T Nation

Head Pain / Leg Pressing

Hey all,

Was doing a heavy set of leg presses today, and went for an extra rep. Upon completing the extra rep, i got a pain in the back of my head, like someone had just whacked me with a baseball bat. The pain lasted about 5 minutes before disipating, but I still had a tender feeling there a few hours later. What do you guys and gals think this was?

I’m curious to know as well since it happened to me a few years back when I began lifting but still didn’t know what I was doing (The fact that I was doing leg press instead of squats says it all). I figure for me was a neck strain caused by an awkward head/neck push backwards into the head rest, combined with poor form in the rest of my body and not breathing out properly (or at all).

I was going for a “last” set. I felt a pop in my neck near the base of my head towards the end but managed to finish my set; the throbbing pain started from that point and made its way to my temples and the rest of my head; it was very intense and I couldn’t really move when it happened. It subsided and came and dull pain for the rest of the day. I coudln’t lift or exert myself too much for 2 weeks (sex included) or the pain would return and then it got better quite suddenly. I would give it a rest for a couple days.

I don’t know anything about the baseball bat in the back of the head pain.

However, I do know I also did something to my neck a couple times when I was starting out. Nothing as severe as described, but kind of a snap or crunch while straining to do a (heavy at the time) military press.

Since there wasn’t true pain and the exertion levels weren’t impeded it didn’t seem like anything serious. I had thought maybe several mostly unused muscles were fused and had seperated under the general strain.

The only problem I have these days is a nagging shoulder twinge. My theory is that years of reaching forward to use a mouse has my right shoulder out of alignment a bit, but that of course is a story for another thread…

Ransomed,
I had the same thing happen to me off and on the last few years doing plyometrics, leg press, and squats. Each time it would last a few weeks before I could get back to training. My symptoms were the same ones Moglwi described. Dunno if they have the old reader mails up, but Berardi explains this sort of thing in Issue 166 reader mail (if you can find it.) What helped me was just rest and in the one case that was really severe I found a certified ART provider and the headaches/pain went away. Since then I have focused on having quality warm ups, never holding my breath during sets as Mowgli mentioned, keeping good posture at all times during the lifts, and trying to keep my head or shoulders from being forward at all times throughout the day. This has prevented the headaches/pain from happening ever again. I also press down on my traps and turn my head in the opposite direction for a strong stretch in that area. From my experience, tightness in the cervical muscles is a big factor in this problem. Dunno if this will help, maybe this is something different than what I had, but that’s just my two cents. Hopefully you will recover quickly but if not PM me I’ve had alot of personal experience with this thing.

-David

[quote]Mowgli wrote:
I’m curious to know as well since it happened to me a few years back when I began lifting but still didn’t know what I was doing (The fact that I was doing leg press instead of squats says it all). I figure for me was a neck strain caused by an awkward head/neck push backwards into the head rest, combined with poor form in the rest of my body and not breathing out properly (or at all).

I was going for a “last” set. I felt a pop in my neck near the base of my head towards the end but managed to finish my set; the throbbing pain started from that point and made its way to my temples and the rest of my head; it was very intense and I couldn’t really move when it happened. It subsided and came and dull pain for the rest of the day. I coudln’t lift or exert myself too much for 2 weeks (sex included) or the pain would return and then it got better quite suddenly. I would give it a rest for a couple days.[/quote]

Same thing here even with the sex. Anytime my heart rate elevated it would act up. I took 2 weeks off and then slowly worked my way back to where I was at. Dont be to alarmed unless it doesnt go away after a coulpe of weeks. I also used some advil or tylenol(whatever you can handle) to help with the pain and figured it would help thin the blood to releive the pressure.

what it could possible be is that you with so much presure going thur your entire body you gave you self a form of mild “whiplash”. all that is is the connected tissue streching or slightly tearing thats why rest helps.

Just warm up and stretch really well before you go HARDCORE,