Anyone who has ever experienced a mild to severe headache understands just how painful and disruptive they can be. This is especially true of individuals who experience frequent or chronic headaches as well as those who report severe dull or piercing pain. For individuals who have experienced a traumatic brain injury, headaches are a common and sometimes long-term side effect.

For brain injury sufferers, headaches may be linked to pockets of blood or fluid at the injury site, injury-related changes in the brain, the healing process and surgery. Additionally, frequently TBIs are accompanied by other injuries to the neck, shoulders and spine that may result in an individual experiencing one or more types of headaches.

Due to the wide variance in the intensity and duration of headaches and in order to find the most appropriate and effective treatment, a doctor will attempt to identify which type a TBI victim suffers. For example, an individual who suffers dull throbbing head pain along with nausea and sensitivity to light and sound may be diagnosed as suffering a migraine. Other types of headaches frequently experienced by TBI survivors include those related to tension and stress as well as injuries to the neck muscles and soft tissue.

With time, many TBI sufferers report that headaches go away. However, in cases where headaches worsen or are accompanied by other worrisome symptoms including nausea, muscle weakness and fatigue; it’s wise to see a doctor.

A TBI can adversely impact an individual’s health and life in numerous ways. In cases where a TBI resulted due to the negligent acts of a driver, property owner or physician; one may choose to consult with an attorney to explore legal options.

Source: Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center, “Headaches After Traumatic Brain Injury,” Oct. 8, 2015