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Headaches After Head Injuries

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 2 Jan 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Headaches Head Brain Skull Injury

If you have ever bumped your head and been left with a lingering headache and perhaps some light bruising and a bump then you know how just how sensitive the head is to injury. Some head injuries, however, can be severe and recovery may be much more complicated. In fact, head injuries may not always leave a person with obvious structural abnormalities but the effects can still be crippling.

After Head Injuries

Headaches may sometimes persist for many months or years. Even a direct blow to the head and skull does not necessarily result in a headache immediately afterwards, which can mean a postponed to the doctor and further complications from delayed treatment.

Headaches following a head injury may be mild, moderate or severe and the extent of the injury itself is not always indicative of the severity of headaches. Mild headaches following a head injury are those that usually don't prevent a person from functioning daily. These types of headaches tend to respond to over-the-counter pain medications as well as general relaxation techniques. Although you may need to take medication regularly to prevent their return, they usually absolve after a few weeks to several months. Moderate headaches may show some improvement with treatment similar to that used for mild headaches, but they still remain albeit to a less painful degree. You may experience some relief from medication but not enough to completely eliminate the headaches.

With severe headaches, you are probably unable to function at work, school or in any normal capacity. Common headache medications don't alleviate the pain and no amount of immediate therapeutic attention provides any substantial relief. Severe headaches are truly disabling as they prevent a person from participating in social activities and functioning in normal daily life.

Concussions

A mild brain injury is usually classed as a concussion. When a concussion occurs, there is a disruption in normal brain functioning that may occur in conjunction with cognitive confusion and fainting. Some of the imaging tests commonly used following head injury doesn’t always show any major abnormalities although undetected nerve problems from the injury may still cause chronic headaches and pain. Any headaches that collectively exist for an extended length of time are typically referred to as post-concussion headaches.

Headaches and Bleeding

If you have suffered from a brain injury and find that your headaches are becoming more severe, it is important that you see your doctor and explain all of your symptoms. You may have bleeding in the brain that can be slow in exhibiting obvious symptoms. Sometimes a headache is the only indication of serious bleeding and you should obtain prompt medical treatment.

Treating Headaches After Brain Injury

One of the unfortunate realities for people who suffer from headaches following a head injury is that they will probably experience other symptoms related to the injury, which then complicates treatment. Dizziness, sensory problems, depression, paranoia and sleep disorders are common complaints from those who have suffered a head injury. Treatment tends to focus on the symptoms rather than a root cause because there is usually no 'cure' for brain injuries. Anti-depressants are often effective for treating pain and any accompanying depression or anxiety.

Your Lifestyle

Eliminating stimulants such as coffee and cigarettes is advised and avoiding substances such as alcohol can be helpful in preventing headaches after a head injury. Although many people suffer from sleep disorders following a head injury, try to get as much rest as possible. Exercise may be beneficial, even if it's just a simple brisk walk outside for ten minutes. Keep a strong support network if you can and be sure to alert your boss or any colleagues at work regarding your head injury and any headaches you are experiencing.

If you are open and maintain communication, your work can hopefully be accommodating to any special needs you may have. Most people who suffer from headaches after a brain injury will experience relief within several months to a year and for those who suffer from persistent headaches, treatments can make head pain more manageable.

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[Add a Comment]
close to a year ago, i got my head hit with a frozen water bottle, and the pain went away but became noticeable again one to two days ago. is it serious?
joe - 2-Jan-17 @ 3:26 PM
A week ago, i banged my head on a steam pipe on my top left crown. I still get headaches, but now they're on the right side near the temple and top, has a dull pressure feel. It also radiates to my neck...The thing is that I'm leaving the country tomorrow and i cant see a doctor at all. Also tylenol helps a little bit for a few hours, but i wake up with nausea, then it goes away. I don't know if that's related to stress or the injury itself since i suffer from anxiety a lot
Ford - 30-Dec-16 @ 3:05 PM
@Soul Ja - I do HOPE you have taken yourself to your doctors or A&E.
EllieOOO - 13-Oct-16 @ 2:26 PM
I was running accross my bed 3 days ago and completely "brain farted" that my ceiling fan was on. I ended up breaking a fan blade off with my forehead. I don't remember leaving my room but it bled pretty good for a few minutes. Eye brow to eye brow to hair line is swollen and my headaches are getting worse (absolutely intense) especially when I bend over or walk around, not to mention slight to moderate dizziness. Love being a happening waiting to accident!!!
Soul Ja - 13-Oct-16 @ 1:06 AM
Tripped over my grandsons makeshift bed whilst on holiday and banged my head against bedside cabinet. Trip to hospital and some tests later I was sent home with no scan, although I have no memory of the accident taking place. My head still hurts and I am taking prescribed Codeine tablets for pain relief. Should I have been scanned?
Sweetpie - 29-Sep-16 @ 3:05 PM
Hit the side of my head in a swimming pool.Have a lump on the side and a migraine.
Jane - 29-Jul-16 @ 1:08 PM
semkolom - Your Question:
I have bumped my head hard quiet a lot since am anemic and usually pass out or blackout. But recently I have started feeling some pains over my right eyebrow and my head as a whole and it gets worst anytime I bend over to pick something up, I hope you guys can try and help me find a home medication since I can’t afford to go the hospital to get professional help.

