Munson Health
 
Post-Traumatic Headache

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Causes

Post-traumatic headache occurs after a trauma to the head and neck. The headache may be caused by:
  • Blood or fluid buildup inside the skull
  • Changes in the brain caused by the injury
  • Neck and skull injuries that are still healing
  • Tension and stress
There are different types of headaches. Common post-traumatic headache types include:
  • Tension headaches due to muscle tension or spasms and stress
  • Migraine headaches due to a sensitive area in the brain that triggers a pain signal
  • Cervicogenic headaches due to injury to the muscles and soft tissues
  • Rebound headaches from medications used to treat headaches
The headache may also include psychiatric, behavioral, or social factors.
 

RESOURCES

American Academy of Family Physicians
http://www.aafp.org

The National Headache Foundation
http://www.headaches.org

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians
http://caep.ca

Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

 

References


Finkel A. Concussion and post-traumatic headache. American Headache Association website. Available at: http://www.americanheadachesociety.org/assets/1/7/Alan%5FFinkel%5F-%5FConcussion%5Fand%5FPTH.pdf. Accessed January 9, 2014.


Headache. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated November 22, 2013. Accessed January 9, 2014.


Headaches after head injuries—post-traumatic headaches. Brainline.org website. Available at: http://www.brainline.org/content/2008/12/headaches-after-head-injuries-8212-post-traumatic-headaches.html. Accessed January 9, 2014.


Headaches after traumatic brain injury. Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center website. Available at: http://www.msktc.org/tbi/factsheets/Headaches-After-Traumatic-Brain-Injury. Accessed January 9, 2014.


Lane JC, Arciniegas DB. Post-traumatic headache. Curr Treat Options Neurol. 2002 Jan;4(1):89-104.


Lenaerts ME, Couch JR. Posttraumatic headache. Curr Treat Options Neurol. 2004;6:507-517.


Marcus DA. Disability and chronic post-traumatic headache. Headache: Journal of Head & Face Pain. 2003;43:117-121.


Post-traumatic headache. National Headache Foundation website. Available at: http://www.headaches.org/education/Headache%5FTopic%5FSheets/Post%5FTraumatic%5FHeadache. Accessed January 9, 2014.


Sheedy J, Harvey E, et al. Emergency department assessment of mild traumatic brain injury and the prediction of post-concussive symptoms in a 3-month prospective study. J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2009;24(5):333-343.

 

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