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"Can old concussions cause headaches?"


I used to play hockey, and received a few severe concussions in my career. My last game was over 8 years ago, but I'm worried that the old head injuries are causing me headaches now. Is this possible, after such a long delay?


As you know, headaches are very common. The most common type of headaches are migraines, tension headaches, and cluster headaches. Thus regardless of your past history, statistically you are more likely to be suffering from one of these types than any other.

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With that said, concussions (especially multiple) can cause headaches weeks, months, or even years after the initial injury. This is phenomenon is called the post concussive syndrome. Headaches are the most common symptom. Other problems people that have a history of concussions face include difficulty concentrating and irritability. Thus, I think that it is very possible that your headaches are related to your previous concussions. The only way to be sure what is causing you headaches is for you to get seen by a physician. In your particular case, I think you would benefit most from seeing a neurologist. He or she will be well equipped to tease out the subtleties of your symptoms to accurately define what type of headache your are suffering from. This is extremely important because the treatments for the different types of headaches are different. This is especially true if you are getting migraines because they have a preventative treatments that are available. For now, avoid using narcotic pain killers because these can make concussive headaches worse in the long run.

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