Do you have much experience with exertion headaches? Do you or your lifters ever get them?
I was going for a 5RM Squat PR last Monday with 365 and the last rep did it for me. All 5 of the causes outlined in this link were present in my case which gave me a pretty bad headache.
The intense headache went away shortly, but the dull headache lasted about 5 days.
I'm feeling good now and the dull headache is gone so I'm wondering if I should go train as normal today or not.
Last edited by Mark Rippetoe; 11-21-2011 at 04:40 PM.
Reason: Link removed
There have been many posts about exertion headache. Some of the information in the link I removed is true, but anybody that advises against a valsalva during a set of five is going to get somebody hurt, and we're not going to promote their site as a place for information. I think they have more to do with your neck than your head. See how your warmups feel and judge from them.
I had horrible headaches like this twice during the summer for a week each. Mark advised me to see a neurologist, which I did, and he had me take a layoff and take a lot, a fucking lot, of ibuprofen before lifting. A simple week off solved the problem both times. Also, soft tissue work on my neck and upper traps seemed to help a bit. A massage may be in order.
I got an exertion headache a little over a year ago. It hurt so bad, and was localized to a specific region of my head, I thought I had an aneurysm. It took about a week or two to fully sort out, and I felt really light headed and weak for the rest of the day. I think it had more to do with looking around during my set than anything else, as I was doing a high rep set with 135 to rehab my back and work on my form.
I'm going to second them having more to do with your neck than your head (not that I'm an expert). I do not get them most of the time, but when I do, it's from things that work my traps hard. I don't think I've ever got them from squatting. Not so that they persisted more than a few minutes, anyway.
Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe
This sounds like something that used to happens to me ever now and then. I'd be sitting there and whatever then bam I feel like a sharp pain in my skull like almost right where the parietal meets the occipital but more in the partial region. The first time it happened I went down like a girl and really hurt, but my tolerance of the pain rose as I got more and more. Still had to stop whatever I was doing completely but I didn't go have any knee jerk reactions, I would just slow put my head down and rub the spot.
It always seemed to happen when I was sitting there cold eatting dinner after working out or practice, or stretching upon waking(elevating & retracting my shoulders and flexing my neck). Anyway I'm pretty convinced mine is just some muscle spasm of some sort
How many reps in each set have you been doing for squats recently?
Originally Posted by BeastMode
What is your blood pressure ? Even a slightly elevated, at rest, BP (135/90) has given me exertion headaches. I've had no problems when my BP is kept in check. Good luck.
I'm going to second this as well. I believe it has more to do with your neck than your head. Tertius hit it on the head with working the traps hard and getting a headache. This just happened to me last week, powercleans on Saturday and headache and sore traps late Sunday evening. Try rolling out your traps with a ball on the ground or door frame (to get the top of the shoulders). Check out the MOD website and do a search.
SilentShots mention of a massage is sound. Use groupon and living social to get discounted prices and check out massage therapists to see if they massage or fluff and buff.
My experience is that the headaches come from heavy pulling combined with ibuprofen use. When I do not use ibuprofen, the problem never occurs.
Originally Posted by SilentShots