People who have experienced an intense headache for a day or even a few hours know that it can feel like trying to navigate the world in a vise. Almost every movement you make and thought you have seems stifled behind a mottled scrim of pain and tightness. The intense physical pain of post-injury headache, especially if it doesn't resolve quickly, can also lead to depression, anxiety, sleep problems, and other issues.

Post-traumatic headache is the most common complaint after brain injury. In fact, approximately 70 percent of people who have had a mild TBI or concussion complain of post-traumatic headache. It can also be a sign or symptom of an undiagnosed brain injury.

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How Occipital Nerve Surgery Helped Retired Soccer Star Briana Scurry

How Occipital Nerve Surgery Helped Retired Soccer Star Briana Scurry
[Briana Scurry] My headaches were very specific— occipital nerve, right behind my left ear. So October 18th, I had bilateral occipital nerve release procedure done. So the doctor—Dr. Ducic at Georgetown— he cut two incisions in the back of my neck and removed the damaged nerve tissue— which was the majority on the left side, but I had a little bit on the right. And I haven't had the piercing headaches since. So that has been a real relief. This surgery was the first step to get rid of that searing pain that I always felt every day that I haven't had since. I do feel like a different person—it was interesting— one of the first things that I noticed after my surgery that made me know that I was on the right track— a couple—like a week after my surgery, I went out with some friends at a restaurant, and we were having dinner. And normally if I'm out with friends, the noise in the restaurant distracts me and it's so loud, and I'm so sensitive to it, and it's hard for me to have conversation in a restaurant for long before I literally have to—have to get out of there. Well, this particular evening, I was just smiling, because I was like—I can have conversation, and I don't—I'm not sensitive to all the sounds. And I—that's when I knew for sure that I was better. Because I was actually in a situation that used to just—drive me crazy with pain, and I wasn't feeling any pain at all.

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