Headaches After Traumatic Brain Injury

Kathleen R. Bell, MD, Jeanne Hoffman, PhD, and Thomas Watanabe, MD, Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center
Headaches After Traumatic Brain Injury

Headache is one of the most common symptoms after traumatic brain injury (often called “post-traumatic headache”). Over 30% of people report having headaches which continue long after injury.

Why are headaches a problem after brain injury?

Headaches after TBI can be long-lasting, coming and going even past one year. Headaches can make it hard for you to carry out daily activities or can cause you to have more difficulty thinking and remembering things.

Why do headaches happen after brain injury?

Right after a severe TBI, people may have headaches because of the surgery on their skulls or because they have small collections of blood or fluid inside the skull.

Headaches can also occur after mild to moderate injury or, in the case of severe TBI, after the initial healing has taken place. These headaches can be caused by a variety of conditions, including a change in the brain caused by the injury, neck and skull injuries that have not yet fully healed, tension and stress, or side effects from medication.

What are some typical kinds of headaches after TBI?

Migraine headaches

These kinds of headaches happen because an area of the brain becomes hypersensitive and can trigger a pain signal that spreads out to other parts of the brain (like the ripples that spread out after you drop a pebble in water). These headaches typically have the following features:

  • Dull, throbbing sensation, usually on one side of the head.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Light and sound sensitivity.
  • Pain level rated as moderate to severe.
  • You might get a “warning” signal that a migraine is coming on, such as seeing spots or bright lights. This is called an “aura.”

Tension-type headaches

These headaches are associated with muscle tension or muscle spasms and stress. They usually have the following features:

  • Tight, squeezing sensation, often around the entire head or on both sides.
  • Pain level rated as mild to moderate.
  • Occur later in the day.

Cervicogenic headaches

This type of headache can occur when there has been some injury to the muscles and soft tissues in the neck and the back of the head. Many nerves that are located in the tissues and bones of the neck have branches that travel to the skull and scalp and can result in head pain. This type of headache usually has these features:

  • Often start in the neck, shoulders and back of the head, and sometimes travel over the top of the head.
  • Neck movement or positioning can make the pain worse.
  • These headaches are not usually associated with nausea and can range from mild to severe.

Rebound headaches

Sometimes the very medicines used to treat headaches can actually cause headaches. When pain medicines are taken daily on a regular schedule, missing one or two doses can result in a headache.

You also can develop a rebound headache if you decrease the amount of caffeine you use. For example, if you normally drink a lot of coffee, tea or energy drinks but don’t get your usual amount, you may get a headache.

Other facts about headaches

Although there are many other types of headaches, these are the most frequent. It is not unusual for someone to have two different types of headache. For certain headaches like migraine, a family history is common.

Should I worry about having a headache?

Most headaches are not dangerous. In the first few days after a concussion or head injury, a person should see a health care professional experienced in treating persons with brain injuries IF the following occurs:

  • Your headache gets worse.
  • You have nausea and/or vomiting with a headache.
  • You develop arm or leg weakness or problems speaking along with a headache.
  • You have increasing sleepiness with headache.

Do I need special tests to diagnose a headache?

In the first few days after a head injury, doctors will often order a CT scan of your brain to make sure there is no bleeding in your head. After that, a brain scan or other test is rarely needed in order to diagnose a headache accurately.

Usually, the health care provider will rely on your history and symptoms to sort out what kind of headache you are having and how to treat it.

What can be used to treat a headache after TBI?

This will depend on each individual case. It’s important to discuss your headaches with your doctor and to keep track of headaches and your response to treatment. Many people use a headache diary to help them do this.

Lifestyle changes to help prevent headaches

The first steps in treating any type of headache don’t involve drugs or other therapy. Many times, lifestyle factors can trigger headaches or make headaches worse. Making simple changes can often make a big difference in whether or not headaches occur. Try to:

  • Get enough sleep.
  • Get daily exercise. Aerobic exercise such as walking and good stretching often help to prevent headaches by improving sleep and decreasing triggers. If a headache is worsened by any particular exercise, check with your health care provider.
  • Avoid caffeine.
  • Avoid certain foods that may trigger a headache, like red wine, monosodium glutamate (MSG, a common food additive) or certain cheeses.
  • Avoid taking pain medicines on a daily basis unless your health care provider prescribes it.

