Understanding Post Traumatic Headaches – Important Questions

 Understanding Post Traumatic Headaches

By Gordon Johnson

Call me at 800-992-9447

Part of understanding post traumatic headaches is that they are not to be considered a diagnosis.  The pain associated with the headache is merely a symptom of another underlying problem.  The pain that goes along with headaches after suffering a brain injury does not mean the pain is coming from the brain, as the brain itself is insensitive to pain.  It is important for your physician to understand the underlying cause of the pain.

For instance, the physician should inquire on how the incident of the injury occurred.  He should find out what the mechanisms of the injury were such as restraints in the vehicle, the speed of the vehicle and whether there was a direct blow to the head or was the brain injury caused by acceleration/deceleration also known as “whiplash”.  As and important aspect of understanding post traumatic headaches your physician should determine the cause by inquiring about what is called the three C’s;

  1. Cerebral (damage inside the brain);
  2. Cranial (damage outside the brain) and/or;
  3. Cervical acceleration/deceleration or “whiplash”

There are several different types of injuries that can lead to pain being generated and lead to headaches.

Another question that should be asked in understanding post traumatic headaches is whether the patient had pre-injury headaches in understanding post traumatic headaches.  Keep in mind, even though the patient may have had headaches before the accident doesn’t mean that the post traumatic headaches are more severe than they had suffered before the accident. Family history of headaches is another important question. For totally understanding post traumatic headaches other question that should be asked is the frequency and severity of the headache, types of symptoms accompanying the pain and the severity of these, is there headache aura involved.

In addition to these questions they need to understand how the headaches disable the patient from normal functioning. Also, do headaches come at a specific time of day.  With all of this information the physician should be able to the cause and source of the headaches and therefore subscribe a treatment to ease the pain.

Next Types of Post Traumatic Headache


Gordon Johnson

Attorney Gordon Johnson is one of the nations leading brain injury advocates. He is Past-Chair of the TBILG, a national group of more than 150 brain injury advocates. He has spoken at numerous brain injury seminars and is the author of some of the most read brain injury web pages on the internet.

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One Comment

  1. Dj Asselin
    Mar 06, 2014 @ 12:13:27

    I am a huge advocate for folks to get your own medical records and read them. Especially if you are under litigation. Knowing what happened, what’s injured is huge in your favor. If anyone tried to infer that you had damage before you suffered your brain injury, then make them prove it.


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