Get a Headache after Working Out?

You thought you were getting on the road to better health – but instead, you get a headache after working out.  The irony is that many people want to exercise so that they get fewer headaches or migraine attacks.  And suddenly it looks like the opposite!

Getting a headache after working out could have a variety of causes – some of them quite serious.  For example, it could signal a problem with the fluid in and around the brain.  Or, it could be a symptom of a problem with blood flow.

The first rule is:  If you have a headache after exercising, and it’s never happened before – see a doctor right away!  Or, if you’ve had headaches before, but this one is somehow different, get to a doctor right away.  It could be something serious, and if possible you should see a doctor the same day.

But what if it’s just common for you to get a headache after working out?

In fact, it might happen other times, not just after an actual workout.  There are other similar kinds of exertion headaches.  Maybe doing a certain task at work is causing a headache.  Or it could be a sex headache.  Or some other active job or recreation you do.

Exercise is so key for your health, you should not allow headaches or migraine attacks to keep you from it.  And yes, there are ways to treat exercise headache.

Are headaches making your workouts THIS depressing?
Are headaches making your workouts this depressing?

Stopping the after-workout headache

  • Be sure you’re hydrated.  Get enough to drink before, during and after your workout, and see if it makes a difference.
  • Sugar levels:  Make sure you’ve had a good meal before you exercise (that means eat breakfast first if you’re going to work out in the morning).  Some people find it helps to drink an energy drink during a workout, or to take a glucose tablet before starting.  Eating within an hour after your workout is also a good idea.
  • Take it slow:  Maybe you’re trying to do too much too fast.  Try gentler exercise for a while.  Or, take more time to warm up before getting into something intense.
  • Consider taking preventative medication and/or supplements for migraine.  If you have been diagnosed with migraine, consider this.  If you work out 3 times a week, and get a migraine attack every time, that’s 13 attacks a month.  No small problem!  Preventative medication for migraine has helped many people drastically cut down on their attacks.  Daily supplements such as magnesium may also make a big difference.
  • If the problem is more occasional, ask your doctor about taking something before you exercise, such as an anti-inflammatory like Advil (ibuprofen) or Indocin (indomethacin).  This isn’t safe for everyone, and isn’t a good option if you need to take it often.

Exercise is worth it – don’t give up!  Find a solution that works for you, and keep that new years resolution to get in better shape in 2009.  Don’t get stopped by a headache after working out.

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108 comments… add one

  • keshav Sep 27, 2010

    just keep drinking lots of water again and again,(and of course pissing), Thats how i get rid of it :)

  • Chris Jan 1, 2011

    I find that either a very hard, relatively short-duration effort (e.g., a bicycle time trial of 30-60 minutes) or a prolonged hard effort (e.g., a hard ride of three or more hours duration) will often trigger a migraine, but if I don’t let the migraines keep me away from hard efforts, then eventually, my body’s capacity for work improves and efforts that used to be able to trigger migraines no longer can (though continuing to push harder and harder will still get me there).

    I don’t think dehydration is the issue in my case–I drink a lot during workouts, and I fuel consistently before, during, and after. I think it’s just a response to physical stress that is outside what the body is used to. As you push back that boundary, it becomes harder to approach (that’s the good news–the bad news is that you have to suffer a bit to get there).

  • Arya Feb 20, 2011

    Wow – this was a relieft to read – I thought I was the only one. I have found like Chris that if my body gets used to the workout that over time my migraines will disapate and go away. I started working out with a persoal trainer this summer and this has not been the case however. What we have figured out is that this is because a trainer’s job is to “change it up” constantly and never get your body used to anything – that’s the whole point so that your body is constantly surprised – I have gotten a migraine every single time I have gone in…this has not gone well for me.

  • Arya Feb 20, 2011

    Hi Everyone –

    This was super helpful. I also get migrianes after working out like you all – and was told my neurologist to just keep working out (running) – I found that the migraines did go away (when I tried this years ago).

