What Does Swimming Give Me a Headache?

swimming, atlas bone adjustment

Why does swimming give me a headache? Swimming is a great way to get your body moving and stay healthy. But if you're swimming competitively, you may experience mild to severe head throbbing every time you go in for a dip. This can be frustrating and make you want to give up the sport. Luckily, there are ways for you to avoid getting headaches after swimming. Let's deep dive into these techniques, plus the specific type of headaches that swimming can potentially trigger.

Kinds of Swimming Induced Headaches

Below are the three most common headaches swimmers experience after a swim.

#1. Sinus Headaches

This type of headache is prevalent among swimmers, especially those with allergies or sinus infections. Sinuses are hollow spaces in your face that connect your nose and throat. They help keep the drainage system clear and prevent congestion from forming in that region. When you have a sinus headache, it means you might have inflammation in these areas, causing the pain you feel.

However, these headaches will not completely disappear unless you use proven techniques like taking medication or receiving an atlas bone adjustment.

#2. External Compression Headache (ECH)

Also known as cervical compression headache, it is a type of headache that is caused by compression of the occipital nerves in the back of the head. ECH can occur because of improper posture or other issues like neck pain after swimming, such as stress and fatigue. In swimmers, ECH is more common than in other athletes because their heads are constantly submerged underwater for long periods during practice and competition.

This constant pressure on their necks causes them to develop headaches from time to time. The symptoms include pain or numbness around their temples and tingling sensations along one side or both sides of the neck – this depends on where exactly those nerves are being compressed.

If you think you might have an external compression headache, there are things you can do at home to treat yourself depending on how severe it gets:

  • Stretch out those neck muscles! If you're unable to do so when experiencing this kind of headache (because, let's face it—it hurts like hell), try doing some simple stretches right now while reading this article so that next time this happens again, they'll be easier.
  • Loosen up your collar if possible; sometimes, wearing something tight around our necks can cause problems down south too.

#3. Migraines

Can swimming cause migraines? This kind of head pain can be brought on by stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, and fatigue. They're usually accompanied by a throbbing pain that starts in one area of your head and spreads across the entire surface. Migraines often have an aura—a warning sign that precedes the headache itself—which can include changes in vision or sensitivity to light or sound.

Primary care doctors can prescribe medications for migraine headaches, and upper cervical chiropractors can provide an atlas bone adjustment to correct vertebral subluxations that may be causing your migraines. You should also ensure you're eating healthy foods and getting enough sleep regularly to prevent your headaches from occurring in the first place.

Why does swimming give me a headache?

Why Does Swimming Give Me a Headache?

Swimming is a fantastic! It is fun and relaxing but if you're like most swimmers, you've probably experienced the pain that comes with a headache after swimming. This can be rather frustrating, especially if you have no idea what it is or why!

But fear not! There are ways to avoid these headaches. Here are some of the reasons why you experience headaches after swimming treatment and how to avoid them:

#1. Dehydration

If you feel like your head's spinning after swimming, it might be because you're dehydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water before and after your swim, so your body is adequately hydrated before hitting the pool or the sea.

#2. Saltwater

Swimming in salt water can cause irritation on your skin and in your eyes—and this can lead to headaches! It's recommended that if you do swim in salt water, you rinse yourself off with fresh water afterward. This way, any leftover chemicals don't linger on your skin or irritate your eyes further as they try to get clean again themselves too quickly thereafter (this could also make things worse).

#3. Low blood oxygen

Another reason for swimming-related headaches is low blood oxygen levels (also known as hypoxia). When you're underwater with your face submerged in the water, there isn't much oxygen left for your brain—so it's easy to feel like you're getting a headache when this happens!

#4. Wrong Swimming Posture and Technique

Some people experience headaches because they lack the proper technique and posture when they swim. For example, suppose they aren't breathing correctly while underwater or aren't holding their breath long enough during each stroke cycle. In that case, this can cause headaches by inhibiting oxygen flow to the brain, disrupting its smooth and proper functioning, thus leading to headaches or even triggering migraine.

Read This Guide For Further Information: Headache Locations and Their Meaning

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Get Rid Of A Headache After Swimming?

Hydrate, rest, and consider using a cold compress to relieve a headache from swimming. If the swimming headache and nausea persist, consult with a healthcare professional.

Can Salt Water Give You A Headache?

Excessive exposure to saltwater can lead to dehydration, which may contribute to headaches. Stay hydrated and limit exposure to prevent headaches.

Why Does My Head Hurt After Swimming?

 Headaches after swimming may be due to dehydration, sinus issues, or tension. Hydrate, rest, and consult with a healthcare provider if headaches persist.

Does Swimming Cause Headaches?

Swimming itself doesn't cause headaches, but factors like dehydration, chlorine exposure, or sinus congestion may contribute. Proper precautions and hydration can help prevent headaches.

Is It Normal To Have A Headache After Swimming?

Occasional headaches after swimming can be normal, but persistent headaches may indicate an underlying issue. Consult with a healthcare professional if headaches persist. 

Importance of an Atlas Bone Adjustment

You may not know much about your upper cervical area, but it's one of the most critical parts of your body. It includes the region from your head to the base of your neck and supports all of those hard-working muscles and tendons. Unfortunately, this area is also very vulnerable during swimming!

The upper cervical spine is extremely flexible but is prone to neglect; thus can easily be injured by stress caused by repetitive movements like swimming. If you have been experiencing headaches after swimming, it could be because of a problem involving this sensitive area. So it is very important to always be mindful of it to avoid a lot of health problems.

Keeping your spine healthy means avoiding unnecessary pains and headaches when enjoying your favorite activities. You can ensure that by having regular chiropractic care and ensuring that the provided atlas bone adjustment holds. Stay in touch with your upper cervical doctor or reach out to a new practice in your city to maintain the optimal alignment of your spinal column.

Find An Upper Cervical Doctor in Your Area

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Find an Upper Cervical Specialist In Your Area

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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.