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Exertion Headache / Migraine?

Hi Everyone

It has been somewhat of a troubling week for me. Other than the rare headache after a heavy night of drinking, I have never experienced something like this. Here is a summary of how my week has gone.

Monday morning: Workout at 630am – Chest. I don’t take on a ton of weight but definitely push it. About half way through, my left side of head started throbbing hard. I pushed through the workout but it just didn’t stop. The rest of the day, the headache subsided.

Tuesday morning: Workout again in morning – Back and lats. Throbbing came back again. I start wondering what the heck is going on. Headache then subsided throughout the day.
Tuesday night: GF came over and right after intercourse, the throbbing comes back massively. Throbbing slightly subsided over time but I still continued to feel it and I slept terribly throughout the night.

Wednesday morning: Skip workout as headache is still present, though not throbbing as bad. I do a lot of research as this is starting to concern me. My initial thoughts were that I had my first exertion headache.

Thursday (this) morning: Again, no workout. I took 2 flights of stairs up and with the heart rate mildly increased, I felt the throbbing come back ever so slightly. I am now back at my desk posting this thread as I am concerned.

Now, I am a 33 year old male living in Denver (high altitude). I am in pretty good shape (I frequently exercise 4-5 times per week) but I could be healthier. My initial take after reading countless threads from this website and tons of other websites is that I likely had an exertion headache. I thought about going to the Dr. but just believe they will do an MRI with no results. I am thinking for the next week, I will eliminate (to the best of my ability), all physical exertion, drink massive quantities of water, and start taking ibuprofen every 4 hours.

If there are any thoughts or comments anyone can provide on the above, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  1. Please contact your doctor immediately. The sudden onset of headache symptoms could be an indication of a dangerous underlying medical issue, especially because you otherwise have no history of headache. You could have migraine and this is your first attack, but it could be something more serious. The MRI may show nothing, but you're best off seeing your doctor and letting them decide if an MRI is necessary.

    This may be an exertion headache, but considering you exercise regularly and haven't had this problem before, it's unsafe to assume that is the issue.

    1. Thanks so much Kerrie for the quick reply. I will reach out to my doctor and will report back with anything.

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