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Why do I get a headache whenever I exercise?

Q: I am 24 years old and have been suffering from a sharp, throbbing pain in my head for the past three years. Whenever I work out on an elliptical machine, run, or do any physical activity for more than 25 minutes, the lower part of my head starts aching, but the pain subsides soon after I stop the activity. What is wrong with me?

A:In susceptible individuals, migrainous headaches are known to get precipitated by exercise. But once induced, they continue even after the exercise is stopped. Since your headache stops after you stop the activity, it is unlikely to be due to migraine. The next possibility is anything happening to the back of your head. Any brain pathology like tumour is also unlikely, as pain is only induced by certain exercise and is happening for the past three years. We are thus left with only the blood vessels that run at the back of your head and the upper part of spine. In my opinion, you should consult your doctor (preferably a good neurologist) to get yourself clinically evaluated to be assured that the above-mentioned structures are fine. Also, get your blood pressure checked.


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