Women having headache after vaccination

Headaches After a Vaccine

Texas Vaccine Lawyers Feb. 7, 2024

Vaccines play an integral role in warding off serious illnesses. Yet, concerns about side effects, specifically headaches, can create some hesitancy, especially for people who already suffer chronic migraines. This article aims to address these concerns and provide a comprehensive overview of post-vaccination headaches, and what you should do if you're concerned your vaccine caused you more harm than good. 

New Daily Persistent Headache (NDPH)

An article about vaccine-related headaches would be incomplete without mentioning New Daily Persistent Headache (NDPH). NDPH is a chronic headache disorder that can significantly affect individuals who previously had no history of headaches.

While the exact cause remains unknown, potential predisposing factors include cervical spine joint hypermobility and persistent inflammation in the nervous system. Vaccines, particularly the HPV vaccine and flu shot, have also been implicated in some NDPH cases.

Those who suffer from NDPH may experience:

  • Head pain, ranging from mild to severe

  • Sudden onset of chronic headaches, often with a memorable trigger

  • Migraine-like symptoms: throbbing pain, nausea, and vomiting

  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia) and sound (phonophobia)

  • Blurred vision

  • Fatigue

  • Dizziness

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Feeling lightheaded

  • Mood disorders like anxiety and depression

  • Numbness or tingling sensations

Do You Have NDPH?

This condition is characterized by a sudden onset of severe headache that peaks within three days and persists daily for over three months.

Often, NDPH can mimic other primary headache syndromes such as chronic migraine and chronic tension-type headache. It's more common in females and often manifests in victims during their 20s or 30s.

Diagnosing NDPH involves a comprehensive approach, including neuroimaging tests like brain MRI with gadolinium and MR or CT venogram. Lumbar puncture may also be necessary to measure CSF opening pressures and rule out chronic meningitis.

The progression of NDPH varies among patients. Some may experience spontaneous resolution within a few years, while others face a more chronic and resistant course. Treatment options include preventive medications, symptomatic therapy, and peripheral nerve blocks. However, the effectiveness of these treatments is uncertain, and many NDPH patients don't respond well to standard headache therapies.

In conclusion, NDPH is a complex headache disorder that requires careful diagnosis and treatment. If you suspect NDPH is related to your vaccination, consult your doctor for proper evaluation and management. Then reach out to a vaccine injury attorney to learn about your legal options.

The Reality of Post-Vaccination Headaches

Headaches are a common side effect of vaccines. A recent study conducted by Dr. Teshamae Monteith shed some light on post-vaccination headaches. The research findings suggest that while headaches are a common symptom following vaccination, they're typically not severe.  

Several studies have delved into the occurrence of migraine episodes after COVID-19 vaccination. These studies have found that a percentage of people with a preexisting condition of migraines reported episodes after the first and second vaccine doses. However, there's no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines induce migraines in individuals without a prior history of the condition. Furthermore, despite common misconceptions, vaccines do not typically trigger full-blown migraine attacks. 

When it comes to post-vaccination headaches, there are a few different factors at play that can contribute to their occurrence.

First and foremost, vaccines work by stimulating the immune system to create antibodies that can fight off specific diseases. This process can cause inflammation in the body, which may lead to headaches or migraines. Additionally, some vaccines contain small amounts of preservatives. 

Characteristics of Post-Vaccination Headaches

Post-vaccination headaches can vary in intensity and duration, often presenting as a diffuse, mild to moderate pain that affects both sides of the head. They generally occur within the first 24 to 48 hours after vaccination and can last from a few hours to several days.  

Unlike migraines, which are often accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, photophobia (sensitivity to light), and phonophobia (sensitivity to sound), post-vaccination headaches typically do not entail such symptoms.  

However, in some individuals, especially those with a history of migraines or other headache disorders, a post-vaccination headache could have similar features to their common headaches or migraines, such as a pulsating quality of pain and exacerbation with physical activity. It is important to monitor the character, severity, and duration of the headache, as these factors can provide insights into the nature of the post-vaccination response and inform the approach to management. 

How to Manage Post-Vaccination Headache

Over-the-counter medications can be effective in relieving post-vaccination headache symptoms. If you're a migraine sufferer, consulting your doctor about possibly adjusting your treatment plan might be necessary. Rest assured, preventive treatments for migraines remain effective post-COVID-19 vaccination. 

Other Causes of Headaches After Vaccination

While inflammation and immune responses are primary factors contributing to post-vaccination headaches, other common causes should not be overlooked. Stress and anxiety surrounding the vaccination process can lead to tension-type headaches.  

Dehydration—a common ailment in many individuals—may be exacerbated by the stress of receiving a vaccine and further lead to headaches. Additionally, one may experience disrupted sleep patterns around the time of vaccination, possibly as an effect of anticipatory anxiety or post-vaccine malaise, which in turn can be a significant trigger for headaches.  

It's also worth noting that reactions at the injection site, including pain and muscle tension, may refer pain to the head, causing headache symptoms to emerge. Recognizing these factors is crucial for understanding and managing post-vaccination headaches effectively. 

What to Do if You Suspect a Vaccine Injury

When individuals face the unfortunate situation of a vaccine-related injury or illness, they must take prompt and appropriate action. Here are some steps you should consider: 

  1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention: The first step is always to seek immediate medical care. Health care professionals can provide necessary treatment and document the injury or illness, which may be critical for any future legal action. 

  1. Document Your Symptoms: Keeping a detailed record of symptoms, their severity, and duration can be valuable. This information could help medical professionals make an accurate diagnosis and potentially link the health issue to the vaccine. 

  1. Report the Adverse Event: In the United States, individuals can report vaccine side effects to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). This national system collects data to help monitor the safety of vaccines. 

  1. Consider Legal Action: If a connection between the vaccine and the injury or illness is established, individuals may have grounds for a lawsuit. Legal action could lead to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and more. 

  1. Consult With Texas Vaccine Lawyers: If one believes their health issue is directly related to a vaccine, it might be time to consult with a legal professional. The team at Texas Vaccine Lawyers, including attorney Sean Greenwood, are well-versed in this area of law, and they serve clients across the country.  

These steps are not exhaustive and every situation is unique. Always consult with a healthcare provider and a qualified attorney to ensure you take the best course of action.  

Help Is Here When You Need It

While vaccines can cause headaches, these are usually mild and short-lived. There's no substantial evidence linking vaccines to triggering migraines in those without a history of the condition. Always consult your doctor with any concerns about COVID-19 vaccination and migraines. 

This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you are considering taking legal action related to vaccine injuries, Texas Vaccine Lawyers, including attorney Sean Greenwood, are available for consultation. Sean Greenwood serves clients nationwide. Always consult with a qualified attorney for legal advice.