A post-traumatic headache occurs after an injury to the head or neck. In fact, headache is the most common symptom people experience after a mild head injury.
The pain may start immediately or up to a week after the injury. Some people still experience pain months after the injury. The headaches are caused by swelling or fluid accumulating in and around the brain. Inside the skull, there is no room for swollen tissues to expand which causes increased pressure – called intracranial pressure.
About one in seven chronic daily headaches can be blamed on head and neck injuries.
In the U.S. each year, there are between 1.4 million to 1.8 million head or brain injuries. More than 50 percent of these injuries are linked to alcohol use. Men are twice as likely to suffer a head injury and African Americans are twice as likely to suffer head injuries as other races. Most head injuries occur in people ages 15 to 29 and those ages 65 to 70.
Types of injuries that cause post-traumatic headaches