We see headaches in about 90% of our Portland patients who have been in a car crash, and the reason isn't shocking: your head and neck are exposed to very high forces during a collision and this is hazardous to the delicate structures of the neck and head.
Cervicogenic headaches are probably the most common after a crash. Cervicogenic means "originating in the neck" and these headaches are produced by irritation of the nerves that travel through the head and neck. These nerves are injured either directly from the crash or as a result of ligament or disc injuries in the spine.
Tension headaches are also commonly seen, as the muscles can be damaged in a collision, causing them to spasm.
Vascular symptoms, or damage to the arteries in your neck, are less common, but can be very serious. Signs of vascular injury are dizziness, faintness, blurred vision, neck pain, and headache.
Mild traumatic brain injury can also cause headaches. If you struck your head during the accident, or if it was a high speed crash, you may have suffered a traumatic brain injury. Brain injury, even "mild" cases, can have long-term effects on your health and productivity.
Finally, migraines are another category of headache that has been reported after an auto collision. Research indicates that chiropractic care can be an effective way to treat migraines.
Headache can be an indicator of a more serious condition, so it's important to have your chiropractor do a detailed exam after a car crash.
If you have been in an auto collision and have headaches, Dr. Helton is here to help. We can help identify the root source of your problem and develop a treatment plan to help you reclaim your health. We've helped many patients in Portland (Woodstock, Sellwood) heal from these types of injuries.
Call our office today at (503) 771-1974 for a consultation or for more advice.