Sports concussion and associated post-traumatic headache

Headache. 2013 May;53(5):726-36. doi: 10.1111/head.12087. Epub 2013 Apr 17.


Despite an incidence of approximately 3.8 million sports-related concussions per year, the pathophysiological basis of this injury remains poorly understood. Associated post-traumatic headache, both acute and chronic, can also provide a unique treatment challenge for medical personnel. The presence of new onset or persistent headache following injury often complicates return to play decisions. It is also now evident that recurrent head trauma may be associated with the development of some chronic neurodegenerative disorders. Although anecdotal reports and consensus guidelines are utilized in the management of sports concussion and associated post-traumatic headache, further evidence-based data are needed. Improved prevention and management of this injury will occur with ongoing educational and research efforts. As such advances are made, it is imperative the headache specialist have continued understanding of this evolving field.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletes
  • Athletic Injuries / complications*
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology
  • Brain Concussion / complications*
  • Brain Concussion / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Post-Traumatic Headache / diagnosis
  • Post-Traumatic Headache / etiology*
  • Post-Traumatic Headache / physiopathology
  • Sports