Common types of treatment for occasional headaches include:

  • Over-the-counter pain medicines like acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen.
  • Prescription medicines for migraine headache like sumatriptan (Imitrex®).
  • Relaxation therapy/meditation.
  • Biofeedback therapy.
  • Stretching and self-massage.
  • Acupuncture.
  • Local injections (numbing medication or steroids, or for example) to muscles, nerves or joints of the cervical spine.
  • Therapeutic massage.
  • Heat or ice packs.

Treatments for recurrent headaches that happen more than twice a week

Headaches that occur frequently may require a prescription from your physician. The following medications may be used to treat headaches following TBI:

  • Antidepressants.
  • Antiseizure medicines (like gabapentin, also called Neurontin®).
  • Certain blood pressure medication called beta-blockers (like propranolol).
  • Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections.


  • Hoge CW, McGurk D, Thomas JL, Cox, AL, Engel CC, Castro C A (2008). Mild traumatic brain injury in u.S. Soldiers returning from iraq. N Engl J Med, 358(5), 453-463.
  • Lahz S, Bryant RA (1996). Incidence of chronic pain following traumatic brain injury. Arch Phys Med Rehabil, 77(9), 889-891.
  • Lew HL, Lin PH, Fuh JL, Wang SJ, Clark DJ, Walker WC (2006). Characteristics and treatment of headache after traumatic brain injury: A focused review. Am J Phys Med Rehabil, 85(7), 619-627.
  • Marcus DA (2003). Disability and chronic posttraumatic headache. Headache, 43(2), 117-121.
  • Mihalik JP, Stump JE, Collins MW, Lovell MR, Field M, Maroon JC (2005). Posttraumatic migraine characteristics in athletes following sports-related concussion. J Neurosurg, 102(5), 850-855.
Posted on BrainLine November 30, 2017. Reviewed July 26, 2018.

Headaches After Traumatic Brain Injury was developed by Kathleen R. Bell, MD, Jeanne Hoffman, PhD, and Thomas Watanabe, MD, in collaboration with the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center. Copyright © 2010 by University of Washington/MSKTC. http://www.msktc.org. Retrieved Nov. 30, 2017.

Please check the MSKTC site for any recent updates on this article.

Comments (86)

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.

I’ve had migraines all my life which I was taking some pills for at the age of 52 I was in a serious car accident and sustained concussion and whiplash my migraines are extremely worse than ever before. I have to take Botox every 12 weeks I don’t know what to do. Now my question is if you’ve never had migraines before a car accident and staying the same things as I did concussion and whiplash which person is in worse shape not that either one of them make a difference to me

Does my blood thinner Pradaxa protect me from a blow to my head

I'm no healthcare professional, but I know that blood thinners and NSAIDS are discouraged after a head injury due to possibility of bleeding. Tylenol is best.

My husband get hit by bamboo stick on the may 8th 2021 but until know he having terrible headache... Is it like blood clot on the brain or what
Plz explain thank u

I've been getting headaches like migraines but it feels as if my brain is pushing my skull tbh I feel like @any point during these head aches I am going to have a brain anaresism (spelled wrong) but just recently my ear started to bleed for no apparent reason could the 2 things the head aches be the cause and should I go to the emergency room?

Does whiplash is different from this? From what I read its experience when you got injured or got to an accident.

On Tuesday I was doing yard work when I hit the top of my head and fell backwards and hit the back of my head on concrete. I'm in school and when I'm working I keep on getting headaches that feel a bit worse each day.

Slipped at work over ice that was on the drive way 2 days ago,head swelled up bled a bit now I have a constant headache, like my brain is being squeezed when I make sudden movements. But yet they still calling to come in to work at all hours cuz of call-ins... i guess they forgot I fell on the ice and got hurt smh oh and they want a dr note cuz I’m asking to work from home

Hello! I slipped and hit my head at tiles last 2 days ago and I thought it wasn’t that serious. Now I got headaches in middle of my sleep. I did hot compress Tho. What do you think I should do?

Hello, I'm Faith, 19 years old in 2021. I fell while playing basketball when I was 17 and I did get treatment for it. They said it wasn't serious but I'm still anxious about it. Until today, I still can feel the same pain and it's not even a headache. I know well how a headache would feel like but I'm not here to get some medical advices. Just sharing my story because I'm not sure if I'm having post-traumatic concussion or something else.

