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Can you have different migraines after an accident?

So I will start off with my laundry list. I have ehlers danlos type 3 hyper-mobility which also comes with among other symptoms, migraines. I have been dealing with them since I was a child and as I grew they have gotten worse and always included aura. I was rear-ended about a month ago and for the first day I was just sore in my neck and shoulder but the headache started the following day.

I went to the doc 2 days after and the headache was just a dull stiff pain behind my ear and down my neck and shoulder along with not being able to move my head to the left or to be able to sit for more than a few minutes. Doc says whiplash here take muscle relaxers (bad idea for me but I was in pain) and 500mg naproxen and if need be your Excedrin migraine. So I take the stuff for a few days and the migraine that hit me caused me to start vomitting for 25mins and balled me over like none ever, even after the meds! BUT no aura. it dulls into a headache after a day of bed but stiffness is still there so I go back to the docs they sign me out of work for 7 days. staying home was good i used heat and rested (got some laundry done). I took all the meds even the muscle relaxers that week and by friday felt ok so I ran out of muscle relaxers sat and by monday I was hurting again.

The headache was headin towards full blown and by tuesday it was migraine again with extended vomitting. But again no aura, after borderlining taking to much meds it dulled by thursday morn. I am still stiff and sore and dull headache for 2 more days until saturday I was at a show and beyond miserable it hit about 20mins before the show started and somehow I managed to hold down the vomit until it was over, no aura tho. but it knocked me out most of sunday. So now here it is monday and I am miserable the headache is radiating from the base of my neck still at about 70% flexion at best and maybe 60% rotation. Docs know i have been having this headache I have mentioned it every single time and they don't seem to care. I have never had a headache for almost a month straight and have never experienced a migraine as strong as these.

I have an ortho apt next tuesday but if anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear. i mentioned earlier the EDS because my normal amount of stretch is like 120%+ of normal peoples so feeling stiff but looking normal is where i am at. Could I have Post tramatic Migraines? Think I should be pushing this issue even though I am a migraine sufferer? i feel like they are brushing it off as a normal migraine because I get them anyway but they are nothing like what I have been experiencing. Sorry to sound this way but i am just worn out and sick of hurting.

  1. Hi there ,
    I am so sorry to hear you have been experiencing this increase in pain & symptoms since this incident. I absolutely understand how worn out you must be feeling and especially that you were "brushed off" by your initial visit to your doctor. This is very discouraging to hear. As you wait for possible feedback from the community regarding their experiences, I wanted to share an article by one of our contributor's who discusses being in an accident. I thought you might find the comments at the conclusion of the article especially helpful to review -

    Good luck at your ortho appt next week and will you try to keep us posted?
    Joanna ( Team)

    1. Thank you very much Joanna!

  2. What was explained to me after my car accident and increased pain.

    The mechanism of whiplash almost always causes a mild concussion alongside the neck damage. Concussions DEFINITELY cause increased headaches, migraines and take a while to heal. Think of what you do after you sprain your ankle - you ice it and try not to use it, if you walk too much on it the pain increases greatly. A concussion is like a sprained brain, but we don’t let it rest and heal like we would a sprained ankle. we continue to watch TV, work, read and solve problems. Your brain is trying to tell you it needs time to heal. It takes a few weeks and the best thing you can do is lots of rest, good food and minimal working/studying and screen time.

    My migraine pain increased ten fold for a few months after my accident but it did settle down after back to my baseline (the neck did not and now causes more migraines because of the super weak ligaments but what do you expect when you black out from a migraine and cross the median at highway speeds and hit a truck going the other direction?

    Take it easy. Physiotherapy also helped decrease the tightening and muscle spasms from the whiplash and was covered by the car insurance.

    1. Do you notice any change in your headache when you lie down completely flat (one pillow only) for a while, versus when you are vertical?

      1. No the headache is chronic, nothing eleviates it completely. When it turns to a migraine its much worse than my normal and again no posistion makes it better or worse. I do feel a pressure surge when going from horizontal to vertical but thats about it.

      2. Okay, that's good. I asked because like you I was in a car accident, and over the next several months, my migraines got worse, until they exploded into out of control, daily, I was suddenly oversensitized to the universe (and I was basically a perfectly normal girl with episodic migraine before.)

        Well, three years and a thousand normal tests later, we discovered I had a CSF leak causing low pressure in my brain exacerbating my migraine, which is more common in people with my body type, and also more common in people with connective tissue disorders since (as I know you're aware) tears can happen more easily. The neuroradiologist actually said my dura looked "marfanoid-like" on CT even though I don't have marfans. Anyway, one sign that can be going on is "positional headache" where your headache is different when you sit up or lie down. So just thought I'd ask since it's such an unusual thing it took several years for someone to finally bring it up with me. Anyway, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you to have a speedy recovery.

    2. Hey there,
      I have EDS, too! My headaches changed suddenly (but no car accident or anything) but related to my EDS changes in my cervical spine (hypermobility and severe arthritis). It turned out I also ended up with a herniated disc (from EDS). This caused my headaches to become cervicogenic.
      I really struggled with my neurologists because, like you, I felt like these newer headaches were different from my migraines (the typical migraine with aura that I've had since I was 6). I really had to advocate for myself to insist on an MRI of my neck.
      I think it would be a good idea to ask for an MRI of your neck - with EDS you are so much more prone to spinal issues and neck muscle spasms, which could account for the stiff neck. Keeps us posted and I hope you get some relief soon!

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