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5 Types of Headaches You Might Experience After a Car Accident

Aug 11, 2021

In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, you have a lot of things on your mind: your physical safety, damage to your vehicle, and communicating with police, insurance companies, and more. The stress from such an event is enough to cause a tension headache from having to deal with a car accident. While you might think a headache is normal after a car accident, headaches can also be signs of an injury or issue that needs to be checked out by a car accident doctor. If you experience a car accident headache in the hours or days after you’ve been in a wreck, then you want to get checked out by a doctor who specializes in these kinds of injuries. There are actually many different types of headaches you might experience after a car accident, and a car accident doctor can help diagnose and develop a treatment plan so you can experience lasting relief.

Why Headaches Are Common After a Car Accident

In addition to the stress and trauma of the event, headaches are common after a car accident because of how easily the head gets shaken around or jostled from the wreck. While a seat belt helps to hold you in place and keep you from being ejected from the vehicle, there is nothing comparable to keep your head from getting flung around or colliding with part of the car. If you hit your head on the steering wheel, window, or another part of the car due to the car accident, then you may experience a headache. There are also other injuries with symptoms that include car accident headaches, like whiplash. Because there are many reasons for a headache after a car accident, it helps to find out what type of headache you are experiencing so you know how to move forward.

Types of Headaches and Their Symptoms

Here are 5 types of car accident headaches and their symptoms.

Whiplash Headaches

Whiplash is the most common car accident injury, especially in rear-end collisions. If you suffered a whiplash injury, then one of the first signs may be a post-car accident headache. A car accident can cause the head and neck to snap forward and backward violently, putting pressure and strain on the spine and supportive muscles and tendons in the neck. This can cause pain in your head, neck, and upper back. Neck pain, stiff and sore neck muscles, and dizziness are also symptoms of a whiplash injury.

Migraine Headaches

If you suffer a blow to the head during a car accident, then it is possible to develop a migraine or post-concussive headache. Concussions are common with car accident injuries that involve hitting your head on part of the vehicle. The first thing you might notice is head pain, which may get worse and develop into a migraine headache. Migraines are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and sensitivity to light and sound.

Fracture Headaches

You may experience fracture headaches if you suffer a fracture to the skull or one of the neck bones during the accident. Fracture headaches can come with intense pain that typically begins at the base of the neck or may be localized to the area of injury. A fracture headache can be persistent and may also come with symptoms of nausea, confusion, stiffness in the neck, and slurred speech.

Muscle Spasm Headaches

Another common type of car accident headache is the muscle spasm headache. When the muscles in the neck and upper back are stretched and strained due to the force of impact, injuries to these soft tissues can lead to reduced range of motion and inflammation in the area. Muscle contractions and muscle spasms can cause headaches that may become more severe with certain movements.

Occipital Neuralgia Headaches

If you suffer a herniated disc during a car accident, then you might experience occipital neuralgia headaches. This type of headache refers to a pinched nerve called the occipital nerve that may be compressed by a slipped spinal disc. In addition to painful headaches, you may also experience tenderness, tingling, numbness, and even a burning sensation in your extremities.

If you are concerned about a car accident headache that doesn’t seem to go away or is getting worse over time, then our car accident doctors at AICA Orthopedics are here to help. Visit us online to find a convenient location near you and learn more about how we can provide you with lasting pain relief after a car accident.


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