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Exercise With Arms Overhead induce Migraine

Hi All,

I had another migraine on Tuesday this week.

High intensity Burpee + push press (barbell overhead movement) in combination for about 9 minutes.

- blurry vision/flashing lights while reading. I knew what was happening.
- immediately took excedrin Migraine (no noticable effect)
- laid down under covers, flashing lights subsided after 30 mins
- Tried to text work, but I could not understand the words I was typing - transient aphasia in full force.
- Left side of head began to throb, primarily behind eye socket and forehead
- nausea after 1 hour, vomiting started shortly after
- Next 4 hours were vomiting, unable to keep water down.
- After 4 hours, extremely thirsty
- About 5 hours in, symptoms began to subside, was able to keep water down at 6 hours in, then soup at 8 hours.
- Next day was spent recovering.

Regarding the trigger - I knew that wall ball shots with a medball was a trigger, but I know now that is too limited a view. The trigger seems to be multi-factorial.
- I did not work out for 2 weeks, and cardio-vascular fitness will diminish in that time. I went for it like I had not stopped. Possibly the lack of cardio-vascular fitness was a factor.
- I did not spend much time doing myofacial release on my shoulders, neck and back of head. I have a hunch that those tight muscles were a factor.
- I thought that the craning of my neck for the wall ball shots were the trigger, due to crushing my C1 vertebrae - In this case, there was no neck craning.
- unclear whether this is a factor but 3 months ago, I replaced my breakfast with bulletproof coffee, and have been eating more fat, less protein than before. Processed carbs remain low.

Hope this journaling is helpful for anyone else experiencing similar triggers. I would love to hear from you if you have any experiences like mine.


  1. Hi cglendenning,

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Great job identifying your triggers! That's not easy to do.

    We do have some information on exercise and migraine attacks you can see here;

    Please keep us updated!

    or create an account to reply.