If you experience a shooting pain soon after exercising, it's time to check

Exercise gives some people a headache. Sounds like an excuse a lazy person might give to avoid working out, but this is a fact. And an exercise-induced headache does not necessarily mean you have migraine. People without migraine are just as likely to develop headache on exertion as those with it. Effort migraine and exertion-induced headache are the two most common causes of headache after exercise. The former is usually preceded by symptoms like blurred vision and flashing lights. The headache usually lasts for a few hours, and most people can tell that they have a migraine coming on before it is full blown.


Exercising in hot weather can induce a headache in migraine sufferers. A strict adherence to prescribed drug therapy can minimise the frequency and duration of attacks. But once an attack starts, there is little you can do but sleep in a dark and quiet room. Exercise-induced headache was first described in the 1930s. It affects around one per cent of the population. The headache begins as a throbbing sensation in the back of the head and lasts for a few hours. It recedes with analgesics.

Problems with spine

Problems with the cervical spine can also cause a kind of headache usually associated with blurred vision. If moving the neck brings on a headache, it may be time to consult a doctor.Not all exercise-linked headaches are benign. Some are deadly serious. If your headache lasts for more than a few hours, if its onset feels like a thunderclap, and if nausea or vomiting too occurs, the headache is unlikely to be benign. A headache that increases over several days, a history of head injury, unilateral headache, a change in the usual pattern of headache in effort migraine or exertion-induced headache, symptoms in the rest of the body and weakness in the limbs are all indicators that the headache may have a serious underlying cause. Consult a doctor if you experience any of these problems. RAJIV M.