Headaches after a car accident are quite common. It could be caused by whiplash or a closed head injury. It is important to see a doctor if you are experiencing constant headaches after an you have been involved in a car accident. It is possible you may have a more serious injury. You may have a constant throbbing pain in your head. This pain may not start right after your car accident, but may take days or hours. We will explore why people get headaches after car accidents and see what can be done about them.
What causes headaches after a car accident
1: A blow to the head in the car accident
If you are sitting in a car and are hit in in the rear, side, or front area, its possible for you to get thrown about and strike your head on items inside or part of your car. It’s possible your could head hit the steering wheel or the door window or pillar, or even your passenger. You may not notice any head pain right away. After all you just have been hit, you may not feel any pain for quite some time. Any blow to your head should be considered a serious injury that needs to be examined ASAP. It is possible you may have ruptured blood vessels inside your head or may have fractured your skull. Never the less, you need to be examined and possibly have a CT scan performed to see what the extent of your injuries are.
Whiplash causes headaches because the muscles, tendons and nerves around the neck become inflamed and irritated. The tendons, and nerves connect your neck to your head. This could be why you get head hurts after you have suffered whiplash in a car accident. The pain usually starts in your neck, then moves to your head. It may last anywhere from 30 minutes to hours. The head pain is usually more painful than the neck pain suffered from whiplash.Whiplash is a common injury in a rear end collision. Your head is forced forward and then back very rapidly. This whipping motion is where whiplash gets its name. Nerves run up from your neck and wrap around the top of your head. Even though your neck is injured, the pain moves to the base of your skull causing headaches. These types of headaches may take days or even weeks to appear after your auto accident. The headaches can be mild to severe.
It’s possible you may have fractured your skull. While there are many different types of skull fractures, the main cause would be a blow to the head. This blow to the head would be have to be strong. Your bones dont break easily. After fracturing your head in a car accident you could suffer brain damage. A broken piece of bone could penetrate your brain, this would not be a good senero. You need to see a Doctor ASAP if you you having headaches and especially if you suffered a blow to your head in the car accident.
Symptoms of a skull fracture
- bleeding from your ears, nostrils, or around your eyes
- bruising on your face or head
- swelling and tenderness
- indentation on your head
Any fracture to your head should be taken seriously. More than likely a trip to the ER is a good decision. They will do an XRAY or CT SCAN to determine if your head is fractured. They will then take the appropriate steps for treatment of your fracture.
In my career as a legal investigator i have seen several clients who have told me after there car accident, they had spikes in there blood pressure. Hypertension causes pressure in your head to build up. This is caused by your blood pressure rapidly rising. This will cause a severe headache. Taking aspirin or over the counter pain relievers will not relieve this type of headache. Not only are these headaches dangerous, they can cause other issues as well. If you have been in an car accident and have sudden spikes in your blood pressure see a doctor ASAP
Other than headaches, hypertension can also cause
- Blurred vision
- Chest pain
It is possible to have a concussion and not even know it. Concussions are caused, by a blow to your head during the car accident. You may get “knocked out”, but the majority of people dont even know they have one. Concussions can cause headaches, temporary loss of memory, balance and coordination issues.
Symptoms of a Concussion
- Amnesia surrounding the car accident
- Delayed response
- Loss of consciousness
- Ringing in the ears
- Speech slurred
Your brain is surrounded by fluid. This fluid acts a cushion for your brain. A blow to the head will cause this fluid not to cushion your brain. Your brain hits your skull. Your brain can become bruised from this blow. More may suffer severe headaches after this occurs. You need to seek emergency medical treatment immediately.
Different types of headaches associated with car accidents
- Analgesic Rebound
- Sympathetic Nerve Dysfunction
Vascular occur when you have poor or abnormal cerebral circulation. Abnormal or poor cerebral circulation could last for months after a whiplash injury
Migraines are common with whiplash and usually start within hours or days of the injury
Analgesic Rebound is the result of overusing medication or a direct side affect of the medication prescribed for whiplash pain.
Sympathetic Nerve Dysfunction is caused by damage to the cervical nerve truck
Could headaches be a indication that I have a closed type head injury
Closed type head injuries are injuries with the cranium itself. These are injuries that are not apparent on the outside of your head , like a abrasion or a cut on your leg. This would be something you could not see. If you suspect you have something more than just a headache, you need to see your doctor right away. He can order a mri or a cat scan to determine what type of closed head injury you might have and what he is going to do treat it.
- Conditions in the brain such as swelling, inflammation, bleeding, and signs of injury
- Information about the presence, location, and size of abscesses, cysts, and tumors
- Evaluate the pituitary gland, pineal gland, and sinuses
- Look at malformed or injured blood vessels in the head
- Find the cause of headaches, weakness, or a change in mental status
If you have been involved in an accident and are suffering headaches, you need to see a doctor right away. It would be peace of mind to know that your headaches are caused by whiplash rather than a closed type head injury.