IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE : All AICA Orthopedics clinics are fully staffed and operational. We’re here to support accident victims and to provide Orthopedic relief to hospital systems in Atlanta during this crisis. Learn More

Is It Normal to Have a Headache After a Car Accident?
Jan 27, 2021

Is It Normal to Have a Headache After a Car AccidentIf you’ve been in a car accident then you know that some injuries are more obvious than others. Scrapes, bruises, and even broken bones are more noticeable and easier to tell if you need to see a doctor. But what about internal injuries that may not have symptoms right away? Headaches are very common after a car accident, but how do you know if it’s from the stress of the accident or if it’s a sign of something more? If you have headaches after an accident then visit your car accident doctor in College Park so you can get lasting relief for your headaches.

Common Car Accident Injuries with Headache Symptoms

There are many reasons for getting a headache after a car accident. A milder headache that only lasts for a short period of time and then goes away on its own could be related to the stress and tension of being in an accident. However, headaches that are really strong or slowly increase in severity in the hours and days after an accident may be a symptom of a bigger issue.


When your car is hit by another car, the force of impact can jostle and shake your body around. In some instances, you might hit your head on the steering wheel, dashboard, or window. Hitting your head against one of these surfaces can actually lead to a concussion. A concussion is the most common type of traumatic brain injury because it means that your brain has been shaken or jolted around hard enough for it to make contact with your skull and bruise.

In regular daily life, there are protective layers between your brain and skull to help absorb shock and keep your brain from jostling around too much. One common symptom of a concussion is a headache, and these can be particularly painful and debilitating. Other symptoms of a concussion can include dizziness, blurry vision, difficulty balancing, and sensitivity to light and sound. These other concussion symptoms can sometimes increase the pain from your headache and make your discomfort even worse.


The most common car accident injury is actually whiplash. While the seat belt and airbags are designed to restrain your body and keep you from being ejected from the vehicle, they can’t prevent your head and neck from getting jostled around. Whiplash is very common when you’ve been rear-ended because the force of the accident causes your head and neck to fling forward and then snap backward. When you’ve suffered a whiplash injury it can cause pain in your head, neck, and back because of how whiplash can affect your bones, muscles, and soft tissues.

When you experience whiplash, the muscles in your neck are stretched out of their usual range of motion, which can cause them to strain or even tear. Muscle strains and tears in your neck can lead to sore, stiff muscles and make it really painful when you try to turn your head from side to side. Sore, tense muscles can sometimes make other pain and discomfort worse, like headaches. Headaches are common with whiplash because of how your head is shaken around. Damage to the spine in your neck can also lead to headaches, especially when nearby nerves are affected.

How a Car Accident Doctor Can Help

So, while headaches may be common after a car accident, it doesn’t mean they are normal and could be a sign of something more serious going on. When you meet with a car accident doctor in College Park, it is helpful if you explain all the symptoms you have been experiencing, when you started noticing them, and if they’ve gotten worse or better over time. Your car accident doctor will likely want to do a physical examination and run tests, like diagnostic imaging, to get a clearer picture of the affected area. Your doctor will explain how to treat whiplash or concussion. A headache may not seem like a big deal compared to a broken arm or leg, but headaches can actually help identify whether a more serious internal injury has occurred.

If you’ve been having headaches and other symptoms for days or even weeks after a car accident, visit your car accident doctor in College Park as soon as possible to get checked out. At AICA Orthopedics in College Park, our team of car accident doctors is highly skilled in diagnosing and treating all kinds of car accident injuries. You shouldn’t have to live with pain and discomfort after a car accident. Instead, visit our car accident doctors and they will develop a treatment plan that gets at the root cause of your headaches and other symptoms so you can experience lasting relief and a full recovery.