Hi there everyone. Thank you to the Bob Woodruff Foundation and all those who provided the information on this page. I am currently in the hospital ER room. I live in Canada on Vancouver Island. I am a 29 year old woman. When I was a baby (I don't know how old but I'm guessing 1 year old or less) my dad dropped me on my head when I was a baby. I used to hate when ppl would make that joke to others "what was he dropped on his head as a baby?" No one ever made it in reference to me that I know about but it still bothered me as i never felt that the injury affected me despite it being so bad, my skull was fractured. My mom would sometimes make the comment that she wanted me to get a cat scan as she believed it did in fact affect me and give me brain damage. She said this when I made choices she didn't agree with or because I had difficulty with remembering directions (I just figured why did I need to when I could rely on gps?) I just thought she was a b**ch and what did she know anyways? She had me at 16 and then had 4 other children and would cry because God gave her too many children. If anything I thought- I inherited my stupidity from her and mine wasn't even as bad. For someone who b**ched about my issues with directions my whole life, when I was an adult- she needed her fiance to draw her a map so she could find her way out of a campsite... I couldn't believe my eyes but that just proved to me what I always knew that my head injury that occurred as an infant never affected me. I very rarely even ever had headaches as an adult and if I did they were rarely painful enough to need medication. Usually, they were just from staring at my phone or computer screen too long (I'm addicted to the internet cuz I love reading and learning). Unfortunately, I suffer from fentanyl addiction now as well inherited from my dad and mom. When I was sober, I completed my degree in human resources and labour relations and worked for island health in the HR department taking calls from nurses to help them with questions about their employment. I had several other very great prestigious and rewarding jobs as well throughout my early 20s even through a lot of my addiction. Now I am in the hospital for the 2nd time with a traumatic brain injury and having fractured my skull once again. I had seizures as a child that stopped when I was 4. I had a lot of them and I guess they were really bad according to my mom like once on a car ride which is the only one I recall, my eyes rolled back in my head and I was foaming at the mouth and shaking uncontrollably. Because they stopped, I didn't believe I had epilepsy and strongly doubt that it was from being dropped as my younger sister who is my only sibling that shares both biological parents with me had them too though not nearly as many as I did. Though when she was around 18, she got shot to prevent HPV and had one so bad she nearly died. Oddly, my sister and I are the only 2 ppl in my entire family with epilepsy though my mom never knew who her dad was so maybe we got them from my unknown grandfather. My mom's other 3 kids never had a single seizure. I avoided getting that HPV shot for obvious reasons. I never had another seizure until a week ago at age 29 after having the last one at age 4. I had 3 drop seizures all in the same night. I don't know if it's because the shelter I'm staying at forgot to give me my suboxone doses I was newly prescribed or because as a result of being sick from not having that medication and being an addict, I took 10 of my antidepressants at once. They were Wellbutrin which worked really well and I had never once abused in the over a year I was taking them until that night. I only ever took 1 a day like prescribed by my doctor. Anyway, I don't remember much but I did get very high after taking all those Wellbutrin. I don't know how strong they were. But I ended up suffering seizures and nose-diving multiple times fracturing my skull and suffering a traumatic brain injury. My head hurts so bad like I've never experienced before and my memory loss is awful and bothers me so much. All this only occurred a week and a half ago so I'm hoping that all this goes away eventually. It's really hard to deal with though. I just had a CT scan and am awaiting my results. I also felt another seizure coming on tonight though luckily the staff member working at the shelter tonight knew all about epilepsy so told me to lay down so I would not fall again. I didn't have one thank God as I'm terrified of them now. I will post again once I find out more.

I had a concussion a few years ago and have had headaches almost daily since then. Sometimes medicine does not help and I need to sleep or lay down in the dark. A few times my head has hurt to the point that I was unable to speak without extreme pain. Most of the time it hurts in my neck, temples, and eyes.
I try everything, if I am luck the headaches only last about an hour.
If anything hits of taps my head it feels like I have been punched. I am always always always dizzy and sometimes sick from these headaches.

How did I get my concussion? A car door slammed closed on my head. It was very bad. I don't know who to see, or if anything can be done to help. At this point, its been over three years, I will do anything to get rid of these headaches.

