Can Whiplash Cause Headaches?

Are you experiencing pain in your neck, back, or shoulders after some kind of accident or trauma? If so, you may have a whiplash injury. These types of injuries can cause many to experience headaches.

If you are wondering if you have a whiplash injury and want relief from your neck pain, schedule an appointment at Virgin Islands Neurology today! Our neck and spine specialists located in the U.S. Virgin Islands can give you a proper diagnosis and create a treatment plan that can help relieve your symptoms.

A woman in a car accident wondering if whiplash will cause her headaches.

What Is a Whiplash Injury?

Whiplash is a neck injury caused by a sudden, forceful forward and back motion of the head and neck. A whiplash injury is a type of neck strain or sprain.

A whiplash injury could be caused by a car accident, a sports injury, physical abuse, or other trauma. If you have a whiplash injury, you may have several whiplash-associated disorders, including a whiplash headache.

How Does Whiplash Cause Headaches?

Whiplash can cause problems with your neck muscles, ligaments, cervical spine, and the nerves in your neck, resulting in pain. Neck pain can radiate up into the base of the skull and can cause headaches.

A woman getting physical therapy as a treatment for her whiplash headaches.

Types of Headaches Caused by Whiplash

There are several types of different headaches that whiplash can cause. The following list mentions some of these headaches:

  • Tension headaches: You may have tension at the front of your head. The headache pain is mild to moderate. You may also experience a dull, aching pain in your scalp.
  • Cluster headaches: These headaches happen in clusters or with a frequency that can continue for weeks or months. These headaches are often felt on one side of the head.
  • Migraine headaches: These headaches cause moderate to severe pain and can be recurring. You may also have an increased sensitivity to light and sound, and feel nausea with vomiting.
  • Cervicogenic headaches: The pain caused by a cervicogenic headache starts in the neck and back of your head and can travel toward the front. You may also experience a reduced range of motion of the head and neck, blurred vision, eye pain, and nausea.

Chronic whiplash headaches can develop if you delay having them diagnosed and treated.

Diagnosis of a Whiplash Headache

Your doctor will begin with a physical examination. They will check for tenderness and pain in the neck muscles. They will also want to see your range of motion in the neck to determine which points cause pain.

Your doctor may also perform imaging tests, such as an MRI scan, to see how the muscles and nerves have been affected in your neck.

A medial branch block may also be used in the diagnostic process. Using an anesthetic, your doctor will block the medial branch nerves. This will help them decide if the pain is originating from the facet joints.

How Are Whiplash Headaches Treated?

At Virgin Islands Neurology, our expert neurologists can help you find the right treatment options to give you relief from chronic pain. Some of the treatments available for a whiplash headache are listed below.

Find Relief From Your Headaches

If you are considering seeing a neurologist for whiplash pain, schedule an appointment at Virgin Islands Neurology today! Our specialists located in the U.S. Virgin Islands look forward to helping you resolve your discomfort. Contact us today!