Why Trauma and Headache?


Anchor lead: Trauma can produce conditions that lead to chronic headache, Elizabeth Tracey reports

How is it that trauma to the head can result in chronic headaches? Sashank Reddy, a craniofacial surgeon at Johns Hopkins, explains.

Reddy: Every nerve in your body is traveling through some specific locus. For your face and scalp those nerves often travel through small spaces called foramena and they can get impinged in those spaces, particularly in the setting of trauma where scar tissue can then build up around them and make a tight locus even tighter, or when the nerve itself swells in a confined space.  :22

Reddy says such a mechanism may resolve with surgery.

Reddy: For a subset of patients with post-traumatic headaches they can be amenable to surgical solutions. I will say that even for those patients with post-traumatic headaches the majority of them can be adequately managed with medical management, that’s the good news.  :14

Reddy says such a procedure usually takes a couple of hours on an outpatient basis. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.