I was hit head on by a drunk driver back in 2002. I was taken to hospital by Life flight and was in a coma. A 5 on the gcs. A third of my brain was covered in blood which the neurosurgeon had to drain the blood and remove part of my skull cause of the swelling. All my bones in my face were broke and my jaw was broke. I’ve had two eye orbits and cheek implant. My parents were told I might not wake up, or be brain dead or might have to learn everything all over again. But cause of Gods Grace I’m not to bad but do have memory problems, my left ear has not stopped ringing and I do have cronicheadpain. I’ve been on pain pills for 15 years. I tried to go with out the meds for a year and I just can’t take it “ the pain “ anymore. Going to get back into pain management. I do also now have major depression disorder and anxiety, panic attacks and seizures in my brain. It sucks having to rely on pain medication but it’s all that works. Now with the people who abuse pain pills, it’s making it harder for people who really need them to get them. I had a ct not long ago and it shows that I had a craniotomy and the plates and screws in my head by my vessels are good and it makes it hard for doctors to believe if you really have a headache or not or just trying to get pills it’s a bummer but I’m trying the best I can to deal with it it’s just hard

Amen! Craniotomy causes problems with headaches! Give yourself some slack~you are doing better than you think!

I had brain swelling and bleeding 14 years ago and I still have headaches atleast 3 to 4 times a week. I also get dizzy everyday. And I also have neck pain that makes it so hard to sleep. I remember telling a doc about my headaches 8 years ago and he told me not to takes so much aspirin, tylenol. I didnt reply to him. So when I have a headache, dont take meds for it, and suffer?

I was shot in the head and have headaches so bad I can't think straight they want me to try an injection that costs $315 per month. They have even told me that with these injections I shouldn't have headaches at all. What are you supposed to do?

You could see if he neurologist deals with migraines has a compassionate program that is funded by the government. I was fortunate enough to have needles for Botox which would cost me $900 for the meds and another $200 for the doctor to inject them every 12 weeks. My doctor referred me to the government about getting a compassion program I was excepted which is saving me a lot of money and hopefully wherever you are could get the same thing as I do. Good luck

Hi my name is Love I was in a car accident An Every since excruciating headaches just about every day and they last for hours I see spots dark spots lights fights dizziness throwing up is that normal they want me to take the injection medication but I wonder if it works

I have been taking turmuric and other herbal anti inflammatories and it has really help.

My friend used to hit me in the back of the head and throw stuff at the back of my head when I was not looking all of the time. At first, it didn’t hurt but over time it got worse. Now whenever I get hit in the head I get a very severe headache. Do I have permanent brain damage and if so did my friend ruin my life

i know how you feel. 2 days ago i got hit in the head with a RECORDER!! (the kind that looks like a flute not the other kind)

it sounds like you need better friends

True. When I was kid, my brother’s FRIEND cracked him across the nose with a 2x4., The profuse, bleeding from which necessitated an ER visit where he continued to report that “his friend “ cracked him across the face with 2x4. True story.
Find kinder and gentler friends.

I'd start out seeing your family doctor (GP) and get their advise who to see

I had an accident 10 years ago and got the neck injury. 2 months later they told me that there was nothing to worry about but soon started my headaches. There were times when I almost cried. Everyone was saying that it was just because of my age. But even after that age thing nothing's changed. So I'm worried that I'm getting addicted to medicine. Even if I don't hurt head so much, I've to take aspirin because I can't think properly and I've got feeling of being a sick. I'm not sure if I had or have brain injury.

After 20 Years after siining a Pain specialist & trying everything big Pharma had & every little trick in the book when he retired after 20 years he said the only thing i could try is medical cannabis when it becomes legal, then we moved 14 miles to a state that my parents thought would legalize it bf TN would & @@ Years later trying nerve blocking shots & still in 24/7 pain from my headache & my neck back ache bc the Pain Specialist were seeing now is saying im suffering from whiplash. 22 Years & the 1st Dr that ever mentioned to me that im suffering whiplash. but he said that would be the last thing that he would write a RX for is for Medical Cannabis,

