Exercise Headache?!? Really?!?

Updated on January 16, 2011
K.C. asks from Henderson, NV
11 answers

All you mama's out there I am boggled and need to know if any of you get a headache or migraine after you workout? Its crazy and i have gotten migraines after exercise since I was 15 yrs old. I keep meaning to talk to my dr but i forget until it happens. I googled the subject and found some articles but wanted to know if real people are experiencing these exercise headaches. I will give you the backstory and you tell me. Went to the gym tonight 45 min of cardio, as soon as i was done I could feel the headache coming on. Never fails right temple, same place same throbbing pain every time! I also get the exact same headache anytime I get hot doing something physical, i get them more in the summer. I work drag boat races every year in august as a beer girl, and get a migraine every year, really?, all i do is handout beer allday. Also when I workout my nose runs, nothing major just clear dribble. My sister's does too. Also when I get hot, from working out or boatraces, etc. My face turns red and i pour sweat from my face and the sweat is minimal on the rest of my body, its crazy. Tonight working out i did get hot and my face was red, i could feel it, i can tell because i can feel the heat in it. But i didnt sweat. Crazy! I use to think high blood pressure but my blood pressure is always normal, although i have never taken it after a workout. I do have low blood pressure at times, in fact so low at two dr visits they have taken it numerous times because they say noway is that right and asked if i felt ok. Oh and another thing is at times i get dizzy and feel a little disoriented. I always forget that part but that happened tonight. Now all of those things happen when i stop doing whatever it is i am doing, like tonight when i got off that machine the dizzy disoriented headache all hit. I will go to dr but in the meantime do yall have any good mom wisdom for me? Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Sorry i had to delete old update to add new one. Lol. I cant scroll down and start where i left off, thats a whole other issue..lol!

I didnt call the chiro, i called my pcp first. I have bloodwork dome every year but not a full physical so they scheduled me for that but i couldnt get in until the 25th. So meanwhile we know my blood pressure is low, my last dr reading was in oct 2010 and it was 88/62...very low and i remember the nurse saying that was low and asked how i felt..and dr also suspects that my blood sugar gets low, very very likely, i dont eat often, maybe twice a day..i just dont get hungry and if i make myself eat i get nausea. I know its bad but since im working out maybe i will get hungry more. So until i can get in nurse suggested i take my blood pressure before after and during a workout, also told me to drink mineral water, or gatorade with electrolytes, and eat peanut butter crackers right bfore workout. Also suggested i take a 10 min break after every thirty min during workout. So i tried these things friday. I didnt take my blood pressure..getting a moniter today, anyhow i could only stomach 4 crackers not the six...and i drank lots on friday before after and during...so all of this helped a little! My headache wasnt as bad, it was just a slight headache. But the dizzy, disoruentation was there, no change in that what so ever. I do take excedrine for my headache, litteeally the only thing that works!! And she said that has caffeine init and will raise my blood pressure, which totally makes sense, since mine is low. So thanks for all of your help, im glad i am not the only one out there with this problem! And i will update adter my physical..thanks again!!!

Featured Answers


answers from Los Angeles on

Whenever I have a doctor's appointment, I put the reason I'm going in my calendar, too. I just cannot rely on my own brain power these days, lol, so I leave myself notes. This helps tremendously. It's something I learned back when I was pregnant with my son. If anything else pops up between making it and the actual appointment, I just add it to the list.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Most likely you are dehydrated. Drinking just water won't be enough for you. You need electrolytes in it. Gatorade, Propel, stuff like that. Try drinking well before your workout, during if you can and right after. Used to happen to me a lot when I was younger and now I drink Propel when I exercise.


answers from Chicago on

Go to a chiropractor. A recurring migraine for years in the same place could very well be corrected with an adjustment. It sounds to me like you're so clamped down in your vertabrae that blood flow is restricted, and once you start exercising (the muscle warms up), everything opens up...until you stop (and it clamps back down again). That ties into the light headedness and dizzyness as well - all the time. When the neck and shoulders get SO tight like that, it pulls the vertabrae together so that whole area turns into a "brick". That results in pinched nerves, blood pressure/blood flow issues (which turns into dizziness and vision loss)...it's really amazing how it all ties together.

Your asthma doesn't help the situation, since the struggle to breathe just creates further muscle tension in your neck and shoulders. (I have asthma, too. Been on Advair for years.)

I've had a similar problem for a long time. Regular massage and chiro visits have helped IMMENSELY.

PS: your regular doctor won't know how to treat this, so they'll just medicate you. That won't solve the problem. I went to several before I learned that going another route was necessary.



answers from San Diego on

I use to get headaches like this and I realized that I get dehydrated really easily. So I try to drink water before exercising,sip water during and then after. If the workout is extremely intense I would have a gatorade after the workout. This method really worked for me and I rarely have a migraine after a workout now(I still get migraines but only during a particular part of my monthly cycle).
My face gets really red as well. It doesn't bother me though, as it usually goes away after a cool shower.




answers from Los Angeles on

I get workout headaches almost every time I do more than 20 min cardio. I overheat quickly and get very red. I also overheat when out in the sun (like you working the boat races) and get horrible headaches. Best thing is to drink as much water as posible. I think there is a direct link between low blood pressure and migranes. When you dehydrate, your blood volume goes down which would lower your pressure. Migrane meds and caffine constrict your blood vessels to bring it back up. Best thing I have found is to drink lots and lots of water when I feel a headache coming on to bring my blood volume back up. Also taking off my shoes and socks right after a workout helps bring down the heat.



answers from Detroit on

Yes to all. I've just chalked it up to that's how my body works. I don't tolerate heat well and a good workout makes my face bright red and I can feel the headache starting.

As for the dizziness, does it happen when your body changes elevation? A doctor told me once that if is not unheard of for people with my blood pressure levels (borderline low) to pass out when they stand up too fast, like getting out of bed. It has never happened to me but I do get a lot of head rushes.



answers from Las Vegas on

I saw a few people mentioned water, and I was thinking it could have something to do with that. I get horrible headaches the day after I don't get enough water, so maybe you are already dehydrated and the heat and/or exercise puts you over the top?

Also, my face gets extremely red anytime I work out, with a lot of face/head sweat, but the rest of my body doesn't sweat much. I also have the dizzy problem when I stand up too fast. I think those might have something to do with poor circulation.



answers from Los Angeles on

Perhaps you're not breathing right and not enough oxygen is getting to your brain..do you drink electrolyte water while working out? you should..and drink a protein shake right after..you may be dehydrated..
i would ask the trainers at the gym..some can be very helpful




answers from Chicago on

Please see your primary care physician specifically for this problem. You do not have to wait until your yearly physical exam.

You may need to eat something just before or just after your workout that includes a protein, carb, and fat. It doesn't have to be a big meal. Half a turkey and cheese sandwich with yogurt would be good.

Also be sure that you are hydrating before, during, and after. If you are thirsty you are dehydrated. If your urine darker than light yellow, you are dehydrated.

Definitely see your doctor first to make sure there isn't a lingering neurological issue.



answers from Philadelphia on

i get sinus headaches and migraines. my answer is not going to be much help...sorry. i get severe headaches in the exercises classes were they jump around...after 2 of those classes i stopped. now do the bike, weights and the track, yoga. maybe you need to find something calmer for your body??



answers from Chattanooga on

How much water are you drinking? sounds like dehydration to me...

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