Do you get headaches sometimes? Its causes are known to you, such as when you play tennis on the beach under the blazing sun, or when you climb high altitudes and are affected by high blood pressure, or perhaps your strong muscles spasm as a result of strenuous exercise.

Of course, in this article, we will talk about exercise headache, away from work complications, and your boss’s endless requests. Sports are life, beauty, and health, but sometimes you can suffer from some stress because of it, such as feeling a headache after doing your specific exercises.

Therefore, we will learn here, during these few lines, about the possible causes of exercise headache, types of treatment, and when you should visit a specialist doctor.

Exercise Headache Types

 Exercise Headache Types

First, let us distinguish between two types of exercise headache, what they are and what are their described symptoms. Please read:

Primary Exercise Headache

Despite its beauty and everyone agreeing that it increases the body’s health, strength, and stamina, it is here that it is the culprit. Yes, it is only exercise and nothing else that is the primary cause of exertional headaches.

After practicing exercises at the GYM or matches, you have a headache that has no pathological causes, and without warning you have these symptoms related to it. You will feel anxious about it and you will experience these symptoms:

  • As with other types of headaches, you will experience pain on both sides of the head
  • Those usual pulses (pain pulses) will appear.
  • The appearance and disappearance of pain within a few minutes is considered a normal symptom, but when the period extends to more than 48 hours, it makes you suspect that it is a migraine.

Female athletes complain of the exertional headache after exercising, especially in hot climates and mountainous heights.

Secondary Exercise Headache

Secondary headaches have underlying causes within the body, which makes them more dangerous. Having them may be evidence of exposure to one of the following diseases:

  • Brain strokes and consequent bleeding in the brain.
  • Pay attention to the heart, as it may be the problem. Do you have a history of heart disease?
  • Arteries and the rupture that may occur to them.
  • Narrowing of blood vessels and the resulting reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome, and brain tumors and related lesions.

Exercise Headache Causes

Exercise Headache Causes

We will mention here six causes of exercise headache. They are not all causes, but they are the most common. Come with me:

1. Exertional Exercise Headache

When you suddenly feel pulsating sensations in your temples, while you have just finished a workout or exercise, and sometimes during exercise, this is often the primary exercise headache.

Primary exercise headache can strike you during exercise or after completing them. This headache, of course, does not have underlying causes as in a secondary headache. Do not worry too much when you experience this temporary symptom, as its causes are unknown. Some doctors suggest that it is due to increased blood circulation around the head, which leads to enlarged blood vessels and pressure, which causes headaches. It is a type of reaction of your body when engaging in strenuous sporting activity. The effect of this will go away after you undergo a sufficient period of rest, noting that some types of it may last for 48 hours.

Unfortunately, women suffer from this type of headache more than men, as they are more susceptible to it, and those who have previously suffered from migraines are more likely to suffer from it.

2- You Are Dehydrated

The second cause of primary exercise headache occurs when you squeeze your sweat-soaked shirt several times during exercise without remembering to replace those lost fluids from your body. You will then get a headache, and this condition is called dehydration.

When the body reaches the stage of dehydration, it may result in feeling extremely thirsty, then dizziness and muscle spasms.

Always keep your bag full of water, so that headache symptoms do not worsen in your head after exercise.

3- Sun or Excessive Heat

Your inattention when exercising under the sun and in the hot summer exposes you to primary exercise headache, especially for those who suffer from migraines or are prone to them. In addition to the risk of contracting diseases caused by direct sunlight, such as fever, which appears with symptoms of sweating and nausea. Extremely hot environments and the sun in general can hurt your eyes, which can cause headaches for anyone. Altitude and hot, dry weather are also possible causes of exercise headache.

Also read: Sunburn, How Do I Deal with It?

4- Low Blood Sugar

Of course, it is self-evident that long and strenuous training requires energy, and your body will consume glucose (sugar) to provide that energy, which leads you to a drop in blood sugar. You will feel its effect when it reaches less than (70 mg/dL), and thus the exertional exercise headache will appear. You may experience tremors and dizziness.

It is natural for this to happen to female athletes who do not eat proper nutrition that is equivalent to the effort they put in. So race horses are fed more pieces of sugar before and after running.

5- Incorrect Exercise

The presence of a trainer in most exercises is necessary, especially in fitness exercises, which we sometimes do not pay enough attention to. Join Sara popfit’s website to get expert follow-up and specialized supervision of your fitness training.

You may know that exercising improperly can lead to injuries, but incorrect technique can give you headaches.