Our Response:
We are not a medical service, therefore cannot advise and/or give professional medical help. You would need to seek professional help from a doctor. I hope you manage to sort it out.
HeadacheExpert - 28-Jul-16 @ 11:06 AM
i have bumped my head hard quiet a lot since am anemic and usually pass out or blackout. But recently I have started feeling some pains over my right eyebrow and my head as a whole and it gets worst anytime I bend over to pick something up, I hope you guys can try and help me find a home medication since I can’t afford to go the hospital to get professional help.
semkolom - 27-Jul-16 @ 11:36 AM
I was at work and drop something on my head / bridge of my nose had a headache and neck pains since. Is this serious ?
Sam45 - 25-Jun-16 @ 6:03 PM
My had injury; resulted in 6 stitches along my hair line and bruising across my eyes and down my cheek and jaw, lasting weeks.I blacked out and vomitted. No CT scan or x-Ray was taken by hospital. 2 months since I am suffering cold sensations like water dripping down my head, headaches, throbbing, numbness on my scalp and areas that way from the wound site, but are very tender. The wound has been infected, but I can't understand the sensations of pain 5 cm along from the wound towards the crown of my head.Could it be an internal injury not picked up as no scans taken?
Seza Thacker - 21-Jun-16 @ 12:28 AM
I was punched to the right side of my head The pain has been there for a week. Just on the right side of my head, my right eye and I get an ear ache sometime. It's getting worse day by day. Want should I do?
Maz - 10-Jun-16 @ 8:54 PM
I was punched to the head twice on the right side just above the ear. The has been there for a week. I don't feel anywhere else just on the right side of my head an my eye. What should I do?
Maz - 10-Jun-16 @ 8:48 PM
Golfmom - Your Question:
I fell and hit my head on a nightstand two weeks ago had a headache when it happened but not since yet I still have a bump that is tender, why do you think this is?Thanks,Kathy

Our Response:
I'm afraid we cannot answer such specific queries - you would have to visit your GP who will be able to check you out properly.
HeadacheExpert - 6-Jun-16 @ 10:01 AM
I fell and hit my head on a nightstand two weeks ago had a headache when it happened but not since yet I still have a bump that is tender, why do you think this is? Thanks,Kathy
Golfmom - 5-Jun-16 @ 12:33 AM
I was getting groceries out my car trunk and the trunk fell on my head and I have a big knot and have had a bad headache since.. What should I do?? I took Excedrin and aleve but nothing is working!
robin83 - 20-Apr-16 @ 11:29 PM
Ladyt - Your Question:
I was bumped by a car 5 days ago I fell and hit my head. I have a scratch and bruise. I had a hair clasp on it shattered causing the scratch. There was very little bleeding. Minor headach that evening but today I got up and felt dizzy. Is this normal

Our Response:
I should visit your GP if you have any symptoms as a result of the bump, just to be on the safe side.
HeadacheExpert - 18-Apr-16 @ 1:56 PM
I was bumped by a car 5 days agoI fell and hit my head. I have a scratch and bruise. I had a hair clasp on it shattered causing the scratch. There was very little bleeding.Minor headach that evening but today I got up and felt dizzy. Is this normal
Ladyt - 17-Apr-16 @ 9:24 PM
Pooh Bear - Your Question:
I was 6 months old and a blood clot remove. And I get headaches on my left side where they operate on. What is it form and causing it

Our Response:
I'm afraid we cannot advise, but if you are concerned in any way you should visit your GP.
HeadacheExpert - 11-Apr-16 @ 2:20 PM
I was 6 monthsold and a blood clot remove. And i get headaches on my left side where they operate on. What is it form and causing it
Pooh Bear - 11-Apr-16 @ 3:42 AM
I hit my forehead on a doorjam three weeks ago. I hit it so hard you could hear the clunk three rooms away and literally saw stars. Afterwards I had a dent where I hit it and the next day a bruise. It's been three weeks and my forehead still hurts to the touch even doing a simple thing like putting moisturizer on and I have a headache every day. I'm thinking of going to the er tomorrow. I don't think I should still have pain there and the headaches are unbearable. I talked to a nurse and she said I could have a brain bleed or a fracture. I'm afraid to find out. Any comments would be appreciated.
Barbie - 20-Feb-16 @ 3:17 AM
Emmy - Your Question:
I hit my head 6 days ago. And that same day after I hit it I felt totally fine but the following day woke up with a mild headache and dizziness and have had it off and on up until now. Should I give it more time and see if it goes away or go see a doctor soon? Thanks!

