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Christine Luff

Why Do I Get Headaches After Running?

By June 11, 2010

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I've heard recently from several runners who were complaining about splitting headaches after their runs. It's no coincidence that they're all getting post-run headaches this time of year.

Headaches during or after running are fairly common, especially when running in warmer weather. They could be attributed to one or more of these factors:

Dehydration: Headaches can be a symptom of dehydration, so make sure you're drinking enough before, during and after your runs. A basic rule of thumb is to drink 6-8 ounces every 20 minutes during your run. But use your thirst as your guide -- if you're feeling thirsty, you should drink.

Sunlight: Bright sunlight can be a headache trigger for some people. To help prevent headaches (and protect your skin and eyes at the same time), wear a hat with a brim and running sunglasses when running during the day.

Exercise headaches: If the headache pain is on both sides of your head during or after a run, it may be an exercise headache. Exercise headaches occur more frequently when running in hot weather or high altitudes, and among those who have a personal or family history of migraines.

The exact cause of exercise headaches is unknown, but they are usually harmless and can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication. You may be able to prevent them if you avoid running during the hottest part of the day. If you start getting exercise headaches along with any of the following symptoms, talk to your doctor: Headache lasting longer than a day, loss of consciousness, rigid neck, double vision, vomiting, headache on only one side of the head, or the first episode of exercise headache occurring after age 40.

More About Hot Weather Running:

Sources: "Exercise headaches." Mayo Clinic.com, accessed 6/9/10

"Migraine." National Headache Foundation, accessed 6/9/10

Comments
June 14, 2010 at 9:14 am
(1) Suzann says:

I get headaches after I run almost always – year round. But, worse this time of year. What I often do now is take a 200mg motrin before my run, with some water. And when I return I make sure I guzzle lots of H2O. I don’t like to drink too much before my run because I end up with cramps and/or needing to do a pit stop. :)

August 20, 2010 at 1:26 pm
(2) Tom says:

I always get a headache after I run. Usually take about 4-5 hours and I can feel it coming on slowly. If I don’t take an advil/tylennol to help, it gets pretty bad. I’ve experimented with the electrolyte drinks a bit and they haven’t helped, but I do still think it may be an electrolyte imbalance – potassium or salt. I sweat quite a bit, but I also run hard, at times, for over an hour. Not recommending it, but one day for some reason, I had some salty chips (4-5 only to try the flavour) and that day I did not end up having a headache. Thought it was coming but never did. Not sure if I’m onto something – obviously I don’t recommend eating chips after trying to get healthier in the first place by running. But, this leads me to suggest an electrolyte imbalance as a possibility.

October 12, 2010 at 7:01 pm
(3) Bruce B says:

I also have been getting post jog headaches. I’m in my 50s and have been jogging regularly for about 22 years. In the last 2-3 years these severe headaches have cropped up within 2-4 hours after a good run. I hydrate, warm up and keep my runs to about 50-75 minutes at a good pace (not too fast). The headaches aren’t consistent and may not occur for a week or two. Any advice other than Advil?

October 12, 2010 at 9:45 pm
(4) running says:

Bruce, Try drinking a sports drink after — that may help if it’s an electrolyte balance, as Tom suggests. But I would recommend asking your doctor for advice.

November 26, 2010 at 10:55 pm
(5) Tina says:

I am glad that someone else has this issue. I am a 29 year old woman who is shall we say inexperienced when it comes to running. The only time i run is if someone is chasing me or my trainer tells me to run. I always get these headaches when i over extend myself weather it is running or aerobics/step class. I usually pop a Mortrin IB after i cant’ stand it any longer. It never goes away otherwise it just gets worse throughout the day. I am guilty of not drinking a lot of water but even when i do the storm still hits me!!!!

Here’s what i think, after a nurse told me-she asked if i was stretching my neck- I thought she was crazy but when i did stretch my neck before and after my workout, the one time i tried it i didn’t get a headache. Maybe she was on to something? She said the muscles in your neck are very sensitive….who knows!

February 5, 2011 at 8:29 pm
(6) Kiley says:

Good to know I am not the only one. I usually run about 3 miles a couple of times a week. I decided to sign up for a half marathon and I am getting headaches when I run anything over 4 miles. I am a 26 year old female. I will try some electrolytes replenishment & see if that helps. I have not taken any medicine, but I think I will start taking Motrin before I run because the longer distance the worse the headache.

