Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the major causes of death and disability in the United States. TBIs contribute to about 30% of all injury deaths. 1 Every day, 153 people in the United States die from injuries that include TBI. Those who survive a TBI can face effects that last a few days, or the rest of their lives. Effects of TBI can include impaired thinking or memory, movement, sensation (e.g., vision or hearing), or emotional functioning (e.g., personality changes, depression). These issues not only affect individuals but can have lasting effects on families and communities.
If you suffer a blow to the head, or if your head is jarred enough so that your brain moves inside your skull, it’s possible that you may sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Depending on the severity of the brain trauma, a TBI is known for causing a variety of different health related complications, such as confusion, memory loss, tissue damage, swelling, or even a lack of oxygen to the brain.
These may seem like pretty common complications. But, what many survivors don’t expect in the weeks, months, or even years after the event that caused their injury is the feeling of chronic pain that they continue to experience. As it turns out, however, various forms of pain are a highly common complication after a traumatic brain injury.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries and can result in closed head or open wound brain injuries. However, if it is several months or even years after your injury and your body has seemingly healed, why does it feel like everything still hurts after all that time has passed?