T Nation


My brother was working on bench press the other day intensely and all of a sudden he got a real bad headache that hasn’t gone away for 2 days so far. Could it be a broken vessle or any other kind of head trauma brought on by heavy training? He’s going to a dr tomorrow but I’m sure it will take them a few visits to make any kind of determination. Has anybody else heard of this or had any like experiences. Any feedback is appreciated.

Are his pupils equal, round and reactive to light? Actually, it sounds like he strained a neck muscle and that can give your a bad headache. If he is confused or forgetful, more than usual :^) get him to a MD right away.

If the pain is on the back of the head then it is pretty common among weightlifters…usually happens when doing leg press or benching. What happens is the individuals blood pressure temporarily gets too high and this causes extreme pain on the back of the head…usually subsides within a day or 2.

This happens to me whenever I return from benching after a short layoff. It hurts like hell!


Headaches, I know exactly what your brother is going through. I had the same thing happen to me. Everytime I’d jump on the bench, I couldn’t lift anything heavy or intensly cause I’d keep getting these terrible instant headaches. After a lot of trial and error, I tried a chiropractor who put my neck and back into place. Next day of lifting, no problems. It would work everytime for me. Occassionally I’d pop my back or neck out everynow and then through football or doing something stupid and the headaches would start to come back during the bench press. But once I’d go back to the chiropractor, I’d be fine. It might not be for some people but it was for me. For about $30 a visit, maybe it’s worth a try.

This same thing happened to me when I was lifting in college. I actually felt a pop in the back of my head and had a headache for a couple of days. I think the cause was breathing though. I had a hard time with breathing proberly while lifting and I would hold my breath through my sets. A bad habit I had to break - to keep my head from exploding.

That same exact thing happened to me. It didn’t matter if I was benching 185 or 285 it would come in the back of my head and the only way it would go away is if I went home and laid down for a few hours. I went to the Doc and he just told me to cut back on the weight I used. Eventually (about a month) it subsided on its own and never returned. I think it was blood pressure related.