February 17, 2011 at 7:26 pm
(7) Aaron says:

I would not take Motrin as that OTC drug (and others of its kind) is likely to increase the severity and frequency of those headaches over time. 1000′s die every year from adverse reactions and they are actually pretty dangerous. Headaches are somewhat normal after intense exercise and are usually a sign of mineral imbalances and the body working hard to rid excessive toxins leaving the brain. But normal doesn’t necessarily mean good…Suggestions might include looking at, yes, potassium to salt balance, proper hydration, vegan or vegetarian diet (or at least very well monitored) that includes 1g+ of absorbable calcium. I highly recommend naturalcures.com and others like it for health related issues.

February 19, 2011 at 11:45 pm
(8) jacquie j. says:

@ Aaron: thank you for your advice. I also get headaches after I run. It seems that my neck gets very tight from strenuous exercise. Yoga seems to help me. I don’t force the stretches and remember that I am a beginner. I am glad that I am not the only one with these headaches… It has caused me to become more lax in my fitness routine for fear of having a headache…
I also have pain in my right leg when I run and it sometimes causes me to not sleep well. The pain is in my hip area and down the side of my leg to my foot. Any suggestions?

February 28, 2011 at 4:31 pm
(9) Kevin says:

@ jacquie j.: Jacquie, I experienced a similar pain to the one you’re describing and it was determined to be sciatica. I was getting a shooting pain from my hip down to my foot and my foot would go numb. I was sleeping on an absolutely horrible mattress that was very soft and didn’t have enough support (I was broke and in college). When I got a new mattress, the pain started getting better and eventually disappeared completely.

March 16, 2011 at 1:47 pm
(10) Kim R. says:

I am so glad that I am not the only person to have this problem! I am a 45 yr. old female, live in Central Florida. I can run 3 miles with no problem, but anything 4+ and I get such a severe headache, I have to lie down. My day is over- nothing helps except dark and sleep. I have checked my BP, my glucose, hydrate well before and after, and on my long runs, carry H2O bottle. If it is long run, I drink Gatorade after, if short; just water.

I am trying to train for a 1/2 marathon, and it is so frustrating that I get the worst headaches. I run after work, around 5:00 pm.
Any thoghts or advice is very appreciated!

April 3, 2011 at 10:01 pm
(11) Diane says:

My daughter suffers from running induced migraines….one-sided, throbbing….this last one came on immediately after obtaining a new pr in the 5K and is still there, but not as bad, over 48 hours later. She doesn’t want to take “drugs” and has tried hydrating more, eating better, etc…..tonight I found several articles on the link between magnesium and migraines! Endurance athletes need more magnesium than the average person, 300-500mg are recommended. I checked her multivitamin….it only has 50mg…I checked her calcium supplement…it only has 50mg. I don’t think she’s getting enough with the meals she gets at college. She’s agreed to try a magnesium supplement and I’ll report back here if it helps! Here is one article…
http://www.premierraces.com/RunnersCorner/runnerscorner88.html

May 15, 2011 at 6:35 pm
(12) Britt says:

My headaches after running come from the following things:

not enough water
not enough stretching of my arms and neck
heat

May 22, 2011 at 11:59 pm
(13) Val says:

So curious if those mg supplements helped! I’ve been dealing with this for years and am sooo frustrated. Never tried mg though I have recently heard about it. Would love to hear someones success story….any out there?

June 1, 2011 at 11:45 pm
(14) denise butkus says:

Recently I have been doing 3 different shoulder/neck exercises immediately after running and this has just about eliminated all post running headaches. All three are done standing. First I rotate my arms as if swimming (30), swings arms out in front as if hugging my self (20), alternate swinging arms up (20).
Made the mistake of skipping this today and boy am I suffering. Give it a try and let me know….FYI I have tried so many of the above..hydration, sodium, slow running..etc. The post exercising has really helped me so much.

