When Exercise Triggers Chronic Headaches

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December 4, 2014

Does working out trigger your chronic headaches or migraines in Dallas? Before you toss your running shoes and cancel that gym membership, reconsider that your headaches might have something to do with blistering heat, dehydration, tension or various other factors.

Exertion headaches, or exercise-induced headaches take place after strenuous activity including tennis, weightlifting and running. According to the Mayo Clinic website, these headaches are either harmless or, in rare instances, indicative of an underlying condition such as a tumor or coronary artery disease. Immediate medical attention is required for the latter.

If you suffer with chronic headaches following your intense workouts, the Mayo Clinic indicates that medication will likely treat your symptoms, which might last anywhere between a few minutes and 2 days. This type of primary headache pain feels like throbbing on both sides of the head and hits after, or even during strenuous activity. While the exact cause is unknown, it is possible it can be linked with dilated blood vessels in the head during rigorous activity.

If your exercise routine is triggering chronic headaches or migraines in Dallas or another insanely hot place during the summer months, high temperature may very well be the culprit. Try taking your runs on an indoor treadmill to see if your symptoms improve. You may also not be drinking enough fluids before or during the workout, leading to dehydration (a known migraine trigger.)

Keeping your body beach ready during the summer suggests you might also be dieting and not eating right before you exercise. Low blood sugar is also a well-known headache and migraine trigger.

So now that you’re convinced to keep your running shoes and gym membership since those chronic headaches or migraines in Dallas and elsewhere are likely not due to regular exercise alone, what can you do to alleviate your miserable exertion headache pain? Get out there and exercise! That’s right.

Of course listen to your body and take it easy if necessary. Recent medical research supports the conventional understanding that exercise is nature’s best prevention and medicine for many conditions. A study out of Spain during 2013, published online in Europe PubMed Central, found that therapeutic exercise actually has advantageous effects on tension headaches and migraines. Another study, published in the January 2014 Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, found that when aerobic exercise was incorporated with behavioral therapies for chronic headache the outcome was favorable. So, it appears that fortunately you are all out of excuses to dodge your exercising regimen!



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