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Monday, June 17, 2024

Exercise-Induced Headaches: Causes, Symptoms and Remedies

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We all know that exercising on a regular basis is good. But what if something that’s deemed necessary in order for you to live a long, happy and healthy life leaves you in agony in the form of a throbbing headache?

There’s a term for that nasty headache that you tend to experience during or after working out: exercise-induced headache. Although rarer than general types of headaches, exercise-induced headaches can happen most especially if you engage in strenuous exercise, do not drink enough water or are out of shape.

However, there are also instances in which exercise-induced headaches can signify the presence of a serious underlying condition that warrants immediate medical attention.

If you like to learn more about exercise-induced headaches, don’t stop reading now — below you will come across some of the most important matters about it. Also, don’t forget to repost this article afterwards as some of your family members and friends who are also into fitness may be encountering exercise-induced headaches from time to time.


To date, no one really knows what causes exercise-induce headaches. However, scientists believe that’s its due to the widening of the blood vessels in the brain in order to accommodate the temporary increase in the blood pressure during and after working out or engaging in strenuous activities for several minutes.

It’s not unlikely for exercise-induced headaches to strike if the individual is dehydrated or exercising too much to the point of overheating. Those who are out of shape may suffer from exercise-induced headaches, too. Experts say that exercise-induced headaches are more common when working out at high altitudes.

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There are two different types of exercise-induced headaches. One is primary exercise-induced headache, which is brought about by exercising and other reasons already mentioned above. The other is referred to as secondary exercise-induced headaches, and it’s something that calls for immediate medical assistance as it can put the person’s life in peril!

According to health authorities, secondary exercise-induced headaches can be blamed on some serious underlying conditions. They include:

  • Structural abnormalities concerning the spine, neck or head
  • Obstruction in the flow of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord (cerebrospinal fluid)
  • Bleeding in the area right in between the brain and its thin covering (subarachnoid hemorrhages)
  • Problems with the blood vessels in the brain
  • Abnormal growths or tumors


Just like what’s mentioned earlier, exercise-induced headaches are characterized by throbbing pain that shows up during or after working out. Both sides of the head are affected most of the time.

The same symptoms are also experienced by those who are suffering from secondary exercise-induced headaches. However, they may also encounter other symptoms such as double vision, a stiff neck, vomiting and loss of consciousness. If these symptoms are around, the person should be brought to the ER without delay.


It’s a good idea to meet with your doctor if you are experiencing exercise-induced headaches so that you may undergo physical assessment and tests that will rule out any underlying condition that needs treatment. Once you’re told that what you are suffering from is primary exercise-induced headache and not secondary exercise-induced headache, then you may breathe a sigh of relief.

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However, knowing that what you have is primary exercise-induced headache won’t eliminate the fact that it can keep you from working out on a regular basis to stay healthy.

Some people report of having exercise-induced headaches only after engaging in certain form of exercises. Needless to say, it’s up to you to figure out the ones that tend to trigger those headaches so that you may steer clear of them. You may also see if doing them at a shorter period of time can keep that exercise-induced headache at bay.

It’s also important for you to avoid exercising in very hot environments and also at high altitudes. Don’t forget the importance of warming up for 5 to 10 minutes beforehand. Experts say that you should remain well-hydrated if you want to keep those exercise-induced headaches from bugging you.

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