Headache Education Center

HEADACHE ATTRIBUTED TO TRAUMA OR INJURY TO THE HEAD AND/OR NECK


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Description


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This is a headache that develops following an injury or trauma to the head and/or neck. This can also include headache associated with a whiplash injury or following a brain surgery (post-craniotomy headache). This headache is called acute post-traumatic headache when occurring during the first 3 months. If the headache continues beyond 3 months, it is called chronic (or persistent) post-traumatic headache.

If the headache is related to a primary neck injury, then cervicogenic headache may also be an additional component. There are no specific headache features for this headache type, but it most often resembles overlapping migraine or tension-type headache. The headache must have developed within 7 days of the injury, or within 7 days after regaining consciousness and/or the ability to sense and report pain. Many times this headache is associated with concussion symptoms (dizziness, imbalance, memory problems, poor attention and concentration, irritability, mood changes, problems with sleep) called post-concussion syndrome.