Post-traumatic Headache

July 20, 2020

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Anchor lead: Some people with chronic headaches develop them after trauma, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Injuries to the head can sometimes result in chronic, painful headaches that can be disabling. In some cases those headaches may be treatable with a procedure, says Sashank Reddy, a craniofacial surgeon at Johns Hopkins.

Reddy: For certain patients with headaches they can be triggered or at least a significant component of their pain, is due to pressure or damage to peripheral nerves across the face and scalp. We have these nerves all over our body, they’re responsible for normal pressure and touch sensation. But sometimes when they get compressed or damaged they can trigger pain locally or that can manifest in headaches. So in patients like that when we’ve narrowed down that diagnosis and it still persists, we can alleviate pressure on those nerves through surgical approaches, and in some cases nonsurgical approaches.  :31

Reddy says very careful evaluation is necessary to determine whether someone’s headaches are likely to respond to surgery before such an approach is taken. In suitable people though headaches may be entirely or mostly relieved afterward. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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