July 10, 2011 at 7:26 pm
(15) Mike says:

I used to have migraines which would start about 8 hours or so after running, even after short slow runs. At times this would occur after every run other times about 4 in 5. The pains began at the lower-neck/shoulder and eventually turned into headaches.
I tried many things, drinking lots of water, salts, gatorade, sugars… Stretching helped at first but then didn’t work.
One thing that helped once was a neck manipulation done by a chiropractor, I was then pain free for a couple of months but this is scary, I do not want this kind of “tune up” repeating too often.

Recently the following combination helped get rid totally of the running induced migraines:
1. Check for the term “forward head posture” – pressure on the vertebra that is caused by wrong posture, which happens to many people working long hours with computers. Maintain a correct posture while running, for me this means stretching shoulders down and back.
2. Also search for magnesium deficiency causing migraines. When running minerals are lost through sweat. I found that eating magnesium rich foods (bananas, yogurt) after the run work wonders.

Another change I made, which I do not believe helped get rid of the migraines but it does help with posture is barefoot running (actually almost barefoot – using Vibram’s five-fingers).

Hope this helps.

July 15, 2011 at 12:12 pm
(16) patricia says:

@ jaquie I also get migraines after running but also just throught the week. I have a constant pain in my hip as you said and down my leg to my ankle .but since I started back runnin the whole right side of my body is alwaays tense and my hip aches all time. I went to a sports therapy session and she told me it was my lower back muscles. And days wen my back hurts worse I get a migrane. I may be more severve than u but I think she might be right. So I lay on the floor face to the floor then put my arms out like a push up and only lift up the uper part of my body hips still laying on the floor. I have to do a lot of reps but try that then do some hip exercises. Arm on the wall sideways standing and switch ur hip to the wall like a light switch. Stretch a lot

August 14, 2011 at 11:01 pm
(17) saviour says:

Honestly most of you guys are doing way too much thinking. Most of us wear hats to run either for the sunlight or to stop the sweat from going into your eyes. Try running without a hat on and put on some good brand quality sunprotector, the hat or whatever your putting on your head might be too tight and might be clogging up your left and right carotid arteries at least it worked for me and just finished a run at 500 meters above sea level and I am feeling great no head ache at all I usually run with a nice tight hat on too blend in with the other runners and to block the sunlight on to my skin. I’m in Lima, Peru right now btw. I hope this post helps and gives some hints as to why the headaches are happening, mine were pounding really bad first on the right side of what felt like my brain than it gradually spread to the left side of my head but like I said it was the tight hat I’m going to try to losen the size on the hat up but I doubt it will work.

August 15, 2011 at 8:24 am
(18) Hayley Chandler says:

I get a weird tension pain at the back of my head after I run. I spoke to friends about this who suggested it may be the way I hold my head when I run. I tend to run with my head down but is this causing the problem? It starts with a weird pain at the back of my head and then gradually forms into a headache which makes me feel dizzy – any suggestions? How should my posture be when running?

January 27, 2012 at 3:26 pm
(19) dee says:

I am so glad ti hear that i am not the only one with this problem! It seems like everytime i run i get these major sinus headaches or migranes. I am sick of hearing people say “drink more water” well duh! I know that! But i can exercise my heart out all day in the gym and not get a headache but as soon as i run outside, i get a headache. So i figure it is sinus related. Maybe i should start taking claritin?

March 15, 2012 at 5:13 pm
(20) jpr says:

the most common thing is your blood pressure risen to high , an your veins expanding to much. Also there no pint in runing more then a half hour a day you will just eat up all your nutruents and get your self sick. A good half hour run a day and some weight lifing is all you need . Eat healthy couse to much strain on the heart is bad , you shouldn’t over work your heart or under work it . A good 30 minute jog to get you blood flowing an a good 15- 20 minut weight lifting work 5 days a week. Give your heart 2 days a week to rest . !

March 18, 2012 at 11:55 pm
(21) Deb says:

Dee.. I have had the same problem. I can run in the gym without any problems but as soon as I run outside withing 3-4 hours after I have a serious headache( sinus or migraine..sometimes is so strong its hard to tell). I have been taking a sinus over the counter pill before I go running and then one after about an hour after I cool down and that has seemed to majorly reduced the headaches. But a claritin could be helpful too. I am going to try that myself.

