When Can We Stop Worrying After a Hit on the Head?

Question: 

About a month ago, my wife tripped while hiking and hit her head. We went to our Emergency Department and they did a CT scan, which was “clean.” Other than an occasional headache, my wife feels fine. Is there a time when we can stop worrying?

Answer: 

The CT scan that was done in the Emergency Department is helpful because it showed there was no bleed in your wife’s head (hemorrhage) that would require surgery. That being said, most of the time after a concussion — or mild brain injury — a CT scan does not show any evidence of injury and yet some people may continue to have symptoms related to the concussion. The injury to the brain in a concussion is generally to the neurons and axons that are microscopic and therefore not seen on CT scan. Symptoms can be broken down into four categories:

  • Cognitive issues, including memory and concentration
  • Sleep issues, including too much or too little sleep, drowsiness, and difficulty falling asleep
  • Physical issues, including headaches, decreased balance, dizziness, impaired vision, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, and sensitivity to light and noise
  • Emotional issues, including irritability, sadness, and nervousness

Many symptoms from mild traumatic brain injuries resolve themselves with some time and rest and it seems this is the case with your wife. However, if her headaches do not continue to improve, if they are limiting your her function, or if they worsen, it would be appropriate to take her for a re-evaluation by your physician.

 

Posted on BrainLine January 19, 2010. Reviewed July 26, 2018.

Comments (91)

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.

One year ago today, I hit the back of my head (occipital bone) really hard on a shelf... and till this day it hurts to lay or put pressure on this area. I have had two MRIs and a CT scan- all came back negative and clear. Every since the hit to me head , I have also been dealing with severe anxiety, head tingling, and vision issues. Summer of last year, I asked my neurologist if I could have occipital neuralgia and the only way to test it is a nerve block. Well, the nerve block worked.. temporarily. But fast forward now... the only thing I really want to figure out is what is wrong with my head? It’s been a year, and I still can’t lay down or put pressure on my head without it feeling tender or pulsing. Is this a blood vessel or nerve issue? Will this resolve on its own? Is this PCS? Thank you!

I fell and smacked my face on the wood floor at home...that was about a month ago. I had a really bad black eye from it. Well, anyways I have a knot right on and above my eyebrow that hasnt gone away. It feels hard and hurts sometimes like lightening bolt pains kinda. No insurance. Not sure if it's bad or not. Can anyone help?

i am 54 female, in sept 2019 I fell and hit my head plus dislocated my arm. an ambulance took me to e.r. and they set my arm/shoulder but did not check my head. I have a dent in my head and 2 to 3 times a day I get small headaches. I do not have insurance and the fall cost me a lot of money. should I be worried about my head, will it eventually stop hurting.

I hit my head on a cylindrical hard wood today accidentally. there is no bleeding but my neck feels very stiff and hurts. will i be fine?

Someone pushed my head into a brick wall

So my brother kneed be in the lower jaw and for the last 2 days the other side of my head has been hurting is it anything to worry about

Last year I got in a car accident I hit my head on the door and when the car was jacked up I went to reach for my bug spray and they unjacked the car and it hit my head.

Ever since then I be having REAL REAL bad headaches every thing hurt the light sounds can’t open my eyes

What should I do?

I hit my head when I tripped coming out of my husbands Care Home and hit the wall with my head, at the front last Thursday. I felt ok and haven’t had any symptoms except a noise in my head, like pressure. Will this go away eventually?

I hit my eyebrow on a door and since two months and I’m having a small pain on one of the parts of my head constantly , is it normal after two months? It feels like is something inside . But I went to the doctor and he said I should wait 4 more weeks to see if it disappears or not.

Yesterday I was hit in the back of the head by a falling modem.. I still have a painful goose egg. I have various neurological issues including Chianti 1 and hydrocephalus. No discharge or anything juat a constant headache. Should I be concerned? Having a hard time sleeping. Age 49 ty

I hit my head on a wall very hard and there is still a large swollen area on the place i hit my head, the only symptom i have is when i stand up after lying for a long period of time i feel dizzy and i also have trouble sleeping.

Hi 2 weeks ago I fell and smashed my front head on a rock needed 8 stitches to my head. But 2 weeks later I still get pain in my top right back and some pain in the side of the right neck.

Ok, Well, its normal to have pain once you have 8 stitches on your head as your head can be very sensitive in many areas causing you to have problems with your eyes and a lot of pain in your head. i advise you if you are still having pain to go to your local GP to talk about it and see what advise they give you.

