The exact cause of primary exercise headaches is unknown. One theory is that strenuous exercise dilates blood vessels inside the skull.
Secondary exercise headaches
Secondary exercise headaches are caused by an underlying problem, such as:
Feb. 14, 2015
- Bleeding in the area between the brain and the thin membranes that cover the brain (subarachnoid hemorrhage)
- Abnormalities in a blood vessel leading to or within the brain
- Cancerous or noncancerous tumors
- Obstruction of cerebrospinal fluid flow
- Sinus infection
- Structural abnormalities in the head, neck or spine
- Cutrer FM, et al. Cough, exercise, and sex headaches. Neurology Clinics. 2014;32:433.
- Headache: Hope through research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/headache/detail_headache.htm#142883138. Accessed Jan. 19, 2015.
- Ropper AH, et al. Adams & Victor's Principles of Neurology. 10th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/book.aspx?bookid=690. Accessed Jan. 19, 2015.
- Cutrer FM. Exertional headaches. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 19, 2015.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed Jan. 19, 2015.
- Primary exertional headache. International Headache Society. http://ihs-classification.org/en/02_klassifikation/02_teil1/04.03.00_other.html. Accessed Jan. 19, 2015.
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