I'm still recovering from a concussion I got last year. It's been about 8 months since the accident and I had a constant, unrelenting headache up until about 3 weeks ago. I still have a lot of weird symptoms, MS-like, where the left side of my body is weak and I have a lot of nerve pain. I also have a lot of visual disturbances that make it impossible for me to drive. The only things that have improved are my energy levels (still low, but at least better than before), balance (still fall and bump into things, but less often now), ability to explain my thoughts verbally or recall the recent past (I'm still not able to organize or sequence my speech, but I am able to get it all out now), and the headaches (which come and go, but with less severity than before). It took me a while to get adequate health care and I'm still waiting to see a neurologist, but the following things helped me a great deal so I wanted to share with all of you in hopes that it will help you, too:

Go to a DC, LMT (chiropractor who's also a therapeutic massage therapist) and get physical therapy at least once a week...lots of neck work.
Go to a regular Physical Therapist and get Vestibular rehabilitation - this will help your balance, which in turn, helps with headaches and tinnitus.
If you are sensitive to the side effects of Rxs like I am, take the herb Butterbur or Feverfew. Spend the extra money on the pure, non-gmo, allergen free, 3rd party tested kind you can find on Amazon. (After clearing it with your Dr, of course)
And most importantly of all...you must relax. You must let go of your old life, your old self, all the things you used to do and literally START OVER. Recovering from this injury is by far the hardest thing I've ever done (I'm 48), but now that there are signs of recovery, I have reason to be optimistic again. Whatever you do, don't push yourself. Do what you can and back off BEFORE you feel nauseous, get tired, start to get a worse headache, feel dizzy, etc. Be gentle with yourself and surround yourself with supportive, understanding people as much as possible. You cannot (and should not) try to suffer through this alone. Move to a state like California or Oregon where you can get Medicare if you don't have the funds or insurance to get these therapies. Write to your legislators and impress upon them the need for Universal Health Care so hard working people like yourselves aren't left behind due to the limitations insurance companies put on receiving adequate healthcare.
I wish you all the best and am sending hopeful, healing vibrations your way. I'm Unitarian...good is good and life can heal itself when given the right ingredients. Be blessed and be well. xoxo

I’m a year out from being hit head on and you have described so much of my journey. I press not to give up or give in but have noticed my fatigue level increasing as well as nerve related headaches. In listening to you I see I’m not resting enough. Stressing over foolishness and the hardest thing of all that you said... I’m not the same and there is no going back. I cried when I read that but needed to hear it.
Blessings on your/our continued recoveries . Thank you

Thank you for the info and heartfelt meaningful words it is very difficult having to function properly w head injuries and the aftermath as well. The health insurance and support you need is insurmountable and overwhelming much less the lack of understanding and healthcare available for people.

Headaches after traumatic brain injury.

I decided to post this to offer a bit of Hope. In 2015 January to be exact I walked into a Staples Warehouse and left by ambulance. I got hit in the head by some things that were falling from the top of the shelving units and boy did it hurt. after going to the hospital they simply diagnosef me with a mild concussion after the X-ray showed nothing wrong. I followed up with a neurologist who specialized in brain injuries and had all kinds of scans and tests done which all revealed normal activity however due to my symptoms I was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome and post trauma headaches. For the first 3 or 4 days after the accident I kept hearing door slam even though no doors were slamming. I heard my voice out loud even when I wasn't thinking about anything or talking so I got really freaked out and at the end I had an Impulse to commit suicide for absolutely no reason at all. I promptly went in to the neurologist explained all these symptoms and was told that they would pass within a week and they did. However the headaches came on strong. I was suffering from migraines that lasted anywhere from 2 to 3 days every single week for the first six months after my injury. At the 6-month Mark I got what was called a migraine attack where I was sitting minding my business and got a searing burning pain in my head it felt like the pain was so intense I just wanted to get a hammer to hit myself in the head to change the type of pain LOL I know that sounds really crazy but that's how much pain I was in I wanted to peel my own head open. I was on the floor slurring vomiting and crying grabbing my head and just rocking. I went into the hospital saw the neurologist again she explained that it was called a migraine attack. It seems that that was the big one that stopped them all.... afterwards my migraines cut down to once every two weeks they would last for 2 or 3 days and then after the year mark I absolutely had no more headaches. Now I will say they tried to prescribe me medications like Tramadol and Nodolol which I probably should have taken but I have a fear of medication so I was suffering in pain like an idiot LOL but I came on here to say this. It's been three years since my accident and I am pain free. I know some people who have had headaches for up to 2 years after their injury but they eventually go away. I will suggest to those of you who are still having headaches to get a blood work up to make sure that the headaches aren't related to something else. I found out that I was extremely anemic and had very low vitamin D which can also contribute to headaches. Once I started to take supplements I noticed everything got a lot clearer and the pain wasn't so bad and then it just went away. I thought they would never end much like most of you probably think but they did and I'm hoping that they end very soon for all of you.

