Condition. Post-Traumatic Headache

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Post-Traumatic Headache Meaning

A traumatic brain injury occurs when a sudden force injures the brain and disrupts its function. A concussion is also referred to as a mild traumatic brain injury. A concussion can occur without loss of consciousness, and the severity of the brain injury does not seem to be related to the risk of developing post-traumatic headaches or post-concussion syndrome.
After sustaining a head injury, you may experience a new headache within less than seven days – this is known as “post-traumatic headache.”

Post-Traumatic Headache Symptoms

Post-concussion syndrome and post-traumatic headaches usually appear shortly after the injury, within a week to ten days. The post-traumatic headache symptoms sometimes disappear on their own within a few days, but in some cases, they can persist for over a year. In addition to headaches, symptoms of post-concussion syndrome can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia and fatigue
  • Sensitivity to light and/or noise
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Poor concentration and loss of memory

Post-traumatic headaches are usually tension-type headaches and may be associated with injuries to the neck that occurred with the head injury. They may also be similar to migraine headaches. Emotional changes sometimes also occur, such as depression.

Post-Traumatic Headache Causes?

Some researchers believe those post-traumatic headaches and the symptoms that accompany them are brought on by injuries that occurred to the brain’s structure or due to disruption in the way pain signals travel in the nerve pathways in the brain.


Other experts think that the causes of post-traumatic headache symptoms are associated with psychological factors since symptoms like headaches, problems sleeping, and dizziness are common in people who have disorders like anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.


Many times, both the emotional responses and the physical effects of a brain injury play a part in the development of post-traumatic headaches and post-concussion syndrome.

Post-Traumatic Headache Risk Factors:

The reasons why some people who suffer traumatic brain injury develop headaches while other individuals do not are yet to be determined. Some factors that make it more likely post-traumatic headaches will develop after head injury. These include:

  • Gender: Some studies indicate women are more likely to have post-traumatic headaches, but this statistic may be because women, more often than men, seek treatment.
  • Age: Post-traumatic headaches are more common as age increases
  • Type of trauma: The types of injury most often leading to post-concussion syndrome include:
  • Sports injuries
  • Assaults
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Falls

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