DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic Staff
Exercise headaches occur during or after sustained, strenuous exercise. Some activities associated with exercise headaches include running, rowing, tennis, swimming and weightlifting.
Doctors divide exercise headaches into two categories. Primary exercise headaches are usually harmless, aren't connected to any underlying problems and can often be prevented with medication.
Secondary exercise headaches are caused by an underlying, often serious problem within the brain — such as bleeding or a tumor — or outside the brain — such as coronary artery disease. Secondary exercise headaches may require emergency medical attention.
Feb. 14, 2015
- 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.