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Deployment-Related Traumatic Brain Injury and Co-Occurring Conditions

A Course for Civilian Health Care Providers from BrainLineMilitary.org

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Pain & Headache

Along with sleep problems, chronic pain is the most common presenting symptom of men and women with long-lasting effects of a service-related concussion.

VIDEO: Dealing with Concurrent Pain After a Brain Injury

Dealing with Concurrent Pain After a Brain Injury

"I used to be a lot more resilient and recover faster … now it takes a week or two. That's definitely frustrating."

 

Chronic pain is pain that lasts longer than the normal healing time for a particular injury. More specifically, chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts longer than three to six months and is not associated with reversible conditions, for example, damage to the spine.

VIDEO: The Many Layers of Chronic Pain

The Many Layers of Chronic Pain

"Pain is good. Why is pain good? It tells you something's wrong, something's not working…"

 

Capt. J.L. Hancock talks about the course of his recovery and the types of pain he continues to experience.

VIDEO: How Capt. J.L. Hancock Has Dealt with His Three Phases of Recovery from Brain Injury

Three Phases of Recovery

Capt. J.L. Hancock breaks down his recovery from his brain injury into three phases and talks about his persistent pain.

Headache

Headaches often follow a concussion and they can persist even when other symptoms have resolved.

VIDEO: Post-Concussive Headaches: "A Pulsating, Rumbling Fight Inside Your Head"

Post-Concussive Headaches

"The headaches are so severe that sometimes you're unable to concentrate. There's just a pulsating rumbling fight within your own head that makes it impossible to concentrate.…"

 

Family nurse practitioner Helen Coronel emphasizes the importance of taking a good history before deciding on a treatment approach:

VIDEO: How Long Have These TBI-Related Headaches Been Going On?

How Long Have These TBI-Related Headaches Been Going On?

"You also want to get an idea of, did they have headaches prior to this injury, because that's going to be significant."

 

Nurse practitioner Helen Coronel explains why sleep problems should usually be addressed before treating the headaches.

VIDEO: Look at Sleep Issues Then Headaches

Look at Sleep Issues Then Headaches

"If you're dealing with a service member or a veteran who's had headaches, and you want to treat them, the first thing you want to look at is sleep…"



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