May 18, 2012 at 3:59 am
(22) Russ says:

I just had headache after running last night.
Everytime my feet hits the ground its like my brain is almost about to jump off my head. I didn’t feel thirsty or tired as I ran along and I was sweating more than usual. I’m still feeling a little pain today. Anyway, the pain is on the top portion of my head. Please advice me what to do. Is this another sign of magnesium deficiency or another health issue(hopefully not)?

June 7, 2012 at 9:33 am
(23) John Woodman says:

My headaches also usually come on slowly after running, usually in the summer heat. Also, I experience severe bloating. I know I must have some type of imbalance also. I also sweat heavily during running.

June 16, 2012 at 10:20 am
(24) Kristy says:

I get these same headaches, I will try sports drinks to see if it helps. I suffer from migraines and I believe this is what it is after I run as well. A nutritionalist told me that dark chocolate ( higher the cocoa the better)has the most absorbable type of magnesium and helps migraines- that may also be something to try.

June 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm
(25) Sacha says:

Great advice guys, i can train in the gym no problem and run out side only did 5k today and within 6 hours servre headache. I take herbalife supplements, magnesium is one and an electrolite drink as soon as i finish and it dosent make any diff. I have made an appointment with a dietian to see if she can suggest anything

July 30, 2012 at 3:45 am
(26) ildinyo says:

Hi guys. Some great advice here, thanks for all of you. For those who would rather not take meds for headaches, try an ice pack. It should slowly get rid of the pain over time.
Let us know how it goes.
All the best.

August 14, 2012 at 1:45 pm
(27) Deborah says:

Consistency is key
I get them sometimes too. I am very conscious about drinking enough H2O and I usually drink a couple of liters within the first 2 hours after a run and I eat a meal. The headache sets in about 2 hours after my run.
I am positive that it is NOT dehydration in my case (though I have experienced the dehydration headache once or twice).
I don’t think anyone knows exactly what causes them.

I do find that I get them more when my life is busy and I am only running 2 per week. I do not get them when I am running 4 days per week and going on longer (more than 5 miles) runs at least once per week.

More consistent running helps me. But I think it is different for everyone.

August 28, 2012 at 4:14 am
(28) Frank says:

Dayquil works for me

September 22, 2012 at 5:41 pm
(29) Kitty says:

I am also one of those long distance runners who gets terrible headaches post-running. I’m sure it’s dehydration so I do the following:
Drink a sports drink before and after my run,
Prophylaticly take an Advil Cold & Sinus,
And I’ve started adding a caffeinated drink post-run.
I don’t normally drink sodas but the caffeine seems to help.

October 3, 2012 at 1:26 pm
(30) RHope says:

I’ve been running/jogging for more than 14 years now.
I never used to get the headaches but they started in earnest 8 years ago. I usually do about 3 to 5 miles, 3 times a week. Sometimes I’ll do longer runs – say 8 miles. The headache is usually on one side and starts about 2 -3 hrs after the run. I’ve done most of what is suggested hereabove – hydrate, eat well, dont run in the sun etc – to no avail. I’ve never tried the neck exercise and will do starting now (going for a run shortly); will post and let everyone know.
The strange thing is that I’ve done half marathon several times but i’ve never had the headache after a marathon…….strange.

November 12, 2012 at 3:04 pm
(31) Mike says:

I’ve had headaches after exercise, particularly running, since high school – more than 30 years. These headaches were at the base of my skull, and when really bad the pain would wrap around the sides of my skull into the eye area. Not long ago i found a book by Rick Olderman on treating neck pain and headache. His basic premise is that the cause is often not in the neck or head, but rather in dysfunction with one or both scapulas. People with headache and neck pain frequently have scapulas that are held too low and don’t move properly. This results in the muscles which run from the top of the scapula to the cervical vertebra being too tight, thus the headaches and neck pain. This resonated with me because I also suffer from upper back pain around my right shoulder blade. We’ve all been told to keep our shoulders down when running, but if they are already pulled down too low, either because of past injury or habit, this can lead to headaches. After performing the stretches and exercises in the book several times a day for a couple of weeks, I found that following a run there was either no headache, or only a very slight one. Further, when running my upper back, neck and facial muscles all feel much more relaxed, making running more fun. This has been life changing for me, and anyone with a history of shoulder injury, or runners who perhaps have overdone the keeping of their shoulder down and back when running, you might want to check out the author’s Youtube videos, or get his book.

