Call us at (609) 799-8444 to schedule a chiropractic appointment in West Windsor, NJ.
When you begin experiencing headaches after a car accident, the temptation to dismiss them often arises. You might not even associate them with the car accident at first. But West Windsor’s trusted chiropractor urges you to seek immediate medical attention for these experiences.
From 2010 to 2020, the New Jersey Department of Transportation shows an annual average of over 250,000 car wrecks in New Jersey for the past decade. Each car wreck carries the potential for injuries, both immediate and delayed. Delayed injuries often include post-traumatic headaches.
Symptoms of Chronic Headaches
Post-traumatic headaches occur because your head sustains an injury from some type of traumatic force. Many post-traumatic headaches originate from car accidents. When two vehicles collide, the impact jerks your head and other body parts back and forth.
The jerking motion can cause muscle tension, tissue inflammation, and even skull fractures. Each source can cause pain to come and go or constantly remain. Severe injuries often have more worrying symptoms.
Headaches after a car accident may cause various symptoms. The severity can range from light headaches to migraines, complete with sensitivity and severe pain. Some symptoms you may experience include:
- Sensitivity visual and auditory stimulation such as bright lights or loud noises
- Tinnitus or ringing in your ears
- Neck pain
- Memory loss
- Tension along your forehead
- Pressure in your temples
- Dull pain in your head
While less severe symptoms might tempt you to wait them out, you should still seek medical advice to rule out a serious, life-threatening injury.
Causes of Chronic Headaches After a Car Accident
In 2020, car crashes spurred 4.8 million injuries that required medical attention. The CDC lists motor vehicle collisions as one of the top causes of traumatic brain injuries in the U.S.
Often, a traumatic brain injury fuels your headache symptoms. Some causes of headaches after a car accident include the following.
Blunt force occurs because of the back-and-forth jerking from speeding cars coming to a sudden stop. It also happens if a heavy object contacts your head with great force. Blunt force impacts may lead to concussions, a fractured skull, or bruised brain tissues.
Traumatic injuries caused by blunt force can lead to more severe symptoms like nausea, confusion, speech problems, tinnitus, and confusion. They can cause severe, chronic pain or even death if left untreated.
Soft Tissue Damage
Auto accidents can result in pulled muscles, spasms, herniated discs, and pinched nerves. A car accident’s force strains your muscles, causing achiness and inflammation around more sensitive tissues. A car accident can also warp soft tissues.
Either case can lead to headaches along with soreness, lessened range of motion, tingling in your extremities, and swelling. Untreated soft tissue injuries can develop into chronic conditions that decrease your quality of life and ability to move throughout the day.
The head, neck, and shoulders are among the most vulnerable body parts during a car wreck. A seatbelt will usually keep the rest of your body still during the collision. However, your head, neck, and shoulders lack that protection.
So when these areas jerk back and forth, they become susceptible to a specific type of soft tissue damage. Many headaches related to car accidents originate from a whiplash injury.
Diagnosis and Treatment from a Car Accident Chiropractor
A car accident chiropractor focuses on solutions for mechanical injuries in the muscular and skeletal systems, with a special focus on the spine, joints, and muscles in the upper torso. Since the shoulders, neck, and head remain unprotected during car accidents, chiropractic treatments may help relieve pain associated with those areas.
- Some chiropractic treatments that help provide headache relief include:
- Manual adjustments which focus on spinal realignment
- Therapeutic exercises that could increase muscle strength, relieve muscle tension, and increase your range of motion
- Focused massages that encourage circulation and decrease inflammation
- Spinal manipulation and decompression might ease the tension and pressure on soft tissues.
Your chiropractor may also have treatment recommendations for you to implement at home. For example, daily stretches, seating changes, and posture exercises can help relieve tension and ease pressure when implemented correctly. You can also use compresses for more immediate relief from the pain associated with tension and swelling.
Find Headache Relief with Align Health & Wellness Today
If you suffer from headaches after a car accident, a chiropractor might have the perfect solution that offers long-term relief from your ailments. At Align Health & Wellness, our compassionate chiropractors can help you discover an effective treatment regimen that fits your comfort levels and physiotherapeutic needs.
Our doctors accept most insurance plans, including workers’ compensation, no-fault, and PIP (personal injury protection). Same-day appointments may be available.
Headaches after car accidents aren’t the only issue a chiropractor can treat. You can learn some other signs you need a chiropractor, including vision and auditory problems.
Call our Align Health & Wellness team at (609) 799-8444 to request a convenient appointment with our experienced chiropractors.
FAQs About Headaches After a Car Accident
If you have more specific questions about headaches after a car accident, you’ll find a few helpful answers below.
How long do headaches last after a car accident?
Headaches after car accidents can vary in length. Some only last about 15 minutes to an hour. Meanwhile, more severe headaches, such as migraines, can last up to a week.
Is it normal to get headaches after a car accident?
Yes, it is normal to get headaches after a car accident. However, normalcy doesn’t mean you should ignore them.
While headaches commonly occur after car accidents, they can signal something dangerous happening to your brain. Always seek medical attention to rule out life-threatening post-traumatic head injuries.
Can a car wreck cause migraines?
Yes, a car wreck can cause migraines. If you have already experienced migraines in the past, a traffic accident can worsen them or make them occur more frequently. If you have never previously had migraines, a wreck may trigger them.