image source: Pixabay

When you exercise, or exert yourself physically, the muscles of the head, neck, and scalp need more blood to circulate. This causes the blood vessels to dilate, which can lead to a condition called exertional headaches.

WHAT CAUSES AN EXERTION HEADACHE?

Exertion headaches occur when a combination of the following circumstances are true:

• DEHYDRATION: Dehydration thickens your blood

• VALSALVA MANEUVER (Holding Breath): This causes a dramatic spike in blood pressure

• POOR NECK POSITION: Anything other than a neutral spine causes constrictions on the carotid arteries, the main arteries that deliver blood to the brain.

• INCREASED HEART RATE: As a set progresses, your heart rate will steadily climb so that by the end of your set it can be close to (or above) your maximal heart rate.

• HEAVYWEIGHT: The more weight on your body, the more blood pressure will rise while lifting it. Because legs are the strongest muscle group in the body, more weight is needed to reach a level of fatigue or failure. The correlation between heavyweight and an increase in blood pressure makes compound leg movements more risky than other movements.

The combination of elevated blood pressure, heart rate, thickened blood and constricted arteries can result in a devastating surge of blood attempting to enter the brain, forcibly expanding the arteriole walls and putting pressure on the meninges.

HOW LONG WILL THE HEADACHE LAST?

Exertion headaches have three phases:

• An INTENSE HEADACHE: The first phase is the intense, painful headache that occurs during or immediately after an intense workout. The pain is typically in the temples or back of the head. The feeling can best be described as a grenade exploding in the head. A headache hits rapidly, and throbs painfully. This headache will not go away until there is a decrease in heart rate, blood pressure, and all activity has ceased.

• DULL HEADACHE: The second phase is a dull, fatiguing headache that can last for up to 2 weeks. It typically lingers wherever the initial phase of the headache was felt because that is the area that the meninges flared up.

• FULL RECOVERY: Full recovery depends on the severity of the initial headache and the quality of rest given to the body to recover. If the body is given the opportunity to heal, dull headaches are typically gone in 1 week. True full recovery, meaning the ability to perform at the same level as before a headache, will take approximately 2 months.

Healthy Food MasterGeneral HealthHeadache,health
image source: Pixabay When you exercise, or exert yourself physically, the muscles of the head, neck, and scalp need more blood to circulate. This causes the blood vessels to dilate, which can lead to a condition called exertional headaches. WHAT CAUSES AN EXERTION HEADACHE? Exertion headaches occur when a combination of the...
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