What is the cause for pain in the head while exercising?
Q: I am a 28 year old male (weight 82.1kg and height 5' 8"). I use to exercise regularly till 4 years back which included - Power lifting, weight-lifting and other kind of heavy exercises. After that I could not exercise as I moved to another city. I am now in Calcutta and have again started exercising in an old fashioned Akhara in which my exercise includes also wrestling. I had a pain at the back of my head which started a few days back while doing push-ups. I was finishing one set and had given maximum pressure while pushing up when it began. It persisted for more then 30 mins and I immediately stopped exercising. Two days later I went to a doctor who found that my BP was 160/104mm Hg and advised some tests. The results are as follows: 1. Sugar, urea and creatinine - normal. 2. X-ray - early spondylitis. 3. ECG - Sinus rhythym conduction; to be clinically correlated. I have yet to see the doctor who advised these tests. But I am apprehensive about this and wonder if I will be able to continue the same lifestyle as before. Please suggest what I should do?
A:From the story you give, the pain in the back of your head strongly suggests a muscle strain of the neck muscles rather than a problem with your blood, kidneys etc. especially as it only lasted 30 minutes. Was it sore on the muscles when you felt the back of your head - did it feel like you could not turn it? If yes, then this may have been a muscle strain. The other question is how severe the pain at the back of your head was - If it was really severe and pounding, this might be a sign of a migraine or a vascular problem inside your head, in which case you might need to be checked out by a neurologist or internist. Your raised blood pressure is of concern. You should have your blood pressure checked before and after exercise and on rest on two or three occasions to establish conclusively that your BP is raised. You are very young to have a raised blood pressure and this would need immediate careful investigation. Meantime, other useful and economical tests would be a blood count and urinalysis.