Headaches after Auto Accident

Headaches after Auto Accident

How does one classify a headache caused by an auto accident versus a headache caused by something else? It's a hard case to nail down because of all the different types of headaches and known (and unknown) causes. A headache that is derived from an auto accident is most likely an after-effect of neck pain or whiplash, or is caused mostly from rear-end collisions whether whiplash is caused or not. According to the International Headache Society, there are three primary types of headaches:

  1. Primary headaches: which include tension, cluster and migraine including smaller less common headaches
  2. Secondary headaches: which occur from health problems related to the head and neck, and
  3. Nerve pain: that is caused by pain and inflammation within the head due to outside influences, such as a car accident.

In this case, we are focusing on the third cause for headaches: auto accidents. Only one third of all whiplash injuries stemming from auto accidents do not include headache pain. In many cases, a whiplash headache can last for more than twelve to fourteen months, though for most headache patients, the pain subsides in two to four months. The reason for the difference in healing time is directly correlated to the amount of nerve pain trauma within a person's head. The more trauma and nerve pain damage there is, the longer the healing process.

In many cases for headache sufferers, a CT scan or MRI may not show damage and therefore a neurologist cannot help the patient. What a patient needs in this case is a good chiropractor who understands that healing a headache is more easily attained when knowing the direct cause - in this case, an auto accident. A chiropractor will not necessarily focus treatment on the head as much as he will focus treatment on the spine. He will use motion techniques, try to realign any spinal discs that have slipped out of place and prescribe a rigorous exercise program that will reduce muscle spasms while improving muscle strength. There is no one answer for every person. As stated before, each auto accident is unique. Each person who is in an auto accident has different symptoms based upon his experience and the severity of the accident. With each new patient, a chiropractor will assess the patient's injuries and apply the best solution in each case.

Chiropractors generally do not utilize prescription medications for curing the pain their patients suffer from. And while common over-the-counter medications may help reduce the swelling of a headache temporarily, the medicine is only a band-aid. The swelling will persist without proper care because a headache is normally a side effect brought on by other issues. A chiropractor can help alleviate headache pain caused by whiplash and auto accidents.