I fell down the stairs and banged the back of my head on the floor. I was maybe knocked out. I spent twenty minutes crying and holding my head before my cousin found me. She helped me up but I nearly fell over again. Now it's half an hour later and my headache feels worse and I feel really sick and I been sick once about ten minutes ago. I think I have a concussion because I had one from netball in year 11.

I fell and hit my head really hard 21 weeks ago. I didn't seek medical advice. It swelled badly then popped one night. The injury dtill hasnt healed. Should i be concerned?

I recently got into a DV fight with my now ex-boyfriend. He kicked me punched me and head butted me like 5 times in the same spot. It happened this morning on my way to work. I still went into work with a huge note on my head and just feeling sore everywhere! I iced the knot all day at work and the swelling has reduced significantly! There is still some scratching redness and it’s still sore and I have a head ache.
Im 26 y/o i don’t have good insurance I just have the minimum essential coverage.
I would like to know if I need to go to the ER or could I just treat at home?
Thank you!

I hope you healed after this violence. I'm so so sorry he hurt you. Broke my heart reading this

I'm so sorry he hurt you! Are ok now?!

Are you ok now?

I hit my Head a few weeks ago An I still have a knot on my forehead will it ever go away?i don’t have any of these synthoms period I have been normal besides the knot still on my head, why?

So today I was at work and I work In a nursey. I was on the slide with my student and I hit my head on the bar on top. And after finishing work I went home and 5 minutes later immediately slept and woke up I’m sneezing uncontrollably, lots of snots but clear, headaches, dizziness and my pupils is small and etc. So someone plz reply x

Hi are you good now?

Goto the hospital
Those are not signs to ignore especially fluid from the nose

I fell off my bike 6 weeks ago and slammed the side of my head on someones car left dent in it. My mum picked me up and took me to the hospital and said I have serious concussion as I'd be knocked out for long time. I still feel sick alot and I've fainted a couple of times. I have post concussion syndrome now. I hit my forehead on the window yesterday and passed out and now it's even worse I don't know if I'll get better before I turn 18.

I recently knocked myself in the head with a pair of channel locks. They were winched down to hold a garage door and with my line of work, its common to have had injuries. My question is, is the spot I hit supposed to hurt like heck and be very sensitive to the touch over 24 hours later?

I was at wrestling practise last week and my friend picked me up and slammed my head into the wall I hit the back of my head but the front of my head hurt and I felt dizzy and sick I carried on wrestling and got kicked in the head really hard and knocked out. I still feel dizzy and I feel like throwing up when I wake up in the morning

I have to bumps in the back of my head and I always have pain there and have headaches everyday, and my memory is bad and I get confused

I am 13. This past Saturday at my soccer game, I was hit in the head multiple times with a soccer ball, another girl accidentally kicked my head with her soccer cleats, and while preventing a goal hit my head on the goal post and blacked out for about 15 minutes. When I woke up, my nose was bleeding and I was lying on the side bench. I didn’t remember all of it, but my coach told me and I sat out the rest of the game. Should I go to the doctor?

Yes! Please see a doctor! Go to the emergency room if you have not done so already.

If you haven’t gone to the doctor yet go as soon as possible. If you feel pain in a certain part of your head be sure to tell the doctor about this. If however the pain has stopped and you’re not experiencing any of the above symptoms you might not need to worry about it.

Yes, did you go to the hospital?

I can’t believe in this day and age that a soccer coach would not insist a player with a head injury go immediately to the ER for evaluation.
Especially with being unconscious and bleeding from nose or ear. My niece had to give up soccer in high school as a goalie after her third concussion. After the last one she had personality changes and learning problems in school. She’s ok now.

I crashed in my bike almost 3 weeks ago and have no recall as to why I left the road and almost an hour after that. I had my helmet on. Although I have no memory I evidently was ready to get back on my bike and answered questions (non sensical replies) during that time. I had a CT done on my head and spine and nothing showed. I vomited several times but I get motion sick easily and the part of my head I hit affects eyesight. I never had a headache and my head never got a bump or felt sore. (On my head - lots of bruises and scrapes elsewhere) It’s hard to know if my cognitive skills or eyesight were compromised because I’m in my late 60’s and who knows what is just aging or due to head injury

Of coarse you should go getting hit with a soccer ball In the head is bad, your brain was shacked a lot of times and being kicked in the head I even worse

