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HeadWay, Issue #025 -- Post-traumatic migraine
August 22, 2005

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In this month's issue:

Post-traumatic migraine

News bytes

Say what?! Osteopathy

Post-traumatic migraine

Sports had always been his passion, and so when he arrived at college he was looking forward to showing his talent. The year went very well until he got a hard knock and was diagnosed with a concussion.

Concussions aren't really that unusual. He was taken to the hospital and kept under observation for a day or two. There didn't seem to be any complications, so he was sent home and told to get some rest. Soon he was playing again. But the headaches weren't going away.

And they weren't just any headaches. They were intense, one-sided - very much like migraine. But maybe it's just one of those things he'll have to live with for a few months. Or is it?

PTM, or post-traumatic migraine, is common in high school and college age athletes. And a new study by the University of Pittsburgh Sports Medicine Concussion Program suggests that this may not be something that the athlete should just live with. Researchers are concerned that athletes may be playing again too soon. The study found that those with PTM also showed increased "neurocognitive function impairment", and related symptoms.

In other words, there were problems with thought processes in the patients that indicated a more serious neurological problem. This was particularly with PTM, not so much in patients with ordinary headaches or no headaches at all. If another impact to the head occurs before the first condition is properly dealt with, things could quickly get much more serious.

Post-traumatic headaches of various kinds are a common problem, but certainly not one that should be ignored. Some people ignore the problem, claiming it's just "invented" by lawyers. But the people with the headaches know better! Most post traumatic headaches will go away with treatment, or sometimes without. But they have been known to become chronic (lasting 3 months or more), and these types of headache are less understood.

An earlier study (2003) in the American Journal of Sports Medicine from the University of Pittsburgh concluded that post-traumatic headache in general is likely a sign of incomplete brain recovery.

There is no specific treatment for post-traumatic headache; it depends on the cause and the symptoms. The main thing is that these types of headaches should not be ignored. See your doctor, and don't assume that it's just a normal part of life (or athletics) that will soon go away. Think carefully before getting back in the game when you're still dealing with headache or migraine symptoms from a head impact. You may end up with more than you bargained for.

Read the recent study on post traumatic migraine

News bytes

Have you heard about Baylie's bracelets?  Baylie Owen is 6 years old, and has been diagnosed with both Psuedotumor Cerebri and Chiari Malformation.  She decided to take action and start selling bracelets for Chiari and Psuedotumor research.  What a great idea!  Visit her site, Baylie for Brains.

Check out the latest on the Headache and Migraine News Blog.  Read about discrimination at work, other blogs (you'll love this), new DNA research and a great suggestion by a HeadWay reader for a cheap hot/cold pack.  You can now leave your comments on the news entries - please do!  And be sure to visit the HeadWay mailroom if you have suggestions for future topics (password nomoache).

Updated and new articles on the website include:
What type of headaches do you have?
Child migraines
Ice cream headache
 ...and more!

Say what?! Osteopathy

Osteopathy is a complimentary treatment that has been used by migraine or headache patients.  The Australian Osteopathic Association writes:  Osteopathy is a "whole body" system of manual therapy, based on unique biomechanical principles, which uses a wide range of techniques to treat musculo-skeletal problems and other functional disorders of the body.

Osteopathy is a hands on treatment that involves things like stretching and massage.  It is recognized as a scientifically proven treatment by the World Health Organization, and practitioners are trained in many countries around the world.

Read more:
American Osteopathic Association
Complimentary migraine treatments
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