Why Do I Get Headaches When Lift Weights?


This one comes from Sam, via Snapchat. (upbeat music) Hi, so my question to the doctors is, why do I get headaches when I’m working out with heavy weights, and what can I do to stop them? Sam, a lot of people will get these exertional headaches, and there can be a multitude of reasons, not fully understood. Some people think it’s due to changes in blood flow to your brain, could be more common in people who are dehydrated, working out in really hot conditions, but for people who are doing really heavy lifting, in addition to doing that Valsalva maneuver where, anyone ever hear the big time weightlifters, they bare down. That creates so much tension, and in individuals like that you can get these severe headaches. My one concern here, and you all work out, in fact you lift weights Mhmm
Right? Have you ever had an exertional headache from lifting too heavy? Yeah, occasionally, and I think it’s just because the pressure becomes so high, but it usually goes away I think, in several hours, but I think the danger is when it doesn’t, when it lasts.
And that’s what I wanted to just touch upon. If you’re doing anything, and all of a sudden you have a massive (hands clap) thunderclap headache, is what we call it, that can actually be due to a vessel in your brain that has burst, and that is a medical, potentially life threatening, emergency. For people out there who are getting headaches every single time they exercise, I really recommend getting seen, because there are things that can be done, and also, don’t just roll into the gym, and the first thing you do is lift 500 pounds over your head, and a lot, look, I used to do that, I was an idiot in college. (laughter) I took–
That’ll give you a headache. Yeah, I’d wake up
That’s for sure. and roll into the gym, eight a.m. (growls)
Hey (laughter) Ladies check out this! (groans)
(laughter) You know, everything’s hurt. Point being, that was stupid. Warm up, ease into it, and if you continue to have exertional headaches, please get it checked out.

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