Post-traumatic headache – signs, frequency
The cause of chronic headache can be traumatic brain injury of mild severity. Post-traumatic headache occurs within 7 days after trauma, followed by a concussion.
A concussion of the brain is indicated by any of the following symptoms occurring after a traumatic brain injury: a state of stupor and “stars” in front of the eyes, memory loss for events that occurred immediately before and after the injury, as well as short-term loss of consciousness.
Symptoms such as depressive mood or irritability, memory loss, dizziness or vertigo, and tinnitus are characteristic of post-concussion syndrome accompanying post-traumatic headaches. A survey of 357 college athletes with repeated brain injuries as a result of sports injuries revealed a headache in 70% of football players and in 73% of American football players. The likelihood of post-traumatic headache rises after a motorcycle accident, especially with a whiplash injury (22%, respectively, for a whiplash injury and 7% without one).
Immediately after a traumatic brain injury, the headache is most often intense and constant. During the first 2 weeks after the injury, the post-traumatic headache gradually regresses, becoming less severe and inconstant.
If the headache does not diminish, but, on the contrary, increases or is accompanied by progressive symptoms of concussion, the patient should be further examined using instrumental diagnostic methods to rule out subacute pathology – a subdural hematoma or an undetected fracture.
In the early post-traumatic period, headaches are migraine in nature, and over time they become less intense, more reminiscent of tension headaches. In 2/3 of patients, post-traumatic headache disappears a month after a traumatic brain injury.
In patients suffering from permanent post-traumatic headache, its intensity and frequency decrease with time.
1. Appears within 1 week after suffering a concussion
2. In a traumatic brain injury, the patient complains about the state of stupor and “stars” in front of his eyes, there may be no consciousness for less than 30 minutes, amnesia is possible
3. First, the headache is constant, exhausting, drastically reducing the ability to work
4. After 2 months, the intensity of the headache subsides, and the pain appears periodically.
5. Passes within 3-12 months
6. May be accompanied by dizziness, deterioration of mood, irritability or cognitive disorders.