Whiplash, a neck injury caused by a forceful and rapid jerking of the neck is a pretty common problem from auto accidents and athletic activity. There are 3 million new whiplash incidents each year and half of those often become chronic conditions. Symptoms can appear weeks or months after an accident and they can affect several types of headache as well as problems with the neck.
If you think you have suffered from whiplash you will require quality care and expertise to heal. Dr. Sean Flannagan and the staff at One Accord Physical Therapy can put you on the road to recovery with years of experience helping people with whiplash and other injuries.
How whiplash causes headaches
Since whiplash is caused by the rapid movement of the neck it also causes potential problems with the head. And there are a number of ways to get whiplash without being in a car accident, including sports injury, falling off a bike or being physically struck hard unexpectedly.
Any of these can cause the jerking of the neck that comes with whiplash. Headaches are a common sign of whiplash and the cause of the whiplash can determine how serious the headaches can get.
Types of whiplash headaches
Whiplash can cause problems with neck muscles, nerves, ligaments, spine and other issues, all of which can create a variety of headaches, including:
- Cluster headaches: Happen in patterns or cluster periods that can last from weeks to months. Intense pain on one side of the head is typical.
- Migraine headaches: A recurring headache that causes moderate to severe pain as well as light and sound sensitivity, vomiting, and nausea.
- Tension headaches: A mild to moderate headache that is commonly described as feeling like a tight band around your head. Dull, aching pain, and scalp tenderness are also typical.
- Cervicogenic headaches: A secondary headache that actually develops in the neck, which can cause stiffness in the head and neck, reduced motion of the head and neck, eye pain, blurred vision and nausea.
Most of these headaches can become chronic and last for years after a whiplash injury. So diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible is always recommended.
Treatments for whiplash headaches
For the different types of whiplash headaches the general methods to alleviate symptoms are a combination of:
- Anti seizure medications
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Muscle relaxers
- Nerve stimulation
But full treatment may consist of a combination of these and other treatments based on your symptoms.
So if you’re suffering the effects of a whiplash headache don’t hesitate to make an appointment with Dr. Flannagan and One Accord Physical Therapy to find a treatment that works for you.