain now that I am home from trearment for the Panic Disorder. i definitely will refer to this more. Thankyou.
Our family has also been suffering thru the rigamoro post TBI. We are 8 years out and our 17 yr. old son is finally getting a little relief with oxygen therapy. We have been thru the gambit of drugs, side effects from all the drugs and being sent from doctor to doctor. He is now being seen at a university headache clinic, which is also checking his pituitary gland for deficits in its function, as well as treating him with oxygen therapy. Please don't give up, but utilize all the services and expertise you can find to help make life manageable for yourself or loved-one. We are not out of the water by any stretch of the imagination, but at least we are now able to tread water and hopefully float someday.
Thank you so much for this information, I finally feel as if I could be on the road to recovery. 15 months ago I fell from my horse, having post concussion and getting referred to the Head injury clinic. Although I was at this specialist clinic, I was NEVER inspected by a nureologist. Their tests and examinations were only making my symtoms worse (nausia, vision, speech, concerntration, moods, memory and of coarse the intense headaches) so I was discharged and told me I\'d come right. I then started Uni, only for all my symtoms to get worse, I was in bed for days on end while trying to study. The hardest part was no one could understand what was wrong with me because what we all suffer from is something you can not see. I find this the most frustrating thing because only the suffer really knows how much pain and suffering they go through. I decided to see a new doctor who was amazing, he still didn\'t quite understand but was committed to help make my life a little brighter. Medication was the only thing he could do, even though the antidepressent drugs hide the problem, I was still very grateful that someone finally wanted and could help me. Then 2 months ago I suffered a collapse, causing all my symtoms to increase even more than before. My mum was so worried she sent me straight to the doctor, only to be turned away with more medication and told to just keep pushing on, you\'ll come round. My mother was furious and demanded a MRI scan, which was eventually done, to only find it was clear. I was relieved that nothing major was wrong, but also heart broken that I had no more answers and felt more alone than ever. I could not understand that no one could tell me why I was in so much pain all day every day. Its been a hard long road these past 15 months, but with this information it has given me some guidance with my illness. Please, if anyone out there is feeling the same way, you\'re not alone. I have got very depressive and not seeing whats the point in being on this earth when you are in so much pain and misery. Remember, you\'re not alone :) xx
I can relate to almost every post I read from other posters. I had a head injury when I was 19; that was 6 years ago already. LONG JOURNEY! let me tell ya. Still going… How does one get healing when all of the doctors are MORONS!? I was apparently jumped & mugged one night. I say apparently because I still to this day have no recollection of any time around than. $40 is what they got from me and left me for dead. Concussion, internal bleeding & bruising, fractured skull. Unfortunately it took 6 hours before I arrived to a hospital. 8 Hours to gain consciousness. Doctors wanted to cut my skull open to relieve pressure, blood ect. My mother got a 2nd opinion from another doctor, who said try not to do it, more long term issues. Same went for drilling a hole in skull. Thankfully they did not do it. I think I was shipped out within 24 hours of arrival. Sent home. Sleep it off I guess… Got some MRI's, CT scans. Doctors all basically say could be both ends of spectrum on recovery & long term issues/disabilities. Why do you get the dam scans if they cant tell anything? Zap us with more radiation & free $ probably??? Doctors after doctors. All say the same thing, "6 months to recover" for post head injury. Chronic headaches till this day. Anxiety, depression, poor concentration, lack of any motivation, and for the past year, "what’s the point of living" thoughts; probably because not able to progress in life, and Social security is hard for many disabled people. Catch 22. My aftermath disabilities: Anxiety, Depression, Dyslexia, Chronic Headaches/Migraines, Lack of Concentration(ADD/HD), Lack of motivation, Speech Impairment, Frustration/Anger Issues with task, Loss of desire to eat, hard to get to sleep-once asleep I sleep for 12-24hrs+, Feelings of unconnectivity to this reality. Sad life. I think it would be easier if I hadnt been on a path for a very bright future in any avenue I chose. Better to have had than to never had is a lie. Stuck in this black hole for too long. I don’t see the way out any longer. //// I