PTSD and Migraines

The stress and anxiety from PTSD can produce migraines — serious headaches that can be accompanied by dizziness, nausea, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Both the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars increased the occurrence of migraines in veterans and this was especially true of soldiers after a one-year combat tour in Iraq. Because the VA recognizes migraines as a service-connected disability, veterans may be eligible for disability benefits if they can prove their military service caused or aggravated their headaches.

It is believed that the symptoms of PTSD contribute to high stress levels and emotional tension and pressure. This stress can be a catalyst for these headaches. It is known that a veteran or any person who suffers a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) will likely experience headache problems. And because the brain reacts to trauma through pathways that are similar to those in migraines, these types of headaches can be a result of a TBI. Additionally, the link between a TBI and  migraine headaches can be PTSD. 

Regardless of the exact cause, migraine headaches can have a devastating impact on the quality of your life. If you suffer from migraines that you believe are service-related or are a result of service-related PTSD, you may qualify for benefits from the Veterans Administration.

This article is excerpted from Cuddigan Law’s informative book, PTSD and VA Disability Benefits: Finding a Path to Healing. For a free download of this book—packed with helpful information for vets coping with PTSD including insider tips to maximize your benefits—click here. If you are considering filing a VA disability claim call us at 402-933-5405 or email us at [email protected] for a free evaluation of your situation.


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Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska
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