    However when I started working out with a personal trainer this summer, this method didn’t work. What I realized is that this is because the job of a personal trainer is the “change up your routine”…I will try the tomato juice method…thanks for sharing – it was really helpful to know I was not alone…

  • Tom Mar 4, 2011

    Hello everyone. My experience is one when i strain my back and neck muscles in a work out like doing biceps or pull ups hell even during a heavy walk pushing my son in his stroller where im leaning over to push and grab the handle the tension from this probably 3 or 4 hours after the workout .I start feeling off i don’t quite want to call it a headache .It feels like i cant concentrate correctly, I feel pulses that run into the back of my head, and when this is occurring i notice that my ability to just relax is taken from me. Its like i cant just sit and focus.The only thing ive found that helps is take a hot bath in a dark room and sleep this can last for days after a work out.I tried taking xanax when this occurs which actually helps quite a bit but i do not want to resort to drugs.I think it must relax the muscles . Ive had Mri’s of my Spine, my Head, they checked blood flow of the brain ,I went to a doctor ordered med x training facility to strengthen my neck, No answers its crazy to think about. I have had this happening since my 20’s and Im now 37 its gotten to the point in the past ,where i did not want to accept that the work outs were causing it because i felt fine after the work out initially that i would push harder and harder and got so bad that i forgot how to drive a car. Having it happen long enough theres definetely is a direct correlation of it from excersice Reading the comment of over hydration sounds interesting trying the tomato juice i will def give that a try.But if anybody’s had anything similar and can shed any light on this it would be incredible.With as many doctors as ive seen about it,I starting to think it hopeless

    • Mike Mar 18, 2012

      Tom, have you checked into massage therapy? Dont know much about it but my massage therapist was telling me that a lot of headaches in athletes are due to physical strains put on the neck and trapezius muscles. The topic came up because she was shocked that I dont suffer from headaches since my neck and traps are really tight and require a lot of work. Hope that helps.

    • Keith May 16, 2012

      Tom,

      I had similar problems, after a workout at the Gym I would end up feeling ill, hard to concentrate etc. For me it was also setting of my retinal migraine (aura only in one eye) and I would feel very ill the next day. I also had MRI etc and all ok. I also had this problem since my 20`s and have been to physio, chiro etc and no joy.

      So the good news is, I am now on a small amount of amytriptilan which is controlling the Retinal migraine better and have now been going to a Strength & Conditioning couch for a good year. What I have learnt is, that it is not the exercise that is causing the problem, but HOW you do the exercise. Like ensuring that your posture is good, that you shoulder blades are set in place before every exercise and that your core & upper back is strengthened. If I concentrate on good form, then I can exercise :-)

      I have also set my computer desk up ergonomically at work, which also helps.

      Yes I still have problems, but at least I have taken control and can continue exercising (I am now even rock climbing again).

      What you describe certainly sounds like it is your posture that is causing the problems. If you are like me, your posture most prob looks ok, but for me I have to have my posture perfect!!! My mother has the same type of problems, and also suffers from migraines (perhaps the migraines somehow make us more supsetable to these pains).

      Hope this helps

    • Jackson Nov 10, 2012

      Yeah man thats called fatigue man when you exercice too much or dont get enough sleep so all you gotto do is keep hydrated dont o verexercise and get enough sleep, if the baby is still in a pram just ask your wife to push it for a little while say you need a break man

  • Dana Mar 10, 2011

    I check in here every once and a while to see the new comments posted since I posted over a year ago. I’m still getting the headaches, and tried tomato juice, but maybe i don’t drink enough of it. The only difference now, over a year later is I’ve started getting headaches after WAKING UP, when sleep was the only thing that cured them before. If I have a bad sleep, or don’t sleep in the just right position, (I’ve gone through 8 different pillows looking for the right one) I wake up with a headache.

    I noticed people were mentioning their allergies here too…I’ve had chronic allergies since I was a child. It’s rare even a single day goes by I’m not congested…this is related to the headaches somehow??? Sometimes there’s sinus pain, but not all the time. As a child the pain was at my temples, but now its at the back/base of skull, up and around to my temples.