love this site. I have learned more in the last 10min than 6 years of doctors. WOW. Basically Have all the symptoms, so it is pretty clear what I have been suffering from & why now. Nice to have an answer to why I am suffering finally. Only resolution I can get from doctors is depr/anxiety pills, counseling... It's like they dont even see the causes, or past history, just a word, and each word has a drug to give patient. I believe my circumstances to the symptoms are different than the general population. None of that shit will every work or heal me or most others. Only mask the problems from my experience. Although I do think my issue is chemical imbalance or possibly damage which results in these symptoms. I could sustain more head damage and still be more intelligent than most of these doctors Ive seen. Most of them smart dumb people, book worms. Robots! Repeat after me…Basically for the past 3 years I sought medical marijuana and have not had chronic headaches, or migraines in 3 years. Besides the occasional stressed out headache. I have no luck with aspirin, vikidin, or migraine pills. Still been seeking better fixors for my other symptoms, but no luck still. I dont see the difference in substance consumption. Everything in this world including food is a drug/substance that our bodies process for benefit(s). I can say medical Mar. is not helping my anxiety or depression any. I am in a catch 22 because without it headaches again, I dont eat, & I cant get to sleep. I really want to resolve the anxiety & depression, & motivation issues. Big dreams, as always, but stuck in that black hole still, alone. When I look at all my issues/disabilities, my head spins. Overwhelming. If we were all puppets, I’d be missing a few strings. I just want to perform like everyone else again. Toss me a few strings please! Maybe I should just be happy I have any strings at all…
If you are suffering from daily headaches after suffering a concussion or head trauma, please check Dr. Ivica Ducic's (Georgetown University Hospital) website. My son is finally headache free after surgery to fix the nerve damage that occurred from the head injury.
my daughter was hit in the head during a soccer game. I was not at the game and nothing was said to me about how hard she was hit by her or my husband. 4 weeks later she was hit in the back of the head with a basketball during a game and seemed fine. She already had headaches prior to that but the headaches got worse. She was sick to her stomach feelinglike she was going to throw up so I took her into the doctor. they said she needed more acid reflux medication and it would go away. She was still palying basketball keeping up a full schedule at school until one day she could not deal with the pain anymore. I told her in again and they said she had a concussion. Stop palying sports for awhile and everything would be fine. It was not fine. She ended up being taken out of school and still not gone back. We took her to a specailist in a city 2 hours away. He gave her a test said she was processing very slow and that she had had at least 2 concussions. We are dealing with this day by day. She had a MRI and they found a bleed deep in her brain that had sealed itself off. This has been 2 months and some days I think she is fianlly on the road to recovery and then the next day she is worse. Noe she is getting the sharp stabbing pains on the right ide of her head, she is so tired all the time. It is heart breaking to watch and others who havve not gone through it just don't understand how hard it is to watch a 15 year old extremely smart and very athletic go through this.
this information was very helpful to me it seems to me when i fell and hit my head on two concrete steps and then the concrete ground when i was very little ive been having worsening headaches and ive been losing my memory and im only 16 ... i dont know if that accident had anything to do with my symptoms now but im certianly telling my doctor next time i see him maybe he could give me and MRI and see whats going on there .... because ive also been having like thies brain pops/spasms that wont go away .
Thank you very much for this information. I'm 71. Had my fourth concussion in Sept 2012. Have also had familial hemiplegic migraines since I was about 13 so I can't safely take Sumatriptan. I'm reading a book which relates some of the same info about why recovery takes time: Brain Lash: Maximize Your Recovery from Mild Brain Injury. It's hard having patience sometimes.
Thank you for this website. It is re-assuring being able to read about all the symptoms being relatively common. I am having a lot of them and reading that they are part of the normal process is comforting. I had a motorcycle accident 2 months ago. The head pain varies but some weeks like this one is pretty consistent. Thank you for the re-assuring website. I'm believing in the 6 month mark for everything being better.