Primary exercise headaches
- Are usually described as throbbing
- Occur during or after strenuous exercise
- Affect both sides of the head in most cases
Secondary exercise headaches
These headaches may cause:
- The same symptoms as primary exercise headaches
- Loss of consciousness
- Double vision
- Neck rigidity
Primary exercise headaches typically last between five minutes and 48 hours, while secondary exercise headaches usually last at least a day and sometimes linger for several days or longer.
When to see a doctor
If you experience a headache during or after exercise, consult your doctor. Call your doctor right away if the headache begins abruptly or if it's your first headache of this type.
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.