One of the wrong forms of exercise is when the athlete is hard on her neck or shoulders during exercise. The result will be nerve spasm and the appearance of primary headache, also called cervicogenic headache, which begins with pain in the cervical spine (neck) and the soft tissues surrounding it.

Those interested confirm that female athletes who suffer from headaches resulting from cervicogenic headaches may not feel pain in the neck or stiffness, so the cause of the headache may not become clear despite the fatigue in the neck or shoulder muscles after exercise. But you will later realize that your exercises in which you exhausted the neck or shoulder muscles This is the reason, and this may appear as pain on one side of the head. And even if the pain does not radiate pulsations, it will bother you when you move your neck, and this is further evidence that the headache problem is caused by neck pain.

6- Tight Exercise Clothes

Just as tight shoes hurt the feet, so do the head and soft tissues of the helmet of a female cyclist. The athlete experiences temporary pain that goes away after she takes off the tight helmet. Perhaps protective glasses cause similar conditions.

The pressure generated by head protection equipment or impact clothing will result in soft tissue pain that may resolve within one hour.

Exercise Headache Diagnosis

Away from cases of secondary headaches that appear from underlying causes in the body, and to confirm that exertional headaches are free from an underlying disease or disorder.

The specialist may ask you for some tests to rule out pathogenic causes:

  • Images of blood vessels using computed tomography or computed magnetic resonance imaging.
  • Brain MRI.
  • Spinal puncture (lumbar puncture) to take a sample of spinal fluid for testing.

If the test results are negative, and you have had headaches at least twice, your doctor will call your headache a exertional exercise headache, and when this happens to you:

  • Headache occurs after physical activity.
  • In some cases it occurs during exercise.
  • Continuity for more than 48 hours.

Exercise Headache Treatment

Exercise Headache Treatment

Perhaps the following question may come to your mind: Are exercise headaches treated with medications?

Yes. You can benefit from some medications to treat primary exertional headaches, or so-called exercise headache:

Medications to Treat Exercise Headache

  • Indomethacin is for short-term use.
  • Beta blockers such as nadolol and propranolol for long-term use or those who cannot take NSAIDs.
  • Over-the-counter NSAIDs such as naproxen, but only for short-term use.

Headache after Home Exercise

When you exercise at home, there are some tips that will relieve you of exercise headache, including:

  • Keep your body hydrated

Do not hesitate to drink refreshments, liquids and water while exercising, focusing on:

  1. Drink eight cups of water during the day to maintain optimal body hydration. Water will also keep your skin fresh when you are exposed to more heat.
  2. Make juices and soups a constant companion to your meals, in addition to eating fruits and vegetables. This will give you more fluids.
  • Drink electrolyte solutions

Another method that can help the body rehydrate its water-losing cells is when you can take oral rehydration solutions when you need them, which provide you with electrolytes that can replace those lost through sweating.

  • Streching

Some fun exercises, such as yoga, can make you forget about muscle tension and the resulting headaches, in addition to its other well-known benefits.

  • Relaxation techniques

When I lost some stocks on the stock market, I went to the seaside to spend some time relaxing and meditating, which kept me away from stress. This is the same way that helps you when you feel a exercise headache. Go to meditation.

  • Warm bath

A warm bathtub with the addition of some aromatic herbs will provide relaxation and comfort for the muscles, especially those behind and around the head. The heating pad will also relax the neck and shoulders. It is also okay to use pain relievers that are permitted without a prescription.

  • Headache due to low sugar levels

When you feel a drop in your blood sugar level, and you feel a headache, eat a light meal to compensate for the wasted sugars.

Exercising may help return sugar levels to normal and treat headaches.

Nutritional Supplements Effect on Exercise Headache

There are studies that talk about the benefit of some nutritional supplements in avoiding headache pain after exercise, such as:

  • Coenzyme Q10.
  • Daisy.
  • Magnesium.
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2).
  • Boswellia (natural anti-inflammatory).

Exercise Headache Suffues Future

What is the future for female athletes who suffer from exercise headache? Is a patient with exercise headache recover

All effects of a exertional headache go away within a few minutes or hours, and it generally does not last longer than 48 hours, on the one hand.

On the other hand, although the patient has recurring seizures, they often disappear spontaneously within three to six months at most.

Seek Medical Care

When Should I Seek Medical Attention for a exercise headache?

We agree that this type of headache goes away on its own, or by avoiding external causes such as a hot environment, tight helmets, or poor sleep and nutrition. However, you should go to a medical care center when the headache recurs and worsens, and in the following cases:

  • Your headache is severe and unbearable.
  • Headache accompanies you for more than two days.
  • Makes you drowsy or confused.
  • Headache accompanied by fainting.

