Headaches have different types, and doctors are unsure about the exact triggers for exertional headaches or head pain due to exercise. What they do know is that this kind of pain happens during or after continual or strenuous exercise.
What Causes Exertional Headaches?
The kinds of exercise that are particularly associated with exercise headaches include cycling, running, weightlifting, and gymnastics. After exercise, the person usually experiences a throbbing pain on both sides of the head. This pain can start as quickly as five minutes after strenuous exercise or may last for 48 hours.
But what causes this pain? Many people do strenuous exercise every day, but not all experience debilitating headaches as a result of sporting activity.
One theory is that some kinds of sustained exercise cause the blood vessels in a person’s head to dilate. It’s also thought that particularly strenuous exercise can cause spasms in the muscles in the upper body, neck and head, triggering these kinds of headaches, which can seriously affect a person’s quality of life.
However, the good news is that more doctors now believe that focusing on the spine may offer new relief for any headache. Upper Cervical Doctors particularly focus on the top two vertebrae in a person’s neck (the C1 and C2 or atlas and axis).
Using a specific upper cervical technique to realign these two vertebrae enables the vertebrae below to work properly. If the top two vertebrae misalign, the lower vertebrae become impaired. It may also unable to function in an optimal state (hence the pain).
This natural treatment offers patients the knowledge that doing exercise won’t necessarily mean they have to live with long-lasting headaches and rely on medication to relieve the pain of exertional headaches.
- Mayo Clinic. Exercise headaches. [homepage on the Internet]. 2015 [cited 2015 Jul 6]. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/exercise-headaches/basics/definition/con-20025221
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