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Oops! Concussions and Migraine

I’ve had some awful luck lately. By luck, I mean I would pretty much swap “luck” for “lack of coordination”.

Clumsiness

It began with clumsiness; me dropping things, partly because I’m a person who obsessively unloads bags from the car and WILL make it in one or two trips. So, there is my disclaimer – I’m a mess without migraine!

Recently, I was outside gardening (which I’ve actively talked about in my writings as a form of self-care) and met the corner of the AC unit which is located outside. I hit the corner directly on the crown of my head and was instantly knocked out. After this, I was struggling with headaches daily.

Hitting my head twice

Remember when I told you I’m a clumsy mess? Well, not more than 2 weeks later, I hit the back of my head AND the top of my head on two separate occasions.. I had already felt flighty that morning and should have acknowledged not feeling well and just slowed down. But I didn’t. Instead, while loading up the car we took up north with us, I bent down not once, but twice and hit my head on the way up. Both times. My partner saw it from the kitchen window and naturally, we both started laughing.. until I started crying when I bumped it harder the second time. (Clearly, my middle name isn’t Grace).

Keeping an eye on the frequency of migraine attacks

I’m waiting to see my neurologist but know that my headaches and migraines have gotten worse. I also live with HM (hemiplegic migraines), which have fortunately not increased since my head injuries, which I am extremely grateful for. It’s important to be seen just to be cautious when/if symptoms increase and especially if you’re experiencing new symptoms with a lot of nausea and vomiting.

I can’t blame all of this on my clumsiness though. Sometimes I am just totally unaware of my peripheral vision and that was the case when I hit the AC unit when I was outside gardening. I can’t imagine if I already had a migraine at the time of both of these events. I’d probably have ended up in the hospital overnight.

Head trauma and worsening migraine

I’m aware any kind of head trauma can result in migraines worsening, sometimes for the long-term. While I’m experiencing an increase of cluster symptoms, I’m managing a lot better than I thought I would, even looking back on the events now. I’m feeling much better even just a few weeks after this happened and feel very fortunate I don’t have many lasting side effects except for some eye straining that worsens throughout the day. This is typical for me on a regular day, but the eye strain is a bit of a nuisance and pain still.

Have any of you experienced a concussion while living with migraine? What helped you that you can share with others who have been through this?

If you have experienced the onset of migraines after a head injury like a concussion, what was your “aftercare” plan and how did you handle it?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • pigen51
    1 month ago

    I have a family history of migraines. But I have had a very large number of concussions in my life. In high school football, I had at least 5 concussions for sure, with an ER visit, after the game. You see, graduating from school way back in 1978, they didn’t have the same concussion protocol that they do now. I got knocked out completely once, and after sitting on the bench for 2 plays, my coach looked over, saw me, and sent me back in. I don’t remember any of this, just from what I saw on the game films the following monday. I had back to back concussions at least once, but it has been so long ago, it might have been more than once, and I just cannot remember.
    Plus, over the past few years, I have had around 3 concussions, that I am aware of. I didn’t go to the ER, save for the last time, as I fell face first from a fairly high place, and struck my face on the pavement, breaking my nose in the process. I could not get the bleeding on a cut on the bridge of my nose to stop, so I had to go to the ER to get it fixed.
    I have had so many concussions now, that I am able to usually recognize one if I get it. Unless it is so mild that even a doctor might have a hard time catching it.
    I am on social security disability due to both migraines and a broken back I got in 1980, from a serious car accident. I did physical labor for over 35 years, and it caught up with me, now I have a bad back, and it is hard for me to do much physical labor, and I have to even hire my leaves raked.
    I do think that concussions have at least some effect on my migraines, it is just not reasonable to consider that they would not have at least SOME relationship with migraines. But the proper person to address this with is your doctor. Simply because concussions are often both hard to diagnose, and can be very dangerous, up to and including death. So don’t be scared, but also don’t be flippant about a concussion. The damage from them is also additive, in that the more you get, the more that they add up to a serious issue, later down the road.
    Best of luck, and I hope that this helps.

  • DeAnn
    1 month ago

    Yes! I had a fall 2 years ago resulting in concussion. For several months I had more frequent migraines and the pain was always in the injured area. Thankfully the last 6 months or so this seems to have resolved.

  • April.Sluder moderator
    1 month ago

    It can certainly take a long time to recover from a concussion. It’s so great that you’re doing better now. Thanks for sharing! April – Migraine.com Team

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