Question, so I bent over to pick something up off the ground and when I came up I hit my head on a metal pole and now I've had a headache all day and I can't sleep, is that a concussion

I recently was taking books down from my school library high bookshelf i had bent over to pick up the book i dropped and the RAF book from up the shelf which is massive hardback book fell and smacked me on the back of the head although when it hit me i felt the bang in my forehead for some reason. I was knocked out for 2 minutes and the first aider came in gave me an ice pack and sent me back to class i couldnt concentrate on my work it made my head hurt i felt so dizzy and sick and i couldnt remember what lessons i had next my 21 year old cousin who im staying with took me to ANE where i was diagnosed with grade 3 concussion and 3 weeks later i had another severe concussion when a volleyball hit me in the side of the head now its another month later with post concussion syndrome i want to return to volleyball and football and i should probably sue my school

I was there when this happened and i think you were knocked out like ten minutes we were all really scared and when are you coming back to sixth form?

I recently hit the back of my head after crowd surfing. They took me to medical at the venue to check my eyes and vital signs and such. The medical staff suggested I go to the ER because I had a bump on the back on my head that seemed to be slightly bleeding. At the ER I had a head scan and I was told everything came out fine and there was nothing serious to worry about. But when I go to sleep at night, I have trouble getting comfortable and it feels as if it’s blocking blood flow to my head. I constantly feel sharp pins and needles around my neck and face area, sometimes on my shoulder/chest area and very sore. I have a mild headache but it might be from the bump. I’m not sure if it’s ok to take Aleve for the inflammation or should I be worried it’s something worse

I got hit in the top of the head with a fly ball and feel fine. However I have been experiencing some concussion related symptoms and don't know if my ADHD is to blame.

Two days ago I fell backwards on an icey road and hit my tailbone, and my head actually bounced and hit hard. I heard “plates breaking” and couldn’t get up for a few minutes. Felt sick, can’t touch the sides of my neck, my tailbone is really sore, and my stomach, from the belly button down makes it difficult to stand. I still have a headache and sunlight bothers me.

I had a fall from a moving vehicle about 17 years ago and hit the back of my head really hard. I didn't go unconscious and wasn't taken to the doctor at the time and as far as I can remember I had no concussion but I'm having memory problems lately and pain in the back of my head if I laugh too hard and wondering of they could be linked to the trauma

I opened a cupboard and big heavy box hit me on the back of the head and knocked me out did not go to hospital . Went to doctor s see nurse she says as long as you are not having fits you should be OK. Now a year later the back of my head really hurts even laying down on it and hurts even touching it should I be concerned.

I fainted and hit my head on the wooden floor.. felt fine but bump on my head hurts (two days after) and I feel slightly dizzy.. should I go see a GP?

If it continues after 24 hours of further rest you should contact your health professional. They will ascertain an injury and make the appropriate recommendations

I got hit in the head with beer bottle multiple times not hard enough to lump or anything but hurt was about couple days less the a month ago an just recently started having head pain can’t realy tell where coming from but think it’s the top of my head an I went to hospital An did a cat scan cus it’s been 2 weeks now that non stop Like dull pain in my head that doesn’t go away just started 2 weeks ago so the hit was like 2 to 3 weeks before the pain I’m talking about an anyways cat scan I did in hospital yesterday came back ok said they didn’t see anything an since I can’t point out where exactly it’s hurting in my head they can’t do anything I stress a lot over many things am I going to be ok I’m still feeling the dull pain that just started like 2 weeks ago could it just be stress an y is itnon stop am I gona be ok since they said cat scan came back ok or should I still worry I’m really worried

the car door hit the back of my head. I haven't had any symptoms except headache and neck pain. I did not get any swelling either.. should I be concerned?

Well the headache and neck pain have been present for the past month, it would be advisable to get your head and neck evaluated by a chiropractic physician. Determination could be made as to whether the Trauma or insult was serious enough for a continuation of care or referral to a specialist.

My 11year old daughter hit her head, she swelled up and I tried to use an ice cube to decrease the swelling but the bump is very soft now and she is having slight headaches

Yes, you can put ice on it. But I suggest putting heat on it. If it still hurts within 48 hours go to the doctors.

I hit the top of my head a week ago at work. I keep getting a mild headache everyday or so. Should I be concerned? No bump

I have always one side headache especially the right side and I worry a lot sometimes I also have neck pain can you tell me what do I do

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