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TURRRRA Posts: 1,572
2/18/12 6:40 P

I wish I had more ideas... but I know I'm still trying to figure out how my own body works too! Using a foam roller and tennis ball (actually the tennis ball helps me more, but it's often painful in some locations and I can't fully do the exercise in my manual I follow) seems to help considerably more than any other kind of massage in my case. Not too sure why. I've had massages at some very nice spas and then regular massage places, a shiatsu massage chair, and a neck massage pillow. Those don't seem to help as much and sometimes make me more sore. Do you find that you get very tense when you are sore? Although I feel like I relax pretty well, I sometimes take a Xanax when I have head issues because it helps me relax those muscles when I'm involuntarily contracting them.

WILLOLEVIN SparkPoints: (41,176)
Fitness Minutes: (30,175)
Posts: 89
2/18/12 2:22 P

In response to the Coach, no, this isn't right after lifting the weights, but a day (28 hours?) later. I did tell my trainer the next day about the headache.

Basically, when I do more upper body strength work, especially if I have a more sedentary day after where I don't "work out" some of the soreness with more movement and blood flow, my sore shoulders lead to muscle tension that creeps up from arms/shoulders to neck and eventually settles in as a bad headache. My tension headaches DO sometimes turn into migraines, but that didn't happen Thursday.

I always start off with non-medicinal responses... I tried heat and cold packs, massaging myself as best I could, resting, a small extra does of caffeine... I was able to take care of my kids until DH got home from work, but I went straight to bed when he did. I was too uncomfortable to sleep, so eventually I took Advil PM.

The anti-histamine did really clear my head during the night, and I think that helped reduce this intensity of this headache. I hadn't realized quite how stuffed up I was until it eased up. Usually my allergies are seasonal, but this has been a WEIRDLY warm winter around here, so maybe I need to go back on my summer/fall Zyrtec.

But I sure would like to know if there is a way to reduce the progression from SORE muscle to painful TENSION headache.

I might try a foam roller to massage some of it out. I haven't had much luck with other devices meant to massage one's own back. It seems like I get more tense trying to reach my own back!

TURRRRA Posts: 1,572
2/18/12 1:33 P

I understand how you feel because I get headaches very easily! I'm also migraine prone (I understand what you mean about getting sick!) and get those exertion headaches that are like migraines and they don't respond to any medicine, whether it be a prescription or OTC. I also notice that certain muscle aches and tightness can spread up into my head. It starts as a tension headache and if I don't do anything about it, it can turn into a migraine. Have you ever tried using a foam roller or even a tennis ball to roll over achy muscles? We have a foam roller at home to use and it's very nice! I use a tennis ball for trigger points in my back, shoulders, and neck area. And of course, lots of stretching! I try to avoid taking too much ibuprofen or other things because of rebound headaches. I will take it at times and caffeine usually helps different kinds of headaches I have (I know it's the opposite for some).

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 46,222
2/17/12 11:43 P


Do you experience the headache after lifting, if so, how soon afterward?

Poor technique can be to blame. Lifting too heavy of a weight can create pressure in your abdomen which may not allow blood to flow from the brain; therefore this cause stretches in the veins in the skull leading to pain. This is why it is very important to lift a weight which allows you to maintain good form and technique and always make sure you breathe.

-Another reason can be skipping your warm-up which can cause muscle spasms in the upper back and neck.

If you develop a headache, stop lifting and see how you feel after some rest. If the pain persists or worsens, than you will want to seek medical attention or talk to one of the certified personal trainers at your gym.

I would most certainly let your trainer know about this.

Coach Nancy

REDSHOES2011 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 7,159
2/17/12 11:06 P

If you have sinus problems go to a ear, nose and throat specialist.. They can do a treatment that can open the block sinus passages faster than pencillin in many cases.. All the passages to the nose, ear and throat are a jointed system..
When blocked they can cause nasty headaches.. If they cause migraines you have had this problem more than once- ask your doctor for a referral and talk the situation out with a specialist.. Prolong sinus problems can eventually do damage to ear drums- I have been to a ear, throat and nose doctor for drains in my ears- he can see damage from sinus problems in the form of scarring on the ear drum membranes from when I was a child! I was born and raised in New Zealand and was treated by a danish ear, nose and throat specialist for the first time in my life.. He was accurate with his observations and could tell me what I suffered many years back- just examining me.. My own doctor referred me as didn't have the equipment or special to make a diagnosis..

Edited by: REDSHOES2011 at: 2/17/2012 (23:15)
WILLOLEVIN SparkPoints: (41,176)
Fitness Minutes: (30,175)
Posts: 89
2/17/12 8:17 P

Anyone else find that they get sore after strength training...
and that muscle soreness leads to a tension headache?

I think the mild winter has led to sinus pressure on top of the tension headache (allergens won't die this year.)

I got an exertion migraine after my first session with my trainer, but this is just tension headache. (No nausea, auras, or vomiting. Yay! You'll understand if you get migraines...)


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