Exercise headaches


Your doctor will probably suggest an imaging test, particularly if:

  • Your age is more than 40 years old.
  • Your headaches last for several hours or longer.
  • You also exhibit additional symptoms, like nausea, vomiting, or eyesight issues.
  • Your headaches come on hard and fast, like a thunderclap.

In these circumstances, various imaging studies can assist your healthcare professional in confirming that you have the benign variety of exercise headache as opposed to the sort brought on by a structural or vascular irregularity.

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). This examination produces crosssectional pictures of the brain’s structural components using a magnetic field and radio waves.
  • Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) and Computerized Tomography (CT) angiography. These examinations provide visual representations of the blood vessels that extend to and are located within the brain.
  • Computed Tomography (CT) scan. An image of the brain’s crosssection is produced by a CT scan using Xrays. If your headache started less than 48 hours ago, this test may reveal recent or fresh bleeding into or around the brain.

Occasionally, a spinal tap (lumbar puncture) is also required, particularly if the headache developed suddenly and lately and brain imaging is unremarkable.


Your doctor may suggest taking certain medications on a regular basis to assist prevent headaches if there are no underlying structural or vascular issues causing your exercise headaches.

  • Indomethacin, a medication to treat inflammation.
  • Propranolol, a medication to control blood pressure.

There have been reports of other treatments, such as naproxen, phenelzine, and dihydroergotamine mesylate, being successful in certain patients.

You might be able to take a drug an hour or two prior to a planned activity, such as a tennis match or a walk at a high altitude, if your exercise headaches are predictable. You might need to take the preventive medication daily if your postexercise headaches are frequent or unexpected.