I hope this article is still being viewed. I sustained a TBI when rear ended by a semi in 2005. Soon afterwards I began having headaches that honestly made me feel as though the blood vessels in my brain were about to explode. My neurologist put me on several prescription meds...topamax, depakote, lamichtal, midrin...as well as pain meds & drugs I cannot recall. The drugs made me feel like a complete zombie & coming off the seizure meds (topamax & depakote especially) was nothing I was warned about...something that adversely effected by cognition, my mood...every aspect if my life. It seemed the only med that brought relief was "Midrin". As time went by either my brain healed somewhat or I modified my lifestyle to one where I didn't push myself all day. Whichever it was....none of my doctors, the radiologist who read my MRI's prepared me or explained to me what this new life would look like...while headaches became more intermittent Midrin was pulled off the market for some reason. Was instead prescribed Imitrex & a bunch of other headache meds...none of which compared the the effectiveness...I felt while taking Midrin. Not sure how many years later but Midrin or an equivalent was out into the market.

Fast forward to 2014...after having to sell my dream home and find homes for my beloved horses & other 4 legged friends because taking care of things seemed so complicated...along with things that involved several steps....bad luck struck again. While taking a homeless man with Huntington's Disease to a local hospital a driver ran a stop sign & slammed into my car, pushing the car across the road, up the curb & into a snowbank. All I recall from that & my 2005 crash was a very load noise & a severe jolt. Both times I was unconscious, not long, but long enough to have lasting effects. So much medical literature state that if there is not LOC there is no brain injury...and after becoming involved in a TBI awareness initiative I found out personally just how wrong so much of the medical community is. So after being broadsided I was out on a board & transported to a hospital. Cat scans of my head & neck were done....as you know a CT scan will usually just rule out a bleed, fluid buildup as well as any skull fracture, yet in the majority of CT studies, there is no instructions to follow up a Neurologist who specializes in head injury...and many times when you do see a Neurologist, closed head injuries, beit singular or repetitive as in my case are minimized, the patient knows something is very wrong, many times physically as well as cognitively...many times the personality changes that occur...are diagnosed as psychiatric issues & your sent home with maybe a prescription for headache meds & in the recent case at least 5 meds were tried all ineffective. After reading so many relating articles I've realized my neck injury...2005 that required a cervical fusion & the 2014 reinjury could be the root or partial root of my current headache & severe pain issues.

The reason I'm writing is because over time my cognition is worsening, after engaging in lengthy conversations or after performing tasks involving multiple steps or attempting something new that requires learning....I'm left with not only severe headaches & neck pain, but my mind gets so wiped out, several hours afterwards are literally destroyed with these disabling symtoms. I recently had another neck CT scan that showed significant bone spurring & arthritis above the C 6-7 fusion I had...my pain doctor ordered a pair of facet injections to determine if a "nerve ablation" would help. The first series of injections did little yet another was ordered.

I'm 52 years old, live along and make all my health care decisions for myself. I've realized many years back that I need assistance yet my county ruled that I'm too functional for services. After my 2014 head injury/car accident I sustained 3 additional concussions in falls related to vertigo in one instance a new med. I'm at a point in my life where my future is starting to terrify me. For a few years, after feeling so alone & abandoned having to attempt to figure out every financial detail, health care decision(some very impulsive) I faded into a deep depression and didn't care anymore. The Neurologist I saw after my 2014 crash responded to the 3 concussions ER Doctor referrals, stating that he already exhausted all his treatment options with me. These new injuries were over a year after being released & the fact that there were a series of concussion with LOC I was left, not only in a post concussive fog but unable to figure out where to go or who to see. I live in SE Wisconsin & I need advice/help/advocacy in helping me find the right Neurologist &/or Neurosurgeon that can address my damaged neck. I desperately need to find medications, techniques, coping skills to offset the intense headaches that ALWAYS follow any serious cognitive activity.

