About Headaches After An Accident
Brockton Car Accident Victim Attorneys
Headaches are one of the most common symptoms to arise in the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident and they frequently accompany neck injuries. That is because many of these whiplash related headaches are produced by trauma to the cervical spine. Injuries to the muscles and ligaments in the cervical spine can produce cervicogenic headaches. These cervicogenic headaches are caused by injuries to the ligaments in the cervical spine. Although the injury occurs in the spine the symptoms are felt in the head in the form of headaches. This is known as referred pain as the injury in the cervical spine refers the symptoms to the head in the form of headaches. Other times the muscles in the cervical spine are overstretched in these whiplash types accidents which can lead to muscle spasms, inflammation and tightening which in turn can cause headaches.
Occipital Neuralgia is a specific type of cervicogenic headache which occurs when pressure is placed on the occipital nerve. The occipital nerve starts between the first and second cervical vertebrae (C1-C2) and runs up through the trapezius muscle and into the back of the scalp where it carries signals to the top of the head and over the ears.
One source of nerve damage occurs at the C2 level. The nerves in the C2 region are exposed and can easily get crushed by the bones in the cervical neck when the head is violently thrown back and forth in a car accident. Injuries to nerves at the C2 level can cause severe headaches behind the eyes, at the back of the skull or behind the ears. They can cause cramp like feelings in the scalp and a feeling like your hair is on fire. Injuries to nerves located near the C3 create headaches that go up the neck and over the ears and are characterized as producing sharp, shooting or jabbing pain. Cervical Herniated/Bulging Discs and Cervical Facet Joint Injuries can cause occipital neuralgia.
Myofascial headaches deal with injuries to the muscles and the connective tissue surrounding the muscles in the body. Myofascial pain means pain that comes from the muscles and connective tissues. Whiplash type accidents can cause Myofascial injuries to the back of the skull. Symptoms of myofascial injuries are muscle and tissue inflammation, tightening and spasms. The back part of the skull, or the occipital region, is comprised of many sensitive features including the occipital nerve. A myofascial injury to the occipital region can cause muscle inflammation, tightening and spams which can put pressure on the occipital nerve causing headaches. Cervical Strain and Sprains can lead to myofascial headaches.
Treatment for Myofascial Headaches
Drugs are usually prescribed if a cervicogenic headaches is diagnosed or suspected. These drugs include muscle relaxers, painkillers, anti-inflammatories and antidepressants. This is usually followed by chiropractic treatments, physical therapy, massage therapy or acupuncture treatments. If the headaches continue to persist after conservative treatment then epidural injections, which reduce inflammation, and nerve block injections, which prevent the nerves from transmitting pain signals to the brain, might be an option.
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