    Finding the right diet is also difficult because if I don’t get enough sugars, (ex, I tried one day of all vegetables, and I myself become a vegetable because of migraine) or just not eating always give me one.

    I hate trying to explain these to people. It causes doubt in my employers when I have to call in sick, family let down various time, and even fights with my significant other, because I simply cannot function.

    • Dana Mar 10, 2011

      Oh…and the last time I worked out my neck was aching, and I turned a ghastly white/greenish. Headache ensued as usual.

      • Robert Mar 28, 2012

        One possibility to explain all these headaches that I’ve been looking into is mild hypothyroidism or some other metabolic dysfunction like that. That might explain morning headaches as well as headaches after exercise, and low tolerance for exercise in general. It comes with a grab bag of other vague symptoms too. You might also get yourself checked for anaemia.

    • Andras Kadinger Nov 5, 2011

      Dana,

      Get yourself checked for Sleep Apnea if you wake up with a headache!

  • teo Mar 10, 2011

    Hey Dana,

    Well it’s life. I have learned to cope with my headaches. I have changed my workout routine. Now I am only doing exercises between 30-45 minutes. I am not pushing too hard because it bring headaches. So it’s really trial and error and learn what’s good for you. I realized I was trying to become normal before like “other people” you know. But in the end I came to this enlightenment where I am just I am and everyone has a different “normal” The important part is learning your normals and adjusting your life around these. I have learned this after having 15 years of really treating myself pretty harsh. I am 31 now.

    I hope you the best.

  • Holly May 1, 2011

    Hi,
    The first part of this comment is for Dana: I often wake up with headaches/migraines as well. I was recently put on a nasal spray called astepro which prevented/eliminated about 75% of the migraines I wake up with. it was a huge relief to find something that worked. I think some of my predisposition to headaches was sinus/allergy related as well.
    I recently started training to run a 5k and I’ve started getting headaches after my workouts. a fellow runner keeps telling me it’s dehydration but even when I think I’m hydrated enough, I still continue to get the headaches. I’m hoping that in time they will eventually go away once my body gets used to the exertion.
    Thanks for all the tips and suggestions.

    • Dana Jun 16, 2011

      Maybe I’ll ask my doctor about that. I’m wary of prescription drugs after having an allergic reaction to Immitrex when I was 16.

      I also agree with Teo saying everyone’s ‘normal’ is different. I don’t really want drugs to fix me, (it always seems like the potential side effects make you worse off!), but maybe finally understanding the combination of sugar and salt levels as well as hormones or whatever else could possibly be going on inside will help with forging a plan that will work! It sounds like this is a pretty common problem, maybe we’re all on the wrong diet or something ridiculous. Thought I don’t find merit to triggers of chocolate, citrus, or cheese, maybe for some people, but I don’t have problems with those things.

  • Jeff May 10, 2011

    I too suffer from serious headaches after workouts having one now..going to try salt n tomato juice will keep u posted

  • Jeff May 10, 2011

    Ok so when I got home I tried a spoon full of salt…and what do u know..it was almost immediate relief!…ive been dealing with headachs for a few yrs now…had a mri, been prescribed meds…blood pressure is good…and what worked..salt incredible..i need to look into salt tabs, we took them in highschool n college before practice and games..guess the coaches were on to somthing?..either way im very thankful to have stumbled across this board..ill keep u posted on how the salt tabs work

  • Jay May 31, 2011

    I have this problem from cycling. I ride a road bike 20 to 100 miles at a time. When I was in really good shape, I would mostly only get a migraine a few hours after a really long ride or from a really hot day, say 97 degrees and high humidity. But I’ve ridden less over the last few years and trying to get back into it. Now it is almost a guarantee that if I ride, I’ll pay dearly starting within a couple hours after exercise (like right now). I’ve previously decided that hydration is THE issue. Reading all your comments is reassuring. Immitrex stops the headaches, but causes chest pain because of a known heart condition that I have (myocardial bridging). And NSAIDS aren’t appealing — I’m trying to cease all use of those. Was on beta blocker for years because of the heart issue, and that definitely helps overall with the migraines, but sorry charley, I’m not going to spend the rest of my life as a hopelessly tired zombie couch potato.

