Almost everyone has experienced a headache at some point in time and likely assumes it is brought on by stress, dehydration, or another cause. While most headaches are simply annoyances that go away, sometimes a headache could be a sign of a traumatic brain injury. Although most people’s headaches go away with a few pain pills, those who have suffered a brain injury aren’t so fortunate.
While not every person with a brain injury suffers from severe headaches, headaches are common symptoms of traumatic brain injuries and they can be persistent, painful, and even debilitating. Headaches can range in severity from a dull ache to a sharp shooting pain. Brain injury victims typically suffer from four different intense types of headaches, including:
- Migraine headache. The throbbing pain from a migraine is generally felt at the temple or forehead and can last from four to seventy-two hours. Migraines generally cause a person to experience nausea, vomiting, and muscle weakness and be sensitive to light and sound. It is common that migraines can be brought on by fatigue, stress, menstrual cycles, irregular meals, and mood swings, but they typically go away with pain medication and sleep. Unfortunately, a migraine headache can be very intense and bring someone’s day to a halt.
- Tension headache. The intense pressure from this type of headache typically arrives later in the day and may affect one’s sleep. This type of headache is generally the outcome of whiplash or damage that occurred to the neck, jaw, or vertebrae. Tensions headaches are also known as pressure headaches that are brought on by stress, worry, poor posture and other triggers. These types of headaches can be chronic—lasting for months at a time.
- Post-traumatic headache. The pain, burning or tingling sensation from this type of headache generally increases with a light touch. The symptoms of a post-traumatic headache are similar to that of an atypical migraine or tension headache; however, this type of headache shows up months or years after a brain injury.
- Cluster headache. The severe pain from this type of headache is usually felt behind the eyes and one side of the face—although the pain may move to the other side during the headache duration, which can last anywhere from fifteen minutes to three hours. This type of headache is usually caused from nerve damage or an injury to the back of the neck, and it can be brought on by anger, overwork, and alcohol and nicotine use.
Even though a headache may not be the most severe symptom of a brain injury, an intense headache can disrupt one’s life and cause irritability, depression, and trouble concentrating and working. This is why it is important that people with headaches are discussing them with their neurologists.
If you have suffered one of these types of headaches following head trauma that wasn’t your fault, you need to learn about your rights to a financial recovery. Don’t let the insurance company downplay your headache in order to pay you less money in damages. Headaches can affect your overall quality of life, and you should be compensated accordingly. For a free, no-obligation case consultation, call us today at (703) 721-4233 to learn more about filing a brain injury claim.