After being in a motor vehicle accident, it is common to experience headaches. Different things that could lead to this pain include:

  • Whiplash
  • Traumatic impact with something
  • Hypertension
  • Concussion


Whiplash is the most common cause of post-accident headache. This is a result of muscles, tendons, and nerves becoming inflamed and irritated following a motor vehicle accident. These tissues connect the neck to the skull. The pain commonly begins in the neck, then moves to the head. Typically, these headaches are more painful than the neck pain that results from whiplash. These headaches can also be known as cervicogenic headaches.

Types of Headaches Associated with Motor Vehicle Accidents

  • Vascular Headaches – This type of headache occurs when there is poor blood flow around the brain. Whiplash can result in a decrease of circulation that could last months after the initial injury.
  • Migraine Headaches – These types of headaches are commonly associated with headaches and can start within hours to days after a whiplash occurs.
  • Analgesic Rebound – This is an unfortunate result of either over usage of, or a direct side effect of, prescribed medication for whiplash injuries.
  • Sympathetic Nerve Dysfunction – This occurs when there is damage to the cervical nerve trunk.

Should Post-Motor Vehicle Accident Headache Cause Concern?

Sometimes, after an accident, a headache could indicate something has occurred inside the skull and is called a closed type head injury. These have no visible signs on the outside of the skull but is on the inside. An MRI or CT scan should be performed to rule out any potential issues that could result from this result of a head injury. MRIs and CT scans help identify closed type injurie such as:

  • Swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Evaluate blood vessels
  • Evaluate important glands
  • And many other issues

At Synergy Chiropractic of Houston, we work with our patients to help them get out of pain as fast as possible. Headaches as a result of a motor vehicle accident do not need to prevent someone from enjoying their life.

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