    So when I say that I think hydration is the issue, I mean the balance of hydration (water + electrolytes). I sweat like a hog so I’m sure I lose too much salt. The thought of tomato juice is repulsive to me, though. I think you could use canned soups to get the same effect. I know that drinking gatorade and powerade zero during workouts instead of pure water helps. Lots of straight water definitely makes it 5 times worse for me. I’m going to experiment with salt to see what I can come up with. I tend to crave salty popcorn and soups after workouts, but maybe I’m still not getting enough. I’ve never been much of a food salter in general. My BP is OK, so I’m not worried about that. Oh, and coffee after an intense workout is absolutely bad in my case.

  • Dana Jun 16, 2011

    Does anyone else get them just from overheating on a hot day?

    I recently started working out outside on cooler days with a breeze and actually made it through with no sign of headache. Today I went to the beach and laid there, (no exertion) and came home with a splitting headache and nausea. I’ve heard people refer to it as sunstroke, but it’s definitely a migraine for me.

    How is the salt/tomato juice working for everyone else?

  • rmital Jul 1, 2011

    I usually worked out at lunch time and the headache would show up after an hour or two of finishing my workout. Any drink with caffeine( tea,coffee, soda) would exacerbate the headache. I switched to a late evening workout( after 8pm) and now I am in bed by the time the headache starts to come.

  • islandgirl Jul 16, 2011

    I am so happy to have stumbled upon this website–I have suffered from migraines since I was a child and have been able to manage most of them through lifestyle modification, with the exception of the ones I get about 2 hours after working out and the ones I get after being out in the sun/heat! Woe is me if I am doing something like running, cycling, playing volleyball or golf in the sun–3 day headache with nausea and vomiting. It has been very difficult to find a physician (and I am one) who has been able to help, without being thrown on numerous mind-slowing medications. I have tried accupuncture, biofeedback, meditation, supplements, botox and none help with the exercise and heat headaches.

    I am anxious to try the salt/tomato juice (ick, will substitute V8), since I have just taken a 3rd dose of Imitrex after this morning’s workout.

    • Dana Aug 21, 2011

      That’s EXACTLY my story too. You’re a physician?

  • Matt Jul 27, 2011

    I know all headaches are not equal, but would like to share a couple of things that have helped me recently. I was prescribed Maxalt-MLT 10mg which is in the imitrex family. After a hard run in heat/humidy, no matter how much water I drink, I normally start to develop a headache in the forehead right between the eyes, like a pinching feeling. When I know it is coming, I can usually stop it by taking one dose. I have been able to avoid headaches lately by wearing a breathing strip over my nose each night while I sleep. My headaches seem to be triggered by a restriction of air through the nose. If you have similar issues, it is worth a try. I am planning on running with a breathing strip on my nose to see if that helps with the workout headaches.

