Exertion Headaches

Ok so this happened a couple times back in college and now it’s happening again. In College, I was benching one day and going pretty heavy for me back then, might have been two wheels per side. But I was grunting it up and started getting a serious pain in my head, I had a spotter and he needed to rip it off me. My head was throbbing something fierce and I took a few days off. I went back at it because my head felt fine. Even a minor exertion and I started to feel my head hurting again. I went through a period of about 6 months where even if I was trying to push out a turd, any exertion like that and I would get the headaches, very intense.

This was the initial reason I stopped working out, this was after my one and only time that I worked out regularly for over a year. Ever since then I have been a little hesetant of really pushing myself. So the other day I’m doing a light workout and I decide to just pust out a few extra squats. Out of fucking no where, hasn’t occured in probably 12 years, fucking splitting pain in my head.

It goes away, but yesterday I went out to the bar and had a few beers for the 1:00 game, I came home at 4:00 and at 5:00 I was in writhing pain on my bed, could not even move headache. the only way it was remotely manageble was not moving at all and keeping my eyes closed. My wife got home at 7:00 so I basically sat motionless for two hours. She got me some advil and in another hour I was fine. But what the hell is this. My last beer out of 4 was at about 3:45 so I cannot fathom a hangover type effect in that short of a time, plus I had barley caught a buzz, 4 beers isn’t alot over 4 hours.

As I type this I just started getting a headache again, I just ran and popped some more advil but I’m a little worried I have messed something up in my brain. Could this be related to dehydration? I mean I don’t drink a gallon of water per day, but I drink probably 3-4 12 Oz glasses per day. I only drink one large cup of coffee in the AM and I have been drinking much less alcohal than I used to. Anyways, I’m sure a bunch of you will say, “go to the doctors” but I’m just looking to see if someone had a similar experience and has some pre-emptive info for me so that I can be prepared for what the doc is going to tell me. My head fucking hurts.

The pain starts at the base of my skull and radiates up the back and at it’s most intense is like there is a bolt between my temples and I can feel it behind my eyes.

V

Hey Vegeta,

If you’re dealing with reoccurring pain in the head, this is NOT a good sign. For safety sakes, I would get this checked out. God forbid it is something that will lead to an aneurysm, but that’s why you get this checked out NOW.

Question: Are you holding your breathe while lifting?

[quote]BackInAction wrote:
Hey Vegeta,

If you’re dealing with reoccurring pain in the head, this is NOT a good sign. For safety sakes, I would get this checked out. God forbid it is something that will lead to an aneurysm, but that’s why you get this checked out NOW.

Question: Are you holding your breathe while lifting?[/quote]

I try not to hold my breath, but I do hold it back quite a bit and kind of force it out slowly. Another thing that triggers a little pain is when I wake up I do like this full body stretch and I hold my breath during that, it only lasts like 2 seconds but I have felt the back of my head start that tingly feeling right before I get a headache when I do those sometimes.

I’ll schedule a visit with my doc. I seriously can’t afford this shit right now but I guess I also can’t afford to die.

V

Vegita,

I’ve had this happen a handful of times. Called exertion headache, exercise headache, weightlifter’s headache, lightning bolt headache. There’s definitely a few threads here on it. What I believe it boils down to is blood pressure and/or holding one’s breath during concentric portion of reps. Many times, if not every time it happens when you’re lifting in a horizontal or even in decline position (leg press) BUT many reported getting them during high rep squatting.

It hurts like a motherfucker. Imho, I “think” a blood vessel (that runs from base of skull to up and over the ear to about the top of skull - people report having this happen on left side of their head) has stretched or dare I say, bulged, due to blood pressure and internal pressure (holding your breath)being too much. I hesitate to put it that way but that’s what I believe seems to be the case from all the reading i’ve done on it. It also could be a nerve impingement in that area. I’m not a 100% sure.

Basically, start concentrating on breathing through the rep. Yes your poundages will take a hit but it’s better than that happening again. Lower your caffeine intake a bit. And if you’ve put on some pounds or your salt or food intake has increased, lower your calories and start shedding a few pounds. For me the advil didn’t do a whole hell of alot. What worked was no exertion (sex, running, weightlifting, etc) for about 10-14 days.

Again, yes I know it sucks but it works. You’ll be good as new. Next time if you start to feel the start of an ache or pressure in that area again, STOP doing what you’re doing !

[quote]poophead wrote:
Vegita,

I’ve had this happen a handful of times. Called exertion headache, exercise headache, weightlifter’s headache, lightning bolt headache. There’s definitely a few threads here on it. What I believe it boils down to is blood pressure and/or holding one’s breath during concentric portion of reps. Many times, if not every time it happens when you’re lifting in a horizontal or even in decline position (leg press) BUT many reported getting them during high rep squatting.

