After a car accident, you probably expect to experience some discomfort as your body recovers, even if you don’t have any serious injuries. Headaches are an extremely common symptom in the aftermath of an accident, and you may wonder whether your headache is normal or the sign of something worse. While they can be extremely innocuous, a headache can also be a sign of more serious injuries that require you to see a car accident doctor in Jonesboro for further treatment. You should always have a headache evaluated after a car accident, but keep reading for some information on what might be causing your headache.
Hidden and Delayed Car Accident Injuries
Even if you walked away with no obvious car accident injuries or symptoms, a headache that occurs days or even weeks after your accident can be a sign that a serious injury did actually occur on the day of your crash. Some injuries are invisible from the outside, and it’s common for symptoms to be delayed. In the aftermath of an accident, you may experience an adrenaline rush or extra endorphins that can hide your pain as a stress response, causing you to not notice symptoms until your body has recovered from the trauma.
The injury that most commonly is invisible is an injury to the brain, sometimes called a Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI. You may hear concussions referred to as a very common form of TBI resulting from a car accident. Not only can concussions be easy to miss by accident victims, but medical providers may even struggle to diagnose this condition. TBIs can vary in severity, from very mild to life-threatening. When a TBI leads to head pain, this is often called a post-traumatic headache.
Another common concern is whiplash headaches, or head pain associated with the soft tissue injuries known as whiplash. The core injury occurs when your head violently moves back and forth as a result of an impact, leading to neck strain and possible tears in the soft tissue. In addition to pain and stiffness in the neck and arms, many people who suffer from whiplash experience headaches at the base of their skull over time. Again, this may not occur for days or even weeks after the fact. It’s important to visit a specialist to know how to treat whiplash.
As soon as possible, you should visit a provider who can perform the proper scans to identify these head injuries. You may be able to catch a serious condition before it worsens and begin treatment earlier.
What Do I Do if I Have a Headache After a Car Accident?
Not every headache that you experience in the aftermath of an accident is necessarily a post-traumatic headache. Sometimes, headaches can result from emotional distress or may not be related to any other injuries. However, when it comes to a car accident, you are generally better off visiting a car accident doctor in Jonesboro to make sure. A good rule of thumb is that if your car sustained any damage, your body likely did as well.
As soon as you notice headache symptoms, you should seek the care of a car accident care expert. While mild concussions may not need immediate treatment, some brain injuries can be dangerous, and identifying them early on can save you from needing more invasive treatment in the future. You may be tempted to “tough it out” and see if your headache goes away, but it’s always best to double-check with a provider.
Take note of any other symptoms that accompany your headache, as knowing this may help your doctor to make a more accurate diagnosis. Any other symptoms, as well as what makes your headache better or worse, can be important information early on in your treatment. Symptoms like a loss of appetite, pain in surrounding areas like the neck or shoulders, pain that radiates, or cognitive issues should all be treated seriously if they accompany a headache.
The Bottom Line
It is common to have a headache after a car accident, as it’s a symptom related to a number of common injuries. However, it is never normal for you to experience a headache in this scenario, and it should always be treated as a reason to seek medical care. If you are in need of a car accident doctor in Jonesboro, visit AICA Jonesboro for your evaluation. With access to advanced imaging and a range of specialists, the team at AICA Jonesboro will be able to identify the root cause of your headaches and create a treatment plan designed for your specific symptoms. Make your appointment today to begin addressing your headaches!