Whiplash headaches occur in the aftermath of accidents and incidents where the individual has suffered a whiplash injury. The headaches that this person feels are symptoms of the physiological injuries that occurred when their head and neck were jerked back and forth during their traumatic event.
Most of the victims who have suffered whiplash injuries experience these headaches as a primary motivating symptom that causes them to seek whiplash treatment. The headaches might seem unique to individuals who have coped with other types of headaches.
The pain can be localized to the back of the head, extend throughout the entire head (more reminiscent of a typical headache or migraine), and even drop down to the space behind the eyes in the forehead.
Others who suffer from whiplash headaches indicate that the movements they make with their necks are some of the biggest inducers of painful headaches. Over 75% of individuals who suffer from whiplash pain following an accident will get these headaches.
Continue reading to learn the lowdown on whiplash headaches.
How to Ease Whiplash Headache Pain
Those who suffer from whiplash-related headaches often state that heat provides a great deal of relief, whereas cold therapies tend to exacerbate the issues of whiplash pain. Also, most whiplash headaches cause pain which can be treated with the use of over the counter medication, such as ibuprofen.
For further or more advanced treatment of whiplash headaches, it is wise to seek the assistance and expertise of a medical professional. They may recommend more specialized treatment.
How Does a Whiplash Headache Happen?
Whiplash headaches are a direct result of the correlating injuries. These injuries generally occur within the context of car accidents, physical altercations, strong blows to the head, sporting related injuries, falls from a distance, and other types of riding accidents.
In all of these cases, the head is thrown about in a jerking fashion, which causes the neck to overextend to compensate. This type of traumatic force on an individual’s neck and head can lead to further complications throughout the rest of the body.
Many who have been involved in accidents are hesitant to reach out and ask for medical guidance. Usually, they think that headaches are to be expected in the aftermath of a trauma. If a person suspects they have an injury after an accident, it’s not likely that the head and neck pain will subside without any treatment at all. These types of pain-related problems tend to worsen over time, not heal.
Healing a whiplash headache is best managed within the context of a medical treatment plan, or with the assistance of a physical therapist or chiropractor.
What Are My Treatment Options for Whiplash Headaches?
If you or someone you know has whiplash headaches or other headaches, there are various treatment options available. Talking with a doctor can help to determine what is best for a particular situation.
In many cases, a doctor will advise the patient to wear a neck brace to help provide stability to the head and neck as the soft tissues attempt to heal. If over the counter pain medications have already been exhausted as an option, many doctors will prescribe a pharmaceutical regimen to manage pain, only for a short time as the injury heals.
Other courses of treatment might include targeted therapy with a trained and experienced physical therapist. They also might prescribe various non-traditional methods to address chronic pain. Acupuncture and acupressure are known to be helpful tools in combating pain. Chiropractors are also useful allies in the fight against whiplash headache pain. They can help to realign the severely damaged cervical spine to its proper place, thereby alleviating pain and pressure that causes headaches.
Will My Whiplash Headache Ever Go Away?
Many individuals find that they are able to secure some short-term relief of the symptoms of their whiplash injury, only to be disappointed when their pain returns. Sometimes the pains caused by an accident will tend to flare up again when other stressors are placed on the fragile or recently healed musculoskeletal system.
For this reason, it is generally best practice to maintain an extended treatment plan that helps to address immediate pain quickly but rehabilitates the head and neck over a longer time, to promote more lasting healing. This type of whiplash treatment is the specialty of physical therapists and chiropractors.
Contact AICA Orthopedics today to learn your path to recovery from whiplash headaches.