  • Robert Oct 15, 2011

    After having Chronic headaches after exsertion I began to miss alot of work because it became everything I did exerting myself was disabling. So I seeked ER medical attention and they ran a CT Scan which came back normal and was sent home. Well the headaches where still so bad to the point doing little things was to much. So finally a specialist that was trying to figure out what was wrong lead me back into the ER and he said run an MRI stat. Well they found undiagnosed hypertension lessons in the gray matter surrounding my Brian that needed further testing. To figure out if I had a disease that was causing these lessons I had to get a spinal tap… Which was so painful and came back negative for any MS or disease and also the spinal tap caused me more headaches I had to get 4 blood patches because spinal fluid was leaking and caused a never ending migraine but with rest it patched up okay I believed anyway but I seemed worse after that. But he just kept treating me for headaches and migraines with imotrex, amerge, and so forth… After Two years of it I seen another doctor he said lets give you some oxygen let’s see what happens.. My headache was gone in 15 to 20 min a relief I long to feel. My doctor said the pain I was feeling targeting one side of my face , behind my eye, neck, was called a cluster headache very rare… They could last for weeks, months disappear and come back again. So as result I became disabled the constant pain with them with oxygen 2 times a day for thirty minutes seemed to be the only answer. I still get the headaches the doctors say that the more you suffer migraines and headaches the more likely you will be causing tissue damage and reach to a point of seizure ‘s and if not treated a stroke. So not only to I need preventing med like verapamil a calcium blocker to constrict blood flow, I also have to take my oxygen, and with the on going headaches they have affected my right side motor skills , a migraine or cluster headache can mimic a stroke and cause motor skill problems as it has happend to me. The doctors today still don’t understand what’s wrong… They just continue to treat me. I know this is alot to take in… But take your constant exsertion headaches seriously. I used to be a physical trainer, 175 pounds, ate healthy, no smoke, and the doctor says you know sometimes we just break and they consider me the mystery case… So I would def talk to your doctors about cluster headaches and oxygen as a un harmful treatment that you can use in the privacy of your home when you really need fast relief..many doctors don’t offer this as a treatment but I have a great doctor who continues to search for those answers for me….

  • Susan Nov 17, 2011

    My 17 year old son suffers from migraines & has sinusitus & mild asthma. Whenever he exerts himself physically, he often gets migraine/ headache/ nausea. He’s had a stress test at cardiologist- all normal. He’s gets annual MRIs which are all normal too (He has a non active / not growing benign glioma in his right thalmus- which headaches are not a symptom) (That was found incidentally because of his migraines)
    We found that dehydration was definitely a contributing factor to his headaches & he drinks 2 gallons of water during intense workouts. He plays Varsity basketball for his high school. I’d like him to be checked out by a specialist but don’t know what type of doctor to go to for this, pulmonologist? exercise physiologist? His pediatrician is not too concerned but I feel there’s a larger issue here. Any suggestions?

    • Chris Nov 17, 2011

      Drinking that much straight water during or after a workout is Not Good. One also needs electrolyte replacement, lest one suffer hyponatremia, which can cause the brain to swell (and can be fatal!).

      I’d suggest your son’s liquid replacement include a sports drink (such as Gatorade) as at least every other drink consumed. For example, while bicycling, I drink several swallows’ worth of liquid every fifteen minutes, alternating between my Gatorade bottle and my water bottle.

  • Marnie Nov 26, 2011

    Thanks for sharing everyone – I had success preventing headaches by preventing overheating – I did this by tying a cold wet towel around my neck while I worked out – it prevented my head from overheating by cooling down the blood in the arteries in my neck. Reading through these posts I’m also in the future going to add a little salt to my water bottle. Thanks for sharing!

  • Sarah Nov 27, 2011

    I’ve suffered from migraines ever since the birth of my last child in 2007. They used to be just once a month with my menstrual cycle, but this past March 2011 they ramped up to twice a week and sometimes I was just in a constant state of migraine. Internist and Neurologist said genetics, hormones, and weather are the cause and treated me with Topamax, Amitryptaline, muscle relaxers and my best friend in the whole wide world…Imitrex. Well, after 4 months I had to get off the Topamax because of a bad reaction (more like DOPE-a-max), but I’m still on all the other drugs. Tried chiro, massage, diet modification, OTC’s, etc. to no avail. Every time I work out I get a migraine, in fact its not just working out – its every time my heart rate gets above a certain level. Hot weather, even if I’m completely inactive, does me in as well. I believe it has something to do with my body working to regulate its temperature. Now that I can think again since I got off the Topamax, I decided to tackle research again. I’m currently looking into transdermal magnesium as a supplement (b/c the mg tablets gave me bowel problems) and continuing with my chiro treatments and meds. One of the doctors suggested a saliva hormone test – that will probably be completed within the next month or so and then we’ll see exactly how jacked up those levels are. :)

  • Zack Dec 29, 2011

    I always get headache after workout for about an one hour time but the headache I will get in few hours later and No success to prevented it any suggestion also don’t know if hormones plays any roll here Cause almost daily is my sex relief Perform ,

  • Ed Jan 25, 2012

    One thing to think about is constipation. I never used to get headaches no matter how physical I was (except when I first started being physically active).