I do not intend to sound as though I have a "poor me" attitude...but I will say when I feel the way I do, pretty much every day in very lengths it's not hard to feel desperate, hopeless & completely terrified what my future will look like if I do not find doctors who understand repetitive head trauma, and especially doctors who don't "poo poo" everything & conclude that everything is in my head. I was blessed with a great education, so fortunate to have made sound financial choices very young...enabling me to purchase the same incredible place I called home for 23 years, great jobs, zero financial worries. How lucky I was to have a life like many only dream about....to have that stripped away by inattentive drivers & not only losing practically everything.. But to find it impossible to find the help & medical care I need...compounds the losses beit abilities, financial, self esteem, undesirable personality traits...Just hoping & praying someone will take the time to point run the right direction. Thank you kindly

My son sustained a brain stem inujury at 24yrs. working as a diesel mechanic. Immediately after injury an intense headache which he has every day for 27 years. He has ringing in his ears, vertigo, bad neck pain, sleep problems, and on and on. He has no quality to his life. He was left with his infant son of 1 year to raise alone, giving my son reason to live. His son is now 24 and ready to leave home. My son cannot to drive a car after his car was hit while parked in front of his house. My son is light, sound, heat sensitive, he is pain sensitive. He has a hernia and shoulder operation years ago, yet the pain in those areas never goes away.
I search for treatments that possibly could help him. He had deep tissue massage in his neck region for years until we couldn't afford it, although he got relief from the massage. Behavioral Eye Therapy was one therapy that did help.
I will let this site know if we find any relief for him. Please post if you receive any helpful treatments as well.

I completely get what you're saying. I didn't comprehend who to go to as well. I was hit by a 15' pole from a commercial 25' tent that was not secured or erected, just laying over chairs.
I was pointed in the direction of a Neurologist that is at a University; someone who is constantly quest of knowledge with regards to the brain.
I know people who have died from a head injury, and they never lost consciousness. One woman I know was cracking jokes after she fell. They life-lined her to an ER, she died the next day. I have a friend named Flo that hit her head getting in a car, she started getting headaches after 2 weeks she went to the ER, they did a cat scan and she had approx. 150cc of blood, a slow drip. They had to drill 2 holes in her head, 1 to relieve the pressure the other to drain. she also never lost consciousness.
Our symptoms are real! It's just that sometimes doctors, as all people, tend to relate their experiences, most are not perpetual investigators and given a question, hate not having the answer so they give an answer, one that they know.
I have a different life now, I always have migraines, all of the right side of my head is injured. It happened 5 + months ago. Every part of the right side, injured side, is still injured. Hell it feels like the pole hit my scalp yesterday, the nerves hurt on my scalp.
Good luck, You are not alone.

I had a fall over a month ago. I fell into a lamp post My forehead and face were black and blue. My eye was swollen. It has been over a month and the left side of my forehead and still swollen and it really hurts. Is that normal

Get the best insurance that coveres everything and go to a dif healthcare system so their not just gonna cover their butts even though they can do whatever. But still go to a dif healthcare system and one that specalizes in that care. Even if you have really good insurance mayo will try to keep the standard of care the same as for basic medicade ppl so they dont get hit with wrongful death or malpractice suites when they do one thing for someone and dif for another. Numbers dont lie. A mayo doctor testafied against me in the work comp hearing when they ulmost killed mr on a oil rig. North Dakota is a evil work comp system and they used a mayo guy to testafi. I asked him. (Defending myself). "If someone has herniated discs and someone comes and grabs them by the shoulders and shakes them violently can it make herniated discs worse". He testafied no it couldn't.

Hi Patrick,
I realize it is a years since you wrote this. I close friend of mine recently suffered a TBI and am reading some of the post related as he has Migraines he is battling 24/7. I just wanted to ask if you have been able to visit the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN. regarding your situation? Sorry for your change of life, not your fault.

Have you gotten help yet? Contact brain injury association. Bia.org.

I've had several concussions, the last one being the worst. I have been under the care of a neurologist ever since. My advice to you is to look for a neurology group that offers cognitive testing and also employs a neuropsychiatrist. If you live in a well populated area, there should be such a place available. Good luck to you.

