Post-Traumatic Headache Syndrome

A Post-Traumatic Headache in San Diego

Post-Traumatic Headache SyndromeA post-traumatic headache is the most common complaint of post-concussion syndrome. It has been repeatedly demonstrated that a post-traumatic headache is most common and indeed often most severe in patients with the least injury.

In terms of diagnosis, post-traumatic headache is thought to be a secondary headache because the injury is from the head trauma, not another issue. Pain caused by Chronic Post Traumatic Headache can often be reduced through chiropractic care, exercise and living a healthy lifestyle.

Many cases of a post-traumatic headache will resolve within days to weeks but there are cases in which patients suffer from the symptoms for months, years or even their lifetime (in extreme cases).

Headaches After Head Injuries — Post-Traumatic Headaches

Headaches After Head Injuries — Post-Traumatic HeadachesHeadache immediately following a head injury usually clears after minutes or days but sometimes headaches may persist for months or rarely years. The long-term headaches are called post-traumatic or post-concussion headaches.

One can understand why headaches may follow a moderate or severe injury to the brain such as aconcussion (bruise) or laceration (tear). What has been more difficult to understand and has presented an ongoing controversy are chronicheadaches following mild head injuries.

Mild injuries of the brain are characterized as aconcussion (a brief disturbance of brain function causing loss of consciousness or transient difficulty in thought processes).

Because the neurological examination after mildhead injury is normal and standard tests as well as imaging studies (such as MRI or CT of the head) similarly fail to reveal abnormalities, many thought that the symptoms following mild head injury were psychological. See more here.

At risk for chronic post-traumatic headache are individuals who suffered migraines or who had pre-existing headaches prior to the traumatic event. Headaches can wear the patient down emotionally. Encourage adequate sleep and the avoidance of stress and possible food triggers, such as caffeine, alcohol, and hard cheeses.  Brain injuries can come in many forms and one of them is a concussion.


A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that is caused by force transmitted to the head that results in disrupted brain function.

Symptoms of a Concussion

Symptoms can present themselves immediately following a concussion, after a few hours or even months after the injury. Once a concussion occurs you are more susceptible to repeat occurrences, so please seek treatment as soon as possible following even a mild head injury to minimize the damage.

  • Physical symptoms: headache, fatigue, nausea, light or noise sensitivity, balance problems, numbness/tingling, dizziness, changes in vision, ringing in ears, sleep issues
  • Emotional symptoms: irritability, sadness, enhanced emotions, nervousness, anxiety, personality changes
  • Long term symptoms: difficulty concentrating or remembering, mental fog, slow mental and physical responses, confused or forgotten recent information, vision issues. Read more here.

Concussions cause the brain to dangerously moving back and forth inside the skull. Over time, repeated concussions can change chemicals and cells in the brain, including those responsible for concentration, problem-solving and mood.   If it’s ignored may lead to the worst problem.

Concussion Triples the Rate of Suicide – Chiropractic Offers Hope

The Role of Chiropractic Care in Concussion Management

I previously wrote about how chiropractic care can help alleviate and prevent symptoms associated with concussions. The common and sometimes lasting and debilitating symptoms associated with concussions can be a huge burden on the lives of patients.


It should not be difficult to conclude that living with any of these symptoms for days or weeks can be a source of unwanted stress and hardship. Living with them for years is no quality of life. The constant pain, and feeling of something not being “right” are some of the hallmarks of depression. Yet some of these symptoms are manifestations of problems not just localized to the brain. This is where Doctors of Chiropractic can play a vital role.

There is an expanding body of literature underscoring the significant benefits that chiropractic intervention has on recovery. The lingering concussive symptoms can be attributed to subluxation of the neck – not just the agitation of the brain. There are numerous published reports and case studies of patients visiting chiropractors with post-concussive symptoms and being symptom free after time spent with a Doctor of Chiropractic. Read the full article here.

Are Concussions Really Serious?

Severe, repeated TBI – like suffering multiple concussions – can result in long-term cognitive changes. However, the long-term effects of concussions remain unclear. Researchers do know is that the disease is triggered by head trauma, which permanently changes part of the brain known to trigger memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, impulse control, aggression, depression and progressive dementia.

Ensuring a full recovery is critical to help prevent future injury and long-term damage. Chiropractic is a great adjunct to this recovery. For more information, give us a call now (619) 831-8777 and see how we can help.

More Related Articles to Read:
Migraine Causes San Diego Chiropractor Point of View
Chiropractic Treatment Headaches – Chiropractor San Diego

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Author: Allison Yardley

Allison has 6 years in practice as a Chiropractor's Assistant and is a licensed Massage Therapist who writes for numerous blogs online. Feel free to comment or ask questions regarding any of Alley's blog posts.

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