Types of Chronic Headaches

Types of Chronic Headaches

Following a major accident, it is possible that individuals may suffer from recurrent, long-term headaches. In the medical community, these are termed chronic headaches. These headaches can come and go multiple times a day and manifest in various shapes and forms. Even though traumatic injuries are common in auto accidents, other health complications deserve attention. According to an information sheet published by the World Health Organization (WHO):

  • Among the possible neurological disorders, headaches are the most common.
  • More than half of all adults suffer at least one headache per year.
  • Recurrent, chronic headaches can lead to pain disorders, significant disability, major monetary costs, and a lower quality of life.
  • Most headaches go untreated as people wait for them to go away.
  • Some headaches are a sign of serious intracranial problems.

Based on this helpful information, it is clear that chronic headaches deserve a significant amount of attention. With this in mind, it is helpful to understand the different types of chronic headaches and how they could be a sign of something more serious.

Why do Chronic Headaches Happen?

In an auto accident, the body is placed under a significant amount of stress. People could strike their head on the dashboard or steering wheel. Neck muscles can be strained as they move back and forth quickly. Nerve damage can occur in the neck, face, and head. All of these forces can contribute to the development of chronic headaches as the body struggles to recover from the stress. Some of the symptoms of chronic headaches include:

  • A pulsating or pounding sensation in the head
  • Irritability when faced with bright lights or loud noises
  • A feeling of squeezing around the head
  • Difficulty moving certain parts of the face

Of note, these are all symptoms of different types of headaches. Therefore, it is essential for everyone to know about the most common types of chronic headaches. Their treatments are very different.

The Types of Recurrent Headaches

There are several different types of headaches from which people could suffer. Their treatments vary, so it is important to understand the differences. Some of the most common types of headaches include:

Tension HeadachesMost people who suffer from tension headaches describe the sensation of a band squeezing their head. Others describe pain behind their eyes. These headaches can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. Tension headaches result from contracting muscles present in the head. The treatment of tension headaches involves anti-inflammatory medicines such as Tylenol and Motrin. Those who have particularly long-lasting or debilitating tension headaches might benefit from massage therapy to relieve the clenched muscles.

Migraine HeadachesMost people have heard of migraine headaches; however, migraines vary from person to person. The two broad categories of migraine headaches are:

  • Migraine with Aura: Those who suffer from aural migraine headaches can tell when a migraine is starting because they hear a certain noise, see certain images, or even smell certain scents that indicate a migraine is starting.
  • Migraine without Aura: In these headaches, people do not have the auras described above.

Migraine headaches cause irritability to bright lights and loud noises. Migraine headaches also almost universally cause vomiting. Most people describe migraines as pulsating or pounding. Migraines can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. The treatment of migraine headaches includes Motrin, Triptan medicines (such as Sumatriptan), and anti-emetics (such as Zofran and Phenergan).

Cluster HeadachesCluster headaches are unique in that they cause paralysis of one half of the face, tearing of the eye on the affected side, and nasal discharge on the affected side. They tend to come in clusters (thus the name) and then remit for a while before returning. The most effective treatment of cluster headaches is the administration of supplemental oxygen.

Watch YouTube Video: A Treatment for Every Headache. In this video, doctors at Mount Sinai Center for Headache and Pain Medicine explain the different types of treatment for each headache.

Warning Signs of a Medical Emergency

Some headaches could be a sign of a medical emergency. Examples include a brain bleed, brain swelling, and other signs of increased intracranial pressure which might stem from a traumatic brain injury. Warning signs of a medical emergency involving the head and brain include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Vomiting
  • Paralysis
  • Blindness

All of these are signs that someone should see a doctor immediately. Increased intracranial pressure could lead to brain herniation and death. Someone with these symptoms, particularly in the setting of a traumatic accident, should seek emergency medical care.

Contacting an Injury Lawyer

Chronic headaches could result from trauma suffered in an auto accident. Those who suffer from chronic headaches need to know that help is available. Meeting with a Stockton personal injury lawyer can be helpful. Some of the benefits of meeting with an experienced injury attorney include:

  • Ensuring that every detail of the accident has been considered appropriately
  • Working with reconstruction professionals to make sure that the mechanism of the accident in the official record is correct
  • Pursuing damages related to the headaches, its complications, and any quality of life issues that might result
  • Moving a case to trial when required

Do not hesitate to ask for help after a major accident. Speak with a personal injury lawyer in Stockton today. Your family could be owed a significant financial award.

Stockton Personal Injury Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a Personal Injury Lawyer in Stockton. Headaches can be extremely debilitating and could be the signal of something more serious. Individuals who are suffering from chronic headaches following a major accident should contact me today using (800) 404-5400 or  209-227-1931 for free, friendly legal advice.

I am deeply honored to be a legal professional in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Top One Percent, a National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

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Image Attribution: With permission, the image that is shown at the beginning of this post was found first on Pixabay and printed at this location. 

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