    3 weeks ago I quit caffeine (so this includes chocolate) – I only had 1 pepsi a day but also ate the odd bit of chocolate. I kinda almost got a headache the day after but since then I had felt good. I presume I got away lightly as I never drank coffee or tea.

    This week I’ve started having headaches but they don’t feel like a normal headache and have realised it’s due to constipation. The diuretic effect of the caffeine must have made me go regular enough but since quiting I’ve realised I don’t go very often at all.

    Just something to think about as constipation = an extremely high chance of having headaches also. Time for a diet change…

  • Joe M. Jan 30, 2012

    I am a 36 year old male 5’9″ 172lbs and I experienced my first migraine about 2 years ago after a 60 minute run on a treadmill. The day before I had gone to the chiropractor for an adjustment for a slight scoliosis that I have. Initially I attributed the migraine to the adjustment. Since then I’ve had 3 more migraines which have each been triggered after a run. I spoke with my GP after the 1st and 2nd episode and he said that most likely I wasn’t eating or drinking enough before I ran. The most recent migraine I’ve had was three days ago. I went on a night run at 8:30pm which is a 30 minute jog I do around my block a few times a week. I almost immediately experienced aura’s which developed into partial blindness in my left eye, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound then was followed by an excruciating migraine. Luckily I was able to relax and fall asleep thankfully. When I awoke in the morning the headache was gone. Three days later I still feel tired and worn out. I believe the migraines are occurring from spinal fluid constriction or an undiagnosed aneurysm. I’ve been road biking, running, hiking, and swimming and the only time I get a migraine is after a run. At this point I am very concerned that it may be a very serious arterial/vein issue. I plan to schedule a CT scan as soon as possible. If anyone has advice or is having a similar experience I’d love to hear from you.

  • Cindy Feb 8, 2012

    I have also experienced these exercise headaches and have learned that I can’t work out hard so I keep it to walking on the treadmill no more than 35-40 minutes a day. I scared myself once by working out hard even though I knew I would get a migraine and afterwards my legs were wobbly and I felt like I could pass and of course the headache with aura. The headache lasted for 2 days and my blood pressure went up to where my whole body felt like it was pounding. Anybody have this experience? and what do you think it is? My doctor said I probably needed an adrenaline blocker but I couldn’t take it because of asthma.

    • Korin Mar 30, 2012

      Hi

      I’ve experienced exactly the same symptoms after exercising. I used to be a fairly fit individual and excercised fairly intensely four times a week. My migraines returned a few years ago after a few decades of absence. My bp is slightly raised but i’m reluctant to take tablets as generally they make me worse.
      Gentle exercise and lots of relaxation is maybe the key?

  • Tim Feb 27, 2012

    Good news! I feel I have finally solved my headache problem. I have had migraine/exertion headaches after running for 15 years (now 46 yr old male). They come on about 2-3 hours after the run, and can last about 6-10 hours. They are not due to lack of hydration in my case, although the headaches are worse the hotter it is outside. I hydrate enough, and in fact, if I drink too much water, the headache is much worse. Tried ibuprofen before or after the run, and that works to some degree, but I didn’t like taking pain relievers all the time. Saw many times that my electrolytes are probably off, and tried Gatorade/Powerade but that never worked. However, if I try just salt (and I added a few almonds to make it palatable), with water, the headaches don’t happen. I take about 1/2 tsp of salt after the run with water, and stay reasonably hydrated, but not too much water. No headache!! The sports drinks might work for some people, but they don’t have enough salt for me in my opinion. I will try V8/salt next, or might try buying Saltstick caps, which I have read about. Try the salt – it might work for you!

