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Triggers and Causes

Auto Accident: Chronic Migraine

  • By Nateyboy

    I was rear ended by another person who I felt was going about 70 MPH about 10 months ago. I have headaches ever single day that rank 2-3 out of 10 on average and migraine attacks that rank 9/10. I am still working to figure out triggers because I continually am in pain. I am curious if anyone else has a similar story. I am told that I have chronic migraines, which is because they never stop and I only have “spikes” in pain. I have light and sound sensitivity constantly.

    any thoughts or if you have a similar story would be greatly appreciated.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Nateyboy,

    Thank you for your question and being part of our discussion forum – we’re glad you’re here!

    That must have been a scary experience – that’s awful. I wonder if you sustained a TBI (concussion) during the accident? Or whiplash at the very least.

    My TBI almost 20 years ago triggered all sorts of things including daily head and neck pain along with frequent, debilitating migraine attacks. If you’ve not seen a “true” migraine/headache expert I would encourage you to do so. These expert doctors are board certified in headache medicine, which is different than being certified in neurology, and treat migraine and headache disorders all day, every day. Neurologists may be fine doctor but have a hard time being experts in one area because they treat so many different conditions such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, epilepsy, Parkinson’s and others. When you get a moment, take a look at this information; http://migraine.com/blog/how-are-migraine-specialists-different/ and https://migraine.com/blog/really-find-headache-specialist/.

    I’m currently seeing my 4th “true” expert and it seems to be making a difference. Having said that, migraine disease is on a spectrum, so some days are better than others. He is VERY knowledgeable about migraine and headache disorders and open to discussions on trying new things.

    Let me know what you think,
    Nancy

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Opintuff,

    Thank you for your question. If I understand you correctly here is a definition of migraine; migraine is a genetic neurobiological disorder that can impact our entire body. Head trauma does not cause migraine, but my trigger attacks and make them more difficult to treat.

    I hope this helps,
    Nancy

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  • By GardensatNight

    In addition to seeing a headache specialist and doing everything Nancy suggested, you also might want to make sure to ask for an MRI and maybe even a lumbar puncture if you haven’t had one already.

    I was in a car accident 3 years ago where I was rear ended and whiplashed. Before this, I had episodic migraine, about 1-2 migraines per month. I didn’t like strong sunlight, but I was fine in normal lighting conditions. After the accident, I slowly worsened, and 3 months later, I suddenly turned into chronic migraine girl, a migraine nearly every day, a brain that was suddenly pissed off by sound, light (so light sensitive that even a brief exposure to artificial light triggered a migraine everytime), foods I’d eaten my entire life with no trouble, weather changes, eyestrain…. it was like a switch flipped. My brain was pissed off by EVERYTHING and I just slowly deteriorated more and more over the course of the past three years. We can’t eat off our plates or use real forks because the sound of fork vs. plate is so painful. We use paper and plastic utensils now.

    I have had multiple doctors not know what to do with me. Accuse me of making it up. FINALLY a wonderful specialist for sound sensitivity recommended a lumbar puncture and do you know what they discovered? My intracranial pressure is too low, which could have been caused by the whiplash causing a leak, and could be making my brain constantly pissed off and prone to migraine. As soon as I started sleeping on one thin pillow, drinking ridiculous amounts of water, and lying flat for several hours during the day (so my brain got fluid), my migraines drastically decreased,.and my sensitivities immediately improved. It was shocking. Now we’re working on finding/patching the leak so I can hopefully have a less pissed off brain (I know I will always have migraine, but removing this major trigger will surely help) and make some progress in a good direction towards getting better.

    Anyway, my advice is if you were in a car accident and suddenly got sick, make sure your intracranial pressure isn’t an issue. It can really screw thigns up.

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  • By Adrienne

    Hello, I am sorry to hear about your MVA and the resulting daily migraines. I’m probably much older than you & have had migraines ever since my motor vehicle accident of 3 decades ago. I had months where they did not alter my life & periods when they are taking over my life. I’ve been researching on a daily basis ( practically) to find some relief. Looking now to participate in a drug trial pertaining to the newest class of migraine treatment that can reduce the level of CGRP which is implicated in the migraine process. This is anticipated to be out sometime next year . Hope & help may very well be on its way!

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Adrienne and GardensatNight,

    It’s amazing what whiplash and a traumatic brain injury will do to people with episodic migraine. I know falling in my driveway over 20 years ago triggered all kinds of conditions and daily chronic head and neck pain. My migraine attacks became more difficult to treat.

    I have found a bit of relief with Botox, Cefaly and cannabis.

    Here’s to finding relief!
    Nancy

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