The Startling Correlation Between Concussions and Headaches
Concussions are common among athletes who play contact sports, as well as individuals who have been involved in high-impact accidents.
The actual symptoms of a concussion typically don’t last for more than a week. However, the lingering effect of a concussion can cause headaches to occur for many weeks or months following an injury. This is because any type of traumatic brain injury changes how the brain functions in both the short-term and the long-term.
This article will address the correlation between concussions and headaches in order to provide headache sufferers with information about concussion-related symptoms and the importance of seeking treatment.
Symptoms of a Concussion
Concussions are often brought on by automobile accidents or contact sports involving whiplash or a fall that results in hitting the head on the ground. The immediate symptoms of concussion may include headache, memory loss, dizziness, blurred vision, slurred speech, coordination difficulties, and confusion. It is also possible to experience vertigo after a concussion. Many people do not realize that they have had a concussion, which is why it is important for others around them to recognize the symptoms and urge immediate treatment.
Why Concussions Cause Future Headaches
Studies have found that people who have suffered concussions may be more prone to migraine headaches after the other symptoms of the concussion have subsided. There is a strong connection between concussions and migraines that affects children and teenagers as well as adults.
The phenomenon of experiencing headaches weeks, months, or years after a concussion is known as post-concussive syndrome. This is most common among individuals who have experienced multiple concussion, such as competitive athletes. The ongoing headaches occur because the stretching and jolting forces involved in concussions disrupt nerve fibers in the brain. Along with the headaches, individuals with post-concussive syndrome may continue to have difficulty focusing, become more irritable than usual, and sustain memory problems.
Risks of an Untreated Concussion
If a concussion is not recognized, diagnosed, and treated quickly, prolonged symptoms may begin to develop and evolve. Following a prolonged concussion, an individual may suffer from nausea, vomiting, change in speech patterns, and an overall worsening of other symptoms. Problems concentrating, sleep difficulties, sensitivity to light, and mood changes are also possible long-term consequences of delayed treatment for a concussion.
Daily supplements of omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium and physical therapy may complement a medication regimen involving acetaminophen and aspirin. To help manage ongoing headaches, it is important to drink plenty of water, manage stress, maintain a regular eating and sleeping schedule, and avoid future head injuries.
It’s important to remember that an untreated concussion can be very dangerous and debilitating. By not addressing and managing the symptoms of a concussion, an individual’s academic performance, relationships, job performance, physical abilities, and mental health can all be affected. A qualified practitioner can accurately diagnose a concussion and recommend the most appropriate treatment based on severity and the symptoms.
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