Are you in the middle of a workout and a headache out of nowhere strikes again? Well…you probably suffer from an exertion headache, which means a type of head pain it’s activated by exercise. This type of head pain can last from 5 minutes to 28 hours. Exertion headaches are caused by increased pressure on your blood vessels in the brain. In general they appear during difficult exercises like running, weightlifting or biking, to the American Migraine Foundation. When you are sweating, this exertion headaches tend to happen. Here is what doctors advice you to do.
Stop and cool down
Your body responds with this exertion headache, when it feels overexerted, so if one of these headaches strikes, you should take a break. Before your intense workout, you must warm up. Warming up you prepare your body for activity and this can prevent exertion headaches.
Find your triggers
Clifford Stark, DO, sports medicine specialist in New York City, says that the main cause of exertion headaches is working too much and they are triggered by blood pressure issues, dehydration, sleep deprivation, caffeine, alcohol or chocolate. “Exercising in hot, humid conditions or at high altitudes when your body isn’t acclimated yet,” can also bring exertion headaches, says Dr. Stark. Erin Manning, MD, assistant attending neurologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.
Correct your form of workout
Steven Coppolecchia, physical therapist at Spear Physical Therapy in New York, says that, “A lot of times, in particular with lifting but you’ll see it with running as well, people sit with the head sitting far too forward or an arched back,” says Coppolecchia. “I work with patients to correct their posture and that’s going to improve blood flow up to the brain and also reduce some of the muscle tension.” Don’t make the same mistakes again and correct your workout form.