Headaches After Auto Accidents

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Headaches are common after an auto injury.  Headaches related to auto accidents often result from injury to muscles, joints, and ligaments and the healing process that follows.  After a car accident the muscles of the head and neck tighten, providing support to the joints and ligaments.  However, this tightness overworks the muscles which can lead to fatigue, pain, tingling, and headaches.  Headaches can occur as well from pain produced by injury of the ligaments.  The sensation of headache is often produced from multiple sources together. 

Cervicogenic headaches are those that are produced from the neck and the neck joints.  Tension headaches come from referred pain produced by tightness and tension of the muscles.  These two types of headaches often overlap and can be difficult to differentiate after auto collisions where pain is often produced by injured joints, ligaments, and muscles in the head and neck. 

The whiplash injury that is common after a car crash produces injury to the ligaments of the neck at multiple levels.  The normal neck curves often straighten when this type of ligament injury occurs, reducing shear force on the neck.  This straightening of the neck brings the head forward of the body.  As a result, more muscle work is required to keep the head and body upright.  This can result in increased headaches over time after an auto crash.  Both cervicogenic and tension headaches respond well to Chiropractic care.  Contact your Chiropractor if you are suffering from headaches after a motor vehicle accident (MVA).