Our Response:
You should always get checked out by your GP in cases where there may have been possible concussion or if you have any continued symptoms after a bang to the head or fall.
HeadacheExpert - 26-Jan-16 @ 2:20 PM
I hit my head 6 days ago. And that same day after I hit it I felt totally fine but the following day woke up with a mild headache and dizziness and have had it off and on up until now. Should I give it more time and see if it goes away or go see a doctor soon? Thanks!
Emmy - 26-Jan-16 @ 10:21 AM
i received a blunt force to the upper back part of my head by a thick square piece of wood leaning against the wall which fellon my head while I was sitting down and at the time my head really hurt for a few minutes and had a lump but no evident damage. It's now been two weeks since the incident and at first I got twinges and mild headaches at the lower back of my head but now for the past few days I keep getting uncomfortable pain above my eye on my forehead. Could this be related and should I go to a doctor? Thanks.
Hollloll97 - 30-Dec-15 @ 1:18 AM
@Di - I'm afraid we can't give medical advice. However, if this is still troubling you, you might want to go and see your GP, as it could be a case of mild concussion. I hope you recover soon, it sounds like a nasty bump.
HeadacheExpert - 1-Jun-15 @ 10:04 AM
I had a pot fall on my head two days ago and I am suffering from mild sinus headaches.The bump is gone and the cut is healed but still have a mild sinus headache. Anyone else have this?
Di - 27-May-15 @ 1:16 PM
I have accident and my head bangs on the cement( back of the head) it is almost 1yr after the accident but until now it keeps on hurting and feel pressure in my head the affect the veins of my body that keeps me worry, all the laboratory results was negative and the doctor told that isinflammatory of my nerves and give pain reliever please help me cause I am worried whats happening
Ralph - 12-Jan-14 @ 3:00 AM
I'm a 33 year old female. I hit my head on a kitchen cabinet door edge hard 9 days ago, and have been experiencing a mild tension headache since. It's getting annoying. I didn't have any LOC, vomiting, or any signs of CSF leakage when it happened so I didn't go to the hospital. I did have an outward lump on my head, which has since went down and my scalp is better. My in-laws were also coming in from out of town, & I didn't want to go to the E.R. So I just brushed it off & figured I'd feel better in a few days. Now it's 9 days later and I still have a mild headache. If this doesn't clear in a few more days, guess I'm headed to the doctor soon.
CRVMommy13 - 23-Nov-13 @ 2:44 PM
I got knocked unconcious while playing afl football,was flown to perth and woke up 2 days later.deveoped pta (post trumatic amensia).this happened in may 2012 8 months ago and still get headaches.have good and bad days,they were coming from the back of my head but now seem to coming from all around head.have been getting constant help and had a ct scan 2 days ago.which iam going to doctors to view results in week or so.headached seem to always be there just intensey is differnt from day to day.just have to keep positive and stay healthy
rowey - 13-Jan-13 @ 11:21 AM
I hit both sides of my head and temple a week ago and ever sunset I've been getting migrains and stomach aches and dizziness it sucks
Nia - 22-Sep-12 @ 1:34 PM
I was recently rear ended while we were at a stop sign; I remember most that I was talking and all of a sudden my teeth clicked as they shut forcefully. I also was stunned but aware of a motion of my head and upper body and the realization that I hit my head on the head rest which propelled it forward then back again. Although I was stunned, didn't know what hit me sort of feeling, I thought I would be ok in a bit of time. It was Christmas Eve when the accident occured, and today is the 20th of January; I've had non stop pains in my head which occur all over, randomly without warning. I thought they were going away but they returned fortrhwith and have never stopped. The pain is from a different area at any given moment. I dont know if and when it will go away but assumed it was from a concussion and wouldn't last this long. All the while I felt somethign was askew, not right. I had fibromyalgia and crippling of my hands some years ago which the accident also brought back immediately. I've been in somatic pain ever since the accident. No matter what I do helps, and I am on low dosage of morphine sulphate for neuropathic pain; even that doesn't help this head pain. I am not sure what to do but know that there is a chacne that bleeding might be present so I ought to get an MRI. I am afraid, however. We'll see how it isin a few weeks. Right now if I even think too hard it causes me much pain.
Cher - 19-Jan-12 @ 5:36 AM
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