January 18, 2013 at 8:39 pm
(32) mark says:

Im a 56 yo male who has done heavy workouts since I was a teenager.I suffered from headaches after exercise especially as I got over 45yo. I was told that heavy exercise releases toxins, that the body has to expel. So you need to mop up these toxins before they cause the headache. Freshly juiced fruit is the best, with carrots for good measure. This works for me. Its not 100% full proof
but works very well. I think it may come right down to the vitamin c. But there is something about fresh juiced fruit taken right after the exercise(within an hour).

February 18, 2013 at 3:07 pm
(33) Denise says:

You know what they say, misery loves company! I to suffer agnozing headaches after long runs, but it is both indoor and outdoor. I love all this advice and I will be stretching before and after, adding some mg to my vitamins and trying electrolytes BEFORE as well as after my run. I am running a 10K with friends in March and we want to celebrate afterwards, with the headaches I get, there will be no celebrating.

February 18, 2013 at 5:29 pm
(34) Dmon says:

I used to get headaches after running and hands would shake after lifting weights. I rarely suffer from headaches now unless im sick. I still workout I just got alot smarter about it. Its pretty logical that if you expend energy your not going to have as much of it after you expend it then before. So make sure your getting enough water and carbs and more imporantly after you run PROTEIN. All of these are important for muscle function but lack of protein has been proven to cause headaches and migraines. Dont starve yourself. I eat more now and im only like 10 pounds heavier but look the same. Protien after you work out! This my not be the solution for everyone.

March 14, 2013 at 5:47 pm
(35) Dee says:

I am glad that I’m not the only one getting these post-run, post-exercise headaches. I have a history of migraine headaches (for so many years) but within the past 5 years? maybe I’ve been getting really bad headaches (migraine caliber) after I run at least 3 miles or even after a good workout in the gym. I’m suffering from one right now because I had a really good workout. Right after my workout I was amazed because I felt GREAT. I get home and I feel it coming on. These headaches have made me NOT want to run or exercise because I know they are sure to manifest. I’ve tried hydrating before, during and after, I’ve tried drinking or having just a litlle sugar right after, I’ve tried to prophylactically take Ibuprofen prior to running or exercising, I think I’ve tried almost eveyrthing except the neck exercises or the magnesium. Maybe I’ll try that and see what happens. Just totally frustrated!!!

March 23, 2013 at 5:58 am
(36) Marie says:

Thank you so much Denise Butkos, you are a life saver. Suffered headaches a few hours after running for so long even though I was hydrated. I have tried the exercises you recommended and the headaches have disappeared. Thank you so much for sharing. Can really enjoy my running now.,

March 24, 2013 at 5:59 pm
(37) Jenna says:

Neck excercises work! I just did it, and my head hurts less!

March 24, 2013 at 6:47 pm
(38) Lisa says:

I get headaches after running fairly frequently and have tried to find out what causes them. I do get migraines, but the headaches after running are usually not debilitating like the migraines.
I have often wondered if it may be caused by an alignment problem with my spine? I have disk issues and noticed that the headaches are more frequent when my back is sore. Any thoughts?

March 27, 2013 at 4:18 pm
(39) Patrick says:

I run 3x a week, 30 minutes each time. Monday I have no headache after I run. Wednesday I do, Friday I do. I am guessing my body really wants 2 days of rest between my runs, but I won’t agree. :) Even so my headaches are relatively mild, seem to have a lot to do with my neck, and my neck is constantly holding my head up wrong at work, hence my headaches if they are neck-centered, are likely due to my poor posture at work.

April 17, 2013 at 4:14 pm
(40) Marcus (35yo male) says:

Just curious, would those on this board say that you sweat more than average (compared to others) when exercising? I’ve noticed a few people who mentioned heavy sweating. I sweat profusely and require a lot more hydration than some of my friends when performing for long periods of time. I get the post-run headach about 3-4 hours after exertion. It starts at the rear/base of my skull and spreads. It will last several hours, but I typically wake feeling much better. The funny thing is that I feel great for the first 1-2 hours after my workouts.