    • User May 16, 2012

      Headaches caused when drinking too much water that are relieved by taking salt are caused by Hyponatremia (low blood sodium). This can be a big problem, and can even cause coma and death, especially if you keep over-hydrating in spite of feeling bad.

      The opposite is also possible – Hypernatremia (high blood sodium) – which is typically caused by dehydration, which can also cause headaches.

      I’m also getting headaches, and wasn’t sure in which category I fell until I did a serum sodium level test after exercise (I had to do some other bloodwork so I asked the doc to add the sodium test as well). It turned out I was pretty dehydrated (sodium level 156, while normal is 135-145 and over 160 is a medical emergency), even though I wasn’t thirsty.

      Now I drink a lot more, and when I retested, sodium was 144. Headaches are not gone yet, but they are definitely less aggressive.

  • Wayne Mar 26, 2012

    I’ve been suffering from headaches after exercise all my life (I’m 46), yesterday after playing basketball for several hours, after a drinking plenty of water, two cans of coconut juice (for electrolytes), a huge bowl of pho soup (for salts), ice on my neck (to cool me down) I go so sick I could not even get out of bed, it appears I have literally tried everything. I do have sinus issues, and even after a operation to open them up, I still suffer from sinus headaches, so I’m assuming that this is the source of the problem — the access physical excursions cause inflammation in my sinus that is the source of the migraines. Does anyone have similar conditions to mine and have had some success?

    • Greg Mar 27, 2012

      Wayne,
      I’m similar. Had sinus problems since young age. I’m 48 and workout 3 times a week plus 1-2 soccer games. I used to suffer headaches every third heavy workout. But the last 24 months it got much better (I switched from vegetarian to vegan but I doubt that this had a primary impact). Tomato juice helped a bit. Also yoga stretching. I feel it’s a combination of sinus swelling and tight neck muscles (bad posture). I must say say it was worse when I was younger.

  • Sarah Mar 29, 2012

    My Internist recently put me on Inderal (a blood pressure medication) to see if that would help with my migraines of 5 years. I still get them (via stress, hormones, genetics, whatever) 3-4 times per week, but the exertion trigger seems to be not as “touchy”. I can work out harder, get my heart rate up higher, etc. Previously, I had to quit all moderate exercise and go to the Y classes with the old ladies (I’m 32). I used deep breathing to moderate my heart rate, but while on the Inderal, I don’t have to do that any more…its nice. I’ve always had normal blood pressure. – My doc would like me to be on 60mg 2x per day, but it interferes with my sleep, so he backed me off to 60 mg once every other day and that seems to be the magic number for me….for now. :) I also take herbal/mineral/vitamin supplements and eat triptans practically for breakfast…jk.

  • raouf Jun 7, 2012

    hi i have headaches whene i workout,swimming.football .runing i whent to hospital they told me u have bleeding in ur head and they told me rest about 4 weeks and thene star ur exercices but nothing hapend plz plz i if someone heppend 4 him can he told me what i do to go back to my exercices becouse its bad life with out exercices thanks

  • Jarett Aug 25, 2012

    Hello, I am 17 years old and get horrible migraines after workouts as well. My symptoms are slightly different though. After an intense workout I begin to lose my peripheral vision, and this is a guaranteed migraine coming on. Usually 1-2 hours after my workout I lose part of my vision for a bit and then the headache is so bad I always throw up. I have taken extra strength advil and tried to go to sleep but EVERYTHING I do just prolongs the migraine. The migraines usually last for about 2-4 hours or until I manage to fall asleep. I would like to know if anyone has symptoms like these or knows how I can get them to stop. I love sports and exercise so I hate getting these very much! I’m definitely going to try some of your ideas as well. Thanks

  • Chris Aug 27, 2012

    Advil is utterly useless for migraines. You need to talk to your doctor about an abortive medication such as a triptan. It may take some experimentation to find the one that works best for you.

