Headaches after concussion occur when there has been blunt trauma to the head or neck. This can be from a car accident and “whiplash”, falling and hitting the head against an object, or intentional shaking or blunt force to the neck and head. When the head is violently jolted, the brain bangs against the skull resulting in a bruise on the brain. This causes a variety of symptoms, one of which is a concussion headache. Luckily, there are numerous treatments and solutions to post concussion headaches.
How to Get Rid of Headaches After Concussion
First, the sufferer should be examined by a physician to ensure there isn’t a more serious injury on the brain. In some cases of extreme trauma to the head, there can be bleeding or swelling of the brain which causes pain similar to a headache. Doctors will often take a CT scan of the head to find the concussion headache location, sometimes an MRI(1) as well, to ensure that it is only a concussion and not something worse.
After getting medical tests done, the individual symptoms need to be treated. Unfortunately, there is no cure-all treatment for concussions because brain injuries are extremely complex and vary from person to person. Pain from headaches is one of the most common symptoms and can be treated. The doctor may prescribe medication for migraines to eliminate the pain, or an anti-depressant to decrease the intensity of the pain.
The sufferer should take an audit of their lifestyle when treating a concussion headache. Excess tobacco-smoking and drinking alcohol can increase the severity of headache pain. Lack of sleep and an unhealthy diet can also prolong healing. People who have busy lives and many commitments will often try to go straight into their normal routines, but the number one healer of concussions is resting. Lifestyle activities and commitments must wait while the sufferer rests in a comfortable, dark, cool place. Sometimes placing a cold, wet washcloth on the head can temporarily relieve the pain. It is also recommended to avoid staring at cell phone or telephone screens until the head pain subsides because staring at screens can strain the eyes making the pain worse.
Additional treatments for concussion headaches include acupuncture and massage therapy. Since headaches can stretch down the neck and into the shoulders, it’s important to not only focus on pain in the head during treatment. Visiting a massage therapist can be beneficial to the muscles, as well as relaxing psychologically. Reducing stress will reduce tension in the head, which causes tension headaches post-concussion. It is also recommended to take magnesium and omega-3 fatty acid supplements to limit the frequency of headaches. As with almost any ailment of the body, it is recommended to drink lots of water and stay hydrated.
Headaches after concussion can be treated alongside other concussion symptoms. Concussion headache treatment and recovery begins with being tested by a physician, and then potentially being prescribed medication for the pain. A variety of at-home treatments exist; lots of resting, staying hydrated, massage and acupuncture, and decreasing stress levels. Although the headache pain can be very intense and substantial, they are treatable.
Articles reference: (1)https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=bodymr