It is definitely worse during hot weather which makes me lean toward the dehydration angle, although overheating may have something to do with it as well. I’ve finished a 1/2 marathon in hot weather and been bedridden for 24 hours (my worst experience), but finished 1/2 marathons in chilli weather and felt relatively okay.

I’m going to try ramping up my hydration a little more than normal to see if it helps. I typically choose water over sports drinks, but I’ll give that a try too.

May 21, 2013 at 1:38 pm
(41) cindy 55 says:

Thanks for all the info on these headaches. I’ve been running two years now, but exercising for over 35 years. I did my first 5k last weekend. It started by going up hill. That’s when my first headache came on. I lived in Miami for two years and ran in the heat and never got one till the 5k the other day. I live in New York State now and the temperature the day of the run was around 65. Since the run I’ve had a dull one on and off. I run 5-6 days a week and about 4-5 miles. I know it’s alot but, I’m hooked. I’ll try the magnesium. I’ve done everything else. Thanks again!

June 7, 2013 at 10:48 pm
(42) Mary says:

Exercise headaches could be caused by an increase in blood pressure and/or heart rate. If you get these, check both and see if they may be higher than your target. Check them both on a regular bases because you may have an underlying problem that you may not know about. I got them every time I would exercise and then one day, for no reason and out of the blue, I had a hypertensive crisis and had to be put on blood pressure medication.

June 11, 2013 at 11:41 am
(43) Kevin C says:

I agree with Marie – thank you Denise Butkus! I have been suffering from running headaches for years (worse in the heat). I had tried holding my shoulders down, watching my pulse rate, taking magnesium supplements, etc. I tried the exercises that Denise recommends and this seems to have done the trick! I do these before AND after my runs. I also added some neck rolls (5 in each direction) at the beginning of that sequence. This combination has been working, and is so easy to do – takes only a couples of minutes before and after the run. If this continues to work (and I believe that it will) it will have changed my running fortune – so many days I didn’t run just because I didn’t want to deal with the ensuing headache. Thank you!!

July 12, 2013 at 4:00 am
(44) darryl says:

One thing those exercise drinks have alot of is Salt.

Many people avoid salt, but when your exercising hard, salt helps the body retain water, which is why one poster said he did not have headaches when he ate chips.

Probably if you increase salt and your headache goes away the problem is dehydration.

I too suffer from headaches after I run for more than 45 minutes. I guzzle water and it never seems to be enough =/

July 18, 2013 at 4:53 pm
(45) Susan says:

I have been a runner for over 30 years. I am a 49 yr old female who has run many 10ks, half-marathons, a marathon, and logged lots of miles in all weather. If I don’t take precautions, I am guaranteed a headache. If you are training for a long(er) run in hot weather I highly recommend Hammer brand electrolyte capsules during the run. And properly fueling before and after as well. Try to run as relaxed as you can…even when doing a ‘hard’ run. I do this my dropping my shoulders (shaking out my arms occasionally reminds me to relax). (Be careful with ibuprofen because it can cause unpleasant digestive issues if taken before or during a long run…took me a while to figure this one out. :/).
Stretching is critical to release post-run muscle tension and teach your body how to relax and recover quickly after a challenging run.
The best way I have found to prevent headaches is regular chiropractic adjustments (1/mo) and strength training 2x a week. I hate strength training, but it makes running so much more rewarding, fun, and definitely easier and headache-free!

August 9, 2013 at 9:26 pm
(46) Jenn says:

I also suffered from headaches for about 2 years that occurred mainly after I ran. I was misdiagnosed for years and told that it was sinus issues b/c the headaches would occur behind both eyes. When I finally found a dr. who took my complaints seriously, he sent me for an MRI & found that I, 32yrs old, have arthritis in my neck which could have been accelerated by the 1/2 marathons that I was running. 1 per year for the last 4 years.

August 17, 2013 at 5:33 pm
(47) Kayla says:

Three tips:
1. Wear sunglasses
2. Drink electrolyte drinks before and after
3. Put some heat on your neck

I call these tension headaches because, for me, they are almost entirely due to how tight my neck gets when I am physically exerting myself. Massages and pedicures also work wonders.