    If cost or other reasons make triptans unworkable, then you could try these things that some of my acquaintances have said work for them:

    * ice pack on the head, feet in a tub of warm water. The idea here is to get the blood flow away from the head to try to break the vasodilation/pain cycle that is such a large part of the pain.

    * deliberately provoke a “brain freeze” by eating or drinking something very cold, quickly. I have not personally tried this, but an acquaintance’s daughter swears by it. My theory is that this must trigger a vasoconstrictive reflex or some such. She says it will hurt like hell for the short term of the brain freeze, but then she gets reflex.

    As for preventing the pain in the first place, the only answer I’ve ever found is that your body will, over time, acclimatize to your exercise workload, and you will then have to push much harder to trigger a migraine–your “safe envelope” gets larger. You could also try some medications for migraine prevention; however, my experience is that you are always trading off side effects for the benefits, and I’ve not found the side effects to be worth it.

  • Silvwa Mar 27, 2013

    I started working out a week ago and ever since, Ive been getting migraines shortly after I’m done exercising. I have been taken Topirimate for almost two years now and I’ve never had any problem with it. I know my migraines are triggered by hunger; most of the time I get the migraine before I realize I’m hungry. I normally get a migraine around the middle of the day and at night.

    I am 18 years old and I exercise twice a day for 15 at a time. If anyone has suggestions on how to prevent migraines during the day or at night, please let me know. Thank you!

  • Joe Baxter Apr 14, 2013

    Hi my name is Joe I am 56 yrs old and I suffer from very bad migraines within 24 hours after exercise. I drink before, during, and after my bike rides but still
    get a migraine which can last up to 48 hours.

    I have been to the GP but there is no real answer to why ?

    • Tim Apr 15, 2013

      Joe – read the other postings about salt. If you have not tried increasing your salt with your rehydration, I think that is one of the first things to try. I have found that upping salt (V8 juice, or a salty snack after) with rehydration helps a lot, but sometimes I can still get a headache if I don’t balance the fluids just right. You are possibly drinking too much water, and without the right salt balance, the extra water goes to your brain and doesn’t get excreted – your brain tissue expands, and headache ensues.

  • Tayla Apr 9, 2014

    I’m a 15 year old girl and I don’t know what to do :(
    I wanted to start working out to stay in shape and be a healthier person in general. Until this started happening and interfering with me working out. After I’d do about 15-20 minutes of an online zumba workout, I’d feel good and fresh for about an hour and a half, and then BOOM, a sharp pain in my eyebrow and temple area would occur. Quite a sharp one. Would stay for 15-20 seconds at a time, come and go for a couple hours. They will only come after a work out! If this has anything to do with it, my father suffered from chronic migraines when he was a child, to the point where he’d throw up. But I don’t know, this has never happened to me before….But I also don’t work out often…I actually just started. I worry about alot of things and when I read online that I could have caused an anuyerism or that I need to go to the doctors asap really really terrifies me….I just wanted to work out without any serious problems or injuries , didn’t know that was too much to ask. This isn’t due to ‘not enough water’ because I drink alot of water during and after the workout. So I am properly hydrated. What could it be? Someone please help. :( I read somewhere that it could be too much strain on my neck if I’m not used to it which causes a possible migraine and that I need to stretch, but I still find this a little odd and sketchy.

  • Nima Apr 27, 2014

    be careful about what you do with yourself out there working out, please do read the following article

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2014811/

  • Chace May 24, 2014

    Well im am 18 and have always played sports but at a high school and recreational level. Just recently I’ve begun a daily workout of a hundred push ups and sit-ups. results are starting to show. However ever single time i am about to be finished, I am finished, or after this same workout, I begin to feel nauseous and i develop a serious headache. I have read some of the comments and I think I am going to try a tablespoon thirty minutes upon working out.

  • Josh Aug 8, 2014

    I lot of people say eat a good meal before working out but I just can’t do this. If I eat prior to working out I can feel the food sloshing around in my stomach and it makes me want to throw up. Am I the only one who has this reaction? A full stomach while going for a run is almost impossible for me.

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