Collisions: More Than Just a Metaphorical Headache


While car crashes can be a legal, financial, or insurance headache, the fact that even mild car crashes can result in head injuries does not receive enough attention. Head injuries are one of the most feared wounds as we go through life as they can majorly impact the quality of life of victims even if the harm is temporary. The fragile structures within the cranium (most notably the brain) are most often damaged by sudden impacts, like tackles in football, swift falls, or the head whipping forward quickly or striking a hard surface in motor-vehicle crashes.

Even mild head injuries can cause symptoms such as disorientation, headaches, and blurry vision for a short amount of time, so it should not come as a shock that more severe injuries may result in a wider array of more severe symptoms. It is rather common for people to have a headache after a crash due to the stress of the impact or a concussion which puts pressure on the brain.

Immediate Treatment

After a crash, especially severe ones, patients will usually be sent to the Emergency Room to assess their injuries. The primary goal of the ER is to ensure that the patient is stable and safe, but after these two things are accomplished, the ER will send the patient to a less critical area of the hospital or send them home. The issue with sending patients home after car crashes is the potential for symptoms to arise from their injuries after the initial shock has gone down.

The ER will take preliminary scans if a head, spine, or skeletal injury is suspected to rule out any breaks or bleeds, and they may check for immediate signs of concussion. If the patient is stable, the ER will clear the patient for treatment or rest elsewhere. However, this ER checkup does not mean that a patient will be completely pain and injury free.

Headache Causes

Headaches after a crash can be caused by a variety of reasons. One of the most likely causes is an increase in blood pressure from the stress of being in a crash. This sudden influx of blood to the brain can put pressure on the blood vessels in the brain and create perfect conditions for a headache. If you have a headache but received no clear head injury, it may be a good idea to rest and take some over the counter medication, but if your headache persists, it would be a good idea to speak with a medical professional.

Other causes of headaches after a crash are concussions and whiplash. Concussions occur when the brain is forced against the lining of the skull, leading to a myriad of symptoms from pain and blurry vision to disorientation. Concussions are usually treated through therapy and rest. Whiplash may also cause headaches even though it is a spinal injury, it is not uncommon that whiplash patients may experience headaches at the base of the skull.

Final Thoughts

If you are experiencing a headache after a crash, it would be a good idea to talk to your doctor about potential treatments and causes especially if the headache is persistent. The best treatment for most head injuries is rest though this will vary from patient to patient, so it is necessary to consult your physician for a personalized care plan. If you need a consultation for headaches or other crash-related injuries, contact North County Pain Relief today, and they will be glad to answer your questions.