I fell 25' and landed on my head and which resulted in multiple skull fractures 12 vertebrae fractures some hearing loss and our injuries. This happened 11 months ago and my headache has not gone away. It is moderate to severe at times but hasn't gone away yet. Is this something that will remain permanent? I also have memory loss and emotional problems now along with other problems. Thx Dave

I was wondering if it was okay to take aspirin for fever I was in a bad wreck 24 years ago and had a traumatic brain injury I took aspirin before and it hasn't bothered me what do you suggest

I am sorry for every person here. I broke my neck and sheered the nerve endings in my head. My head aches started the moment I woke from my coma. Apparently you can get headaches from the neck muscle too. I didn't know that!! Are there any successful methods to remedy my situation?
I can relate to the person with the headaches after 13 years. It is over 2 and a half years since my bleed on the brain. (SAH.) Although my gp and neurologist said it should ease in a few months it has never eased. I am now on stronger meds to try to help. Some days I just cannot get out of bed. Speaking to other who have gone through the same as myself is the only thing that has kept me going. People do look at me and although I look physically well but my memory is badly affected. My hearing and eye sight have been damaged. I have constant hissing in ears and my vision comes and goes. I do know I am very lucky to have my mobility back but it took a lot of hard work and physio. For anyone else out there who is suffering from a head injury remember you are not alone and there is support. Grey matters and headways was my lifelines.

Thank you so much for your story my 19 year old daughter had bleed to brain 18 month ago and she has just started to get back to college and dancing since August but she is in constant pain with her head she’s getting so upset because of it her memory is really bad to but like you she looks amazing

Hi there, I experienced a brain hemorrhage in 2013! It was the size of a gulf ball in the back left of my head! I slipped on ice and guess I knocked the back of my head on a curb. It knocked me out from midnight til 10am. When I woke I couldn't walk without falling and decided to lay back down and rest I woke again at 5pm with the same problem. This is when I went to the hospital! I was then medicated for the pain and released a couple days later... After a couple months I noticed my hearing in my right ear was damaged and since then have had a constant ringing in this ear! I am now experiencing headaches everyday for the last two months! It changes from the back left to the back right of my head!? I was hoping to get some advice on what I should do!?

I am a 49 yr.old female with daily migraines, due to 2 TBIs in the past 2 yrs. Today, I was ordered a CT with dye, and MRI. The TBI's have ruined my every day functioning, with a constant ringing in my ears. I also suffer with a pulsing in my brain. My doctor actually canceled my appointment to see him, and have my X-rays. I am sitting here with an onset of a migraine and cannot refill my migraine meds for another 14 days. I have had 3 brain aneurysms. Guess the doctor didn't want to be late for dinner. As far as taste and smell goes. I guess I am fortunate.

I suffered a occipital skull fracture with a bleed November 17, 2015.  I am being sent to investigate the headaches to a neurologist?  I will probably have another CT scan.  I take Ultram and percocet daily to try and get it before one starts.  I am 56 years old and have been told that sometimes when you are older it takes longer for the headaches to stop.  I also have absolutely no sense of smell or taste.  This is a bit frustrating and I have lost 40 pounds simply not being able to taste.  I now eat simply to keep going.  I wonder if anyone else has no smell or taste from a TBI?  The neurologist is also apparently going to evaluate why that is still there because it is apparently not normal.  I am so grateful to still be here with my family and know it could have been MUCH worse.  God Bless all of you.and any comments are welcome

Yes I had to go back because I had blood on brain they did not treat it right away as what should have done from day one if there is loose blood anywhere in body where it's not suppose to be I had a stroke have of body got numb then they put me on wrong meds I knew I died but God brought me back and gold me I have to tell everyone his name so that's what Jim doing but I had to have surgery where the blood was removed but I still have complications because they took took long to do surgery and gave me wrong treatment before the surgery

2013 auto accident, mild head concussion. It's now 2016 and I still get terrible head pain (day or even in the middle of night). I wonder why still everyday. I use to work, and loved chatting. Now my head says stay away.I  can't take too many distractions, noise or lights, movements too can cause me to become dizzy. I have been nauseous at times. I rest almost everyday, since night sleep changed some. So wondering do I have to live this way forever ? Thank you. Gailann

I have the same thing. Go see a vestibular trained physio (life-changing!)