August 17, 2013 at 7:52 pm
(48) Monica says:

Jenn (8/9 @ 9:26pm) – What did your doctor suggest for the arthritis in your neck? I fear that this may be the reason I am experiencing the same post-running headaches as well.

August 22, 2013 at 7:58 am
(49) MR says:

I usually get headaches too after exercising, especially when its hot. It comes on gradually and gets worst and my head feels really hot. What I found though, is if I stick my head under a cold shower for a few minutes after exercising, it completely prevents the headache.

November 5, 2013 at 4:16 pm
(50) tim says:

Jenn – I also have arthritis in my neck and have headaches that come on after approx 2-3 hours after running and last several hours.
Have you found a remedy specific to your headaches?

November 25, 2013 at 9:07 am
(51) Baja S says:

I’ve been running since i was in grade 6 and had never experience this headaches after running up until 3months ago. I am now 30years. Everyday if i wdwent for for a jog, after an 30 minutes i get this headaches in such a way that i barely open my eyes, i thought maybe i got hungry but even if i eat it doesnt disappear. I really seeking for help so i wont stop stop running, i love this sport. Any advise good people i’ll highly appreciate it.

December 5, 2013 at 4:34 pm
(52) Bonnie says:

Female age 45. Have run for 27 yrs or so. Last few years doing long distance. With long runs I get headache. I hardly sweat at all even when it’s hot. Vibrams kill my feet. I go to chiropractor every two weeks because I love it! Get massages frequently. But still the headache with long runs. I eat well, drink water all the time. I have tried the “emerceng C” powder in water which seems to help headaches. Also a cold soft gel ice pack on the neck for 15 min. Seems to help.

December 15, 2013 at 10:01 am
(53) anand rao says:

I am 45 and have been running marathon and half marathon since 2004. I always get headaches after the run. These days the headaches occur not immediately but after about 3-4 hours of the race. They last until the evening. I am inclined to believe it is because of imbalance nutrition. The comments on this site have really helped. I can connect with the need to replenish essential minerals, vitamins, carbs and protein immediately after the race. I like the comment made on toxins in the body, I read about raised levels of adrenalin and cortisol. When the pain does dissipate it is accompanied by mild sweating. Not sure what that means. Any thoughts?

January 27, 2014 at 1:25 pm
(54) Derek says:

I get them any time of year and I run from -40C to +40C even if I fully hydrate. I have found that if I drink a cup of tea with sugar or honey less than an hour after completing the run, I am great all day. Not a coffee, sports drink or lots of water. Sweetened tea.

February 25, 2014 at 10:48 pm
(55) Joe says:

When you run, your body uses fermentation instead of respiration and use lactic acid to produce ATP. When your body isn’t using oxygen it doesn’t get into your brain which causes the headaches.

March 15, 2014 at 1:00 am
(56) JG says:

Almost, Joe. Don’t confuse the glycogenolysis in muscle and the subsequent anaerobic metabolism of glucose (where lactic acid is an end product, not a primary source of ATP) after prolonged exercise as a decrease in systemic oxygen saturation. Headache wouldn’t be anyone’s concern if oxygen “doesn’t get into your brain”.

March 16, 2014 at 11:24 am
(57) Mike says:

I’m a sophmore high school track runner that has had problems with exercise headaches since I was about 13. In the last week, after getting one on a Monday after a meet, I have had a consistent pain in my left temple the whole time. This is new as usually I just get a growing distortion (I have to sleep to make it go away), sensitivity to light, and noise. This is a real problem for me as I usually do 2-4 events a meet. I have tried warming up and cooling down completely, staying hydrated, etc. and it seems to be a 90/10 shot in favor of me not getting one except recently. Please help me before I try going to a doctor

March 26, 2014 at 5:04 am
(58) shelby says:

Most headaches are tension headaches which are caused by the sub occipital muscle group in your neck attached to the base of your skull. Even if you feel it on top of your head or up front it’s usually caused by these tiny but important muscles. Going to a chiropractor, getting a massage, and learning how to stretch these muscles is going to prevent the headaches associated with exercise.

April 21, 2014 at 4:36 pm
(59) Rosie says:

If you don’t think about the headache then you won’t feel it

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