T Nation

Squats and Headaches

Recently (within the last week), whenever I squat, I get real strong headache pain on the left side of my head. Even 225 lbs has become unbearable to even hold on my back. I was just starting Smolov so this is very disappointing. Anyone ever had this type of problem, or anyone have any suggestions?

[quote]Coby wrote:
Recently (within the last week), whenever I squat, I get real strong headache pain on the left side of my head. Even 225 lbs has become unbearable to even hold on my back. I was just starting Smolov so this is very disappointing. Anyone ever had this type of problem, or anyone have any suggestions?[/quote]

I would suggest trying some Magnesium and a small amount of aspirin before training. This also can get rid of the shakes you might get in your back after deadlifting.

Two possible causes:

  1. a nerve somewhere in your neck that is being pinched when you put a loaded bar on your back

  2. a vascular headache, caused by sudden changes in BP. If you tense up and hold your breath when lifting, your BP rises substantially. When it drops suddenly afterwards, this can cause a headache.

How long does the headache last? If it’s only short term, don’t worry about it.

[quote]Coby wrote:
Recently (within the last week), whenever I squat, I get real strong headache pain on the left side of my head. Even 225 lbs has become unbearable to even hold on my back. I was just starting Smolov so this is very disappointing. Anyone ever had this type of problem, or anyone have any suggestions?[/quote]

Oh my god I thought I was the only one this happened to. I couldn’t sleep a couple of nights ago cos the pain was so bad after i hit a PR squat. What the last poster said about the BP issue is probably what caused it now i think of it. God bless you T-Nation!

Probably one of the things previously described.

Have you tried towels on the bar, padding, or a manta-ray device?

Do you get the pain doing front squats?

Overhead squats?

Stuff your program, the most important thing for you is to determine what is causing this pain and fix it.

$10 says it is compression of a nerve on the left and fixable with one of the devices I described - but check it out first.

you’re probably holding it more on your neck instead of your traps. If you don’t have meaty traps to put it on, get some.

I find a lot of times I get headaches when doing olympic front squats…

And then I realize I am just choking myself with the bar.

[quote]Magarhe wrote:
Probably one of the things previously described.

Have you tried towels on the bar, padding, or a manta-ray device?

Do you get the pain doing front squats?

Overhead squats?

Stuff your program, the most important thing for you is to determine what is causing this pain and fix it.

$10 says it is compression of a nerve on the left and fixable with one of the devices I described - but check it out first.

[/quote]

I concur.

I don’t have magnesium, but I do have a multivitamin with magnesium that I’ll try tommorrow (in the morning). Also, no Aspirin, but I have Ibuprofen, close enough?

I only get it doing backsquats. Deads, Front squats, OHS, all feel fine.

It starts pretty much immediately after I put the bar on my back, and is gone within 30 seconds of racking the weight. Now that you mention it, does kindof sound like a nerve.

I will experiment tommorrow with a towel over the bar, but if works, it’d sefinitely gotta be a temporary thing. No way I’m using a towel on the bar for any length of time, gotta keep my dignity :stuck_out_tongue:

Hi – Just searched on this topic today and saw your posts. I have been getting a sudden pain (feels like a lit cigarette tip on one single point of my back/left trap where the bar rests). This only happens under load, but it is extremely sudden and painful. I have to unweight immediately, and if I stretch out and move around I can usually go ahead with the squats or lunges, etc. I should point out that I use a pad for the bar (since I’m a girl it’s acceptable!!!). It doesn’t happen all the time, but its annoying and painful. I am 5’8", 143 pounds, and I’m squating 225 on heavy days. Any suggestions? I’m assuming it’s a nerve pinch, but my form is really good and I’m not sure what to do at this point…

I dont get headaches…but i get a buzzing feeling in my head and a little tunnel vision and i have to sit down. This happens more so if im doing REALLY heavy deads…well heavy for me atleast lol.

I seem to go a little deaf in my left ear when doing front squats. This only happens on the first set. After that everything is fine. I have just come to accept it.

i get headaches as well as throbbing in my head after heavy lifts.

One thing I always forget is to breath properly, i realise that after I start to get a headache, I wasnt focusing on proper breathing.
just my 2c