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Avatar universal

Headaches when working out. What could be wrong

Whenever im pushing myself during working out, whether its a set of push ups or lifting weights at the end of the set when im really pushing like when my face will get red, i will get a pretty bad headache pretty much forcing me to discontinue the workout.  Just has started happening the last week, but it always seems to happen. Do I have a brain tumor or something, whats wrong? =(  

Thanks
Zach
227 Responses
Avatar universal
Headache can be a symptom of heat exhaustion.  If you work out primarily outdoors, this could be the cause.  Dehydration can promote heat exhaustion.  Regardless of whether you perform exercise indoors or out, you should drink sufficient water when you exercise.  The recommendation is 10 glasses a day for adults and taking drinks every 15-20 minutes during workouts.  Sports drinks and juices can replace lost nutrients during exercise.  

Some sports supplements are known to cause headaches.  If you currently use supplements, try cycling out one thing at a time to see if something you are taking is causing the headaches.  

Other things to do:
Limit caffeine and alcohol intake, take a multivitamin, have a balanced diet, limit sodium, and get plenty of sleep.  

A final thing, if you are overtraining or performing exercises with "bad form", you can be putting excess stress on your body which could result in a headache.
Avatar universal
Well no heat exhaustion or dehydration. i am currently cycling out the supplements with no luck so far, i think im gonna give it another week before i go back on.  I did see something online about tension headaches, which are usually from bad posture, and i have a job where i sit down all day, so thats the only thing i can think of so far which holds any weight.  Im a pretty healthy dude, could eat some more greens maybe but, other then that im in good shape.  The headaches just started all of sudden which is the weird part.  

Thanks for feedback
Avatar universal
Well no heat exhaustion or dehydration. i am currently cycling out the supplements with no luck so far, i think im gonna give it another week before i go back on.  I did see something online about tension headaches, which are usually from bad posture, and i have a job where i sit down all day, so thats the only thing i can think of so far which holds any weight.  Im a pretty healthy dude, could eat some more greens maybe but, other then that im in good shape.  The headaches just started all of sudden which is the weird part.  

Thanks for feedback
Avatar universal
Zach,

I have exactly the same symptoms you describe.  It just started for me about 10 days ago.  I can do a light workout without a problem but if I am doing squats, leg presses, leg extensions and am exerting myself at say 90% I will get a throbbing headache in the back of my head right above my neck.  I have to stop working out immediately and usually clasp my head in my hands and will have this headache for hours later.  I have been working out for years and never had anything like this.  I added kefir to my diet about 1 month ago and I am going to eliminate this from my diet in an effort to rule it out.  It's the only real change I have made in my diet.  I will post again when I find out what's going on.  I may also contact my doctor, because like you I thought there is always the possibility of a tumor.  Let's hope not for both of our sakes.

Hank
Avatar universal
Hey Everyone,

I used to have the exact same problems.  I went and saw a Dr. and he said I had most likely strained my neck while lifting.  So whenever my neck and shoulders would tense up during a particularly strenuous rep, the strained nerves in my neck would cause a headache.  He said if I just quit working out for a while and gave my neck a chance to heal, I would be fine.  

In any event, I stopped strength training for a couple of months, and when I started up again I was okay.  Previously I had tried taking a 2 or 3 weeks off, but it wasn't enough.

Hope this helps.

-TIC
Avatar universal
Get checked for a pinched nerve in your neck, if you have one , and it sounds real possible, You want to get it adjusted before its to severe.......................See a chiro take my word. Also have your blood pressure checked.
Avatar universal
I had a similar problem.  I found out that it was my cervical vertebrae getting out of alignment and pressing on some nerves.  A chiropractor adjusted me and never had the problem again.
Avatar universal
thanx evryone for all the coments i was looking around to see what could posibly be wrong with me i thought i also had a tumor thanx for all the info
Avatar universal
hey, i read this article because i too have recently been getting headaches during my workout. i am 16, good shape and have been lifting for a couple of years now. i have also currently added lipo 6 to my daily vitamins and supplements to cut up a bit. i was wondering if this could have caused the headaches. i have been taking them for about a month now though so i wasnt sure if that was really the problem since it has just started happening in the past few days. if anyone can give me any kind of help or info, please do so. my email address is ***@****. thanks for the help.
Avatar universal
i did 200 squats and the headache came right after that i never had it b4 n when i message areas on my head it hurts bad is it the same? what can i do? i was in bad form when i did it still hurts till now hope someone helps me

thx
Avatar universal
This sounds like a Primary Exertional Headache.
This is like a Primary Cough Headache because it  accurs as a result of increased pressure to the head, particularly if the exertion is from lifting weights.
While straining to heave a weight you may inadvertently do what's called a Valsalva Maneuver, which is the term for trying to exhale while holding your breath.
this increases pressure in blood vessels in the head.
Avatar universal
this happened to me as well i think, i havnt seen a doctor or anything but i was riding up a pretty steep hill and must of had my neck crunched up....got THE WORST headache ever. 2 days later i was doing some "self maintenance" and was struck down again.  guess i have to lay off excercise and sex for a while.

at least i hope thats all
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