Tips to Avoid Exercise Headache

The tempting advantage of this headache is that it heals within a short period of time, but it is not devoid of exhausting pain on your nerves and muscles, and without this being accompanied by an organic disease or underlying disorder.

Therefore, it is necessary to consult a medical care provider, on the one hand, and resort to medicines and other techniques to get rid of it.

You may not be able to prevent every headache before it starts, but you can apply simple strategies to stop exercise headache before it occurs. These strategies can be summarized as:

Warming up and cooling down

It is not acceptable for female players to end the exercise when a headache begins to appear, but regular exercises may reduce migraine attacks in girls who are susceptible to it, especially when you start the exercise with proper warm-up and adequate preparation, with a warning against high-intensity exercises.

It is recommended to avoid dehydration and accompany light and moderate exercises with water, but you need an electrolyte replacement drink when you engage in high-intensity exercise for more than two hours.

Pay attention to the weather

Try not to go out into the open air to exercise during the heat of the day.

Avoid exercising in direct sunlight to avoid losing too much fluid, which may lead to dehydration, headaches, and other symptoms.

When you intend to exercise outside and if you feel headache, take a break and go to a cool, shady place.

Eat a healthy snack before exercising

This is very special for women who suffer from diabetes or who take treatments and medications that affect the level of sugar in the blood. You will have to inform the trainer or coach about your health condition, and you must also bring some sugar in the form of candy or sugary drink. It is also worth taking care of a balanced supportive meal before exercise, and try to include healthy carbohydrates and nutritious protein to prevent low blood sugar levels, which may expose you to fainting.

Cross out activities that may cause stress

Try to exclude stressful exercises from your plan, think about finding an expert to help you choose the right activities for you. Remember that the international trainer Sara popfit can give you advice and guidance.

If you are not sure how to do a new exercise or activity, do not do it without our help. We will give you an appropriate opinion. This may help you avoid injury and the headaches that result from an injury.

Wear properly fitting equipment

Make sure any goggles or headgear you wear during exercises fit properly to prevent external pressure headaches.

When you sleep enough, you will become more active and able to perform all exercises. Make sure to wake up and go to sleep at the same times every day.

Worrying about Exercise Headache

As I mentioned above, exercise headache is not dangerous when they are due to external causes, but sometimes the problem may become larger and the headache may be due to secondary causes, whether during or after exercise. Therefore, you must seek urgent medical attention if you develop some worrying symptoms, including:

Here are some signs that your headaches are more dangerous to your health:

  • When you reach the age of fifty or over, and you develop new and sudden headache symptoms, you must seek medical advice.
  • Fever or other symptoms of a generalized illness, such as a serious type of pandemic influenza.
  • When you have neurological signs and symptoms such as confusion or seizures.
  • The emergence of new modifications and changes in chronic or recurrent headaches.
  • If you are pregnant and experience headaches during or after exercise, you should see your doctor to make sure there is not a more serious problem.

Critical Cases

There are some women who suffer from heart diseases, but who want to exercise, they should ask the doctor regarding this.

In general, every player who is not aware of her health condition and suffers from exercise headache should submit her condition for medical evaluation.

It is self-evident when neck or jaw pain is associated with exercise headache. And when the condition is associated with heart disease, it is necessary to see a doctor, in addition to:

  • If you are a smoker
  • You are obese
  • Diabetic patients
  • Suffering from a heart attack
  • High blood pressure patients

The doctor may perform various tests to rule out any underlying conditions that may be causing exercise headache.

There are many causes of headaches, and many people are susceptible to exercise headache. This type of primary headache has no underlying causes, and often disappears within a short time, perhaps when we avoid the causes that cause it, such as staying away from hot weather and drinking more fluids on the one hand. On the other hand, drink fluids that contain electrolyte solutions to avoid dehydration.

We also identified that strenuous, high-pressure exercise can lead to a stiff neck, sore neck and muscle tension. And we listened to advice to stretch properly before and after exercise to prevent this from happening.

All of this is easier when the headache does not have an underlying cause, like who suffer from headaches due to heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Then, comprehensive medical examinations must be sought.

Frequently Asked Questions about Exercise Headache

Does sport affect the sister?

No. Migraine headaches can be fought with an effective weapon, which is exercise

How do I get rid of a headache without medication?

Apply hot or cold compresses to your head or neck

Does drinking coffee relieve headaches?

Caffeine is a natural vasodilator, which means it helps lower blood pressure by preventing the muscles in the veins from tightening and thus relieving headaches.




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