Brain Injury or Neck Injury: Getting the Right Diagnosis Is Key

Question: 

My husband had a mild TBI a few months ago when a window hit the back of his head while he was cleaning it. He was dizzy and had headaches for several weeks after the injury. We were told this would go away. Well, the headaches are gone but he still has periods of dizziness especially when he goes to the gym or does something strenuous around the house. I’m worried that he’s going to lose his balance when he’s dizzy and hit his head again.

Answer: 

Your husband sounds like he was pretty lucky overall in his recovery from his mild TBI. Based on what you described, his dizziness may be a result of an injury to his neck. After he was injured, did he have any x-rays or images taken that included his neck and shoulders? Sometimes after a brain injury, like the one your husband sustained on the back of his head, a person can experience some persistent cervical vertigo, also called cervicogenic dizziness.

Have your husband consult with a clinician who specializes in post-concussive disorder symptoms. It’s important to discover the cause of your husband’s dizziness — a cervical, or neck, injury, or from the brain injury, itself. Then, some sessions with a physical therapist might be useful.

 

Posted on BrainLine February 11, 2011

Nathan Zasler

Nathan Zasler, MD is CEO and medical director for Concussion Care Centre of Virginia, Ltd. as well as CEO and medical director for Tree of Life Services, Inc.  He is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation and fellowship trained in brain injury.

Comments

This site is very helpful. Thank you.

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