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Headaches During a Workout: Do You Push Through or Cool Down?

Here in Southern California, many people are committed to a daily exercise routine. But some days, we’re not always feeling our best. Especially when a headache sets in.

So, what should you do if you’re in the middle of an intense workout and you sudden get a throbbing headache? Should you push through and continue, or reach for a towel and call it quits?

The answer depends on what may be causing the headache.

Exertion Headaches

Headaches that occur during exercise can be referred to as exertion headaches, which is a type of head pain triggered by exercise. This type of headache is not as well known as a migraine, stress headache, or a TMJ-induced headache — but they can be just as painful. Exertion headaches can even last up to 48 hours!

If you experience an exertion headache during your workout, here’s what you can do to help ease the pain:

It’s Time For a Cool Down

When you develop an exertion headache, your body is telling you it needs a break. If the headache goes away after you take a break, you can slowly get back into your workout, but be careful. Warming up before your workout gradually increases your heart rate and gets your blood flowing to prepare for activity and can often ward off exertion headaches.

Know Your Triggers

Working too hard is often the main cause of exertion headaches, but, like migraines, they also have triggers. You might develop this type of headache if you are dehydrated, sleep deprived, have blood pressure issues or based on your food and drink choices. Staying well-hydrated, eating regularly and getting enough sleep can make all the difference.

Workout the Right Way

Exertion headaches can be brought on by mistakes in your workout form. It might be how you are lifting weights or even sitting with your head too far forward or an arched back. Understanding correct form is key.

When it’s Time to Get Help

If you are experiencing chronic headaches and not quite sure of the cause, contact Pasadena Pain Management. We can help find a solution to your headache or craniofacial pain and, if necessary, design a course of treatment based on your needs.

Want to learn more? Contact us online today to schedule an appointment, or give us a call: 626-773-8333.