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Exercise and Headache


Exercise headaches have no underlying cause other than exertion. Headaches triggered by any form of exercise are known as exertional or exercise headaches. Strenuous activities such as running and lifting weights are common culprits.

Exercise and Headache

Muscles may become over-tense when you are feeling stressed or anxious. In this state muscle fibres are stimulated by sympathetic messages from the brain.
Generally the purpose of this is to prepare the body for fight or flight from danger.

End exercise induced headache

Exercise induced headache can arrive on your doorstep for a number of reasons. First, it's important to note that it could be a sign of something very serious.

Avoiding after exercise headache

There are a number of things that can cause after exercise headache. Talk to your doctor about the various preventative medications that may be right for you. This is for you especially if you're getting migraine symptoms a few times a month.

Muscular Pain and Headache during Exercise

Muscular stiffness and pain may also occur when the same posture is maintained for too long, for example bending over a piece of work or leaning the head back to look up. This causes pain due to vaso-constriction, ischaemia and a build-up of waste products (such as lactic acid) from muscle contraction. Pain breeds spasm - muscles around the area contract to protect it. If this occurs in shoulder muscles (a common postural problem) pain may spread to the back of the head - a typical tension headache.

Some common treatments

The International Headache Society has written about two overlapping types of headache, known as primary cough headache and primary exertion headache. These are often treated with indomethecin (Indocin), an anti-inflammatory medication. Ergotamine Tartrate has been reported as helpful by some patients.

Ways to stop exercise induced headache

Avoid exercise that involved prolonged stooping.
Lower impact, more stretching. If tennis is causing a problem, try swimming instead, for example.
If you're just starting an exercise program, don't start with something intensive. You may want to try something as simple as a daily brisk walk, and then move on once your body is used to it.

Sometimes crying or laughing
are the only options left,
and laughing feels better right now.

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