Headaches are common after concussion. There are a variety of reasons why headaches happen. Knowing why you’re having headaches helps us to treat them accordingly.
Types of Headache
Usually caused by the brain becoming hypersensitive.
Dull, throbbing pain, usually on one side of the head (not both), nausea or vomiting, light and sound sensitivity, moderate to severe pain level, worse with activity, sometimes has an aura (or warning sign), usually lasts about 4-72 hours.
Medication, rest, modifying environment, light and noise strategies, diet and hydration
Usually related to muscle tension, stress, lack of sleep or eye strain.
Tight, squeezing pain on both sides of (or entire) head, mild to moderate pain level, tenderness of the head and muscles, no change with physical activity, can last up to 1 week
nausea or vomiting, both light or sound sensitivity
medication, stress reduction, modifying environment, light and noise strategies, exercise, diet and hydration, sleep intervention
Usually related to injury to the neck or back of head.
Cervicogenic (neck) Type
Pain in the neck, shoulders and back of the head, sometimes travel over the top of the head and behind eyes, pain varies in intensity, not consistent. Ranges from mild to severe. Neck movement or positioning can make the pain worse. Pressure on the neck or head makes things worse.
nausea or vomiting, light or sound sensitivity
medication, exercises (movement, stretching, strengthening), manual therapy for the neck
Usually occur when you’ve been taking pain medication for long periods (months or longer).
Headaches that feel like tension headache, or occasionally migraine type. Occur most days, and are constant. Pain sometimes worse in morning
Stopping taking pain medications can also lead to similar symptoms due to withdrawal
adjust medication, exercise, diet and hydration