It hurts like a motherfucker. Imho, I “think” a blood vessel (that runs from base of skull to up and over the ear to about the top of skull - people report having this happen on left side of their head) has stretched or dare I say, bulged, due to blood pressure and internal pressure (holding your breath)being too much. I hesitate to put it that way but that’s what I believe seems to be the case from all the reading i’ve done on it. It also could be a nerve impingement in that area. I’m not a 100% sure.

Basically, start concentrating on breathing through the rep. Yes your poundages will take a hit but it’s better than that happening again. Lower your caffeine intake a bit. And if you’ve put on some pounds or your salt or food intake has increased, lower your calories and start shedding a few pounds. For me the advil didn’t do a whole hell of alot. What worked was no exertion (sex, running, weightlifting, etc) for about 10-14 days.

Again, yes I know it sucks but it works. You’ll be good as new. Next time if you start to feel the start of an ache or pressure in that area again, STOP doing what you’re doing ! [/quote]

Thanks,

Yea this is kind of what I got out of the limited info online. Basically take it easy for a couple weeks, hydrate, take pain meds as needed and see if it goes away. I have still been having dull headaches during the day, but I’m looking at a puter all day, so my eyes are probably straining and exasperating the problem. It does seem to be lessening though, so I’ll hold off on the docs for right now.

V

I’ve had this twice now. The first time it went on for weeks every time I strained, the second time I knew what it was and got it fixed immediately.
In my case it was caused by a tight muscle in the neck, the first time at the back and the second on the side. A physio fixed it both times.
So I’d try a physio, they are familiar with it, they first confirm it’s muscular and if it is they can fix it. If not see a doctor.
The fix is pressure to the muscle, the headache will start, work it’s way over the head from the back to the front then subside. You can actually do it yourself once you know the spot.

This happened to me yesterday after doing deadlifts

wasnt even on a heavy set(i was ramping down after reaching my top set to add some volume) after i finished the set a very strong pain into the back of my head. about 45 mins later i feel mostly normal and go on with my day. Today i woke up feeling great, but as i noticed doing simple things like walking up stairs, getting up out of a seat causes a tiny bit of pain, like if i had a normal headache these little things would cause it to ache abit.

Today i decided to test the water in the gym, i got in and felt pretty good, i was doing some barbell rows,worked up to my top set, and felt good, did two more sets for volume, still felt good…went for another set and after 6 easy reps (i remember the weight feeling light when i picked it up, only like 175 lbs or something) the pain was all of a sudden back. It wasnt as bad as the day before, and it subsided a bit quicker but now im right scared that i wont be able to train for a while without this reoccurring.

how are you feeling now OP?

Had this happen before. When I first read about the 20 Rep Squat challenge. I went wild with it, trying to do one every week or so, along with my normal leg workouts. Anyways, after a few weeks of this, I would get into the weightroom and most of the time it was right after warmups, when I was really getting my groove on all of a sudden I would feel a pain like this in the back of my neck and it would just keep getting worse and worse the longer I worked out 'till I just couldn’t take it anymore.

I was really worried, did some research, thought it might be because of tightness in the muscles of my neck. I have never been really big into doing anything before I lift besides some stretching and light weight stuff. But after the headaches started, I began to jog or walk a mile before I lifted everyday. Not superfast, just a chilled out jog. Then, get to the weightroom, stretch the SHIT out of my neck, I mean really warm that baby up, get my traps really loose, try not to stay so tense, some light shrugs and neck rolls.

Then I would start my normal warmup, and inbetween warmup sets, strech my neck some more. Worked really hard at staying loose. It fixed the problem really fast, apart from this I found out I also have really bad posture problems, shoulders used to always be rolled forward because of tightness in my chest, I started doing more upper body stretches, worked really hard on my shoulders and chest, and badabing badaboom. Headaches gone. Also, dont they say not to hold your breath when you do static stretches? I was always told to just relax.

Im hijacking this thread.

Yesterday i went to the doctor and i now have appointment for an MRI. I was told i can go back to the gym and give 50 percent exertion (might be kind of weird). Im not getting headaches anymore from like walking up stairs and stuff, and last night i did 30 pushups without any pain.

But sometimes when rubbing one out at night it causes the same headache to come back (not near as intense as in the gym and only lasts a second or two) I was thinking of going back into the gym today but i dont think im ready yet. I may try some stuff tomorrow though. We`ll see.