Exercise! - I'm suspecting strength training are giving me migraines

04-14-2012, 09:09 AM
It happened in the fall and it's happening again. First time it happened I thought I just had a neck strain. Tried to just exercise through it for a week, but then stopped all exercise and little by little it got better and after 2 weeks I went back to all exercise.

This time it's more obviously a migraine (had auras yesterday) but it's probably caused by muscle spasms. Then I read this:


Now I don't want to give up strength training, but I was getting bad headaches for two weeks last time. I'm on day three now. Today was supposed to be a strength training day. I'm going to skip it. I'll do C25k today instead, but any suggestions to protect myself better so that I don't trigger migraines?

I actually think it's crunches that do it (and no, I do not grab my neck and keep my hands to my temples, but I still feel strain in my neck).

Sorry for the typo in the title - should be is not are.

04-14-2012, 09:16 AM
okay, just reading that article, i would strongly advise you to get your dr to check out and confirm it's only muscle spasm and not vascular.

i get migraines too (but never while exercising) as well as tension headaches (those are the muscle spasm kind) and 2wks is one heck of a long time for them to stop.

are you holding your breath while you're exercising? most ppl are without being conscious of it but you're really not supposed to except for brief moments.

also, while doing crunches, try crossing your arms on your chest and targetting a spot up on the ceiling - that keeps your head in a neutral position throughout the move and helps reduce neck, trap, and shoulder strain. if you're keeping your chin tucked down (the usual position), you could be inducing a condition called "syncope", where you're restricting blood flow to your brain. targetting the ceiling, you'll notice your head is almost nodding back and forth as you move through the rep and that helps circulation.

04-14-2012, 10:07 AM
I have a doctor's appointment next week (conveniently) that I will bring this up - and the auras with migraines as that's new. I love strength training (in class) and would hate to give it up, but if I have to modify, OK.

04-14-2012, 10:29 AM
Skip the crunches and do planks instead and see if that helps.

Hope you feel better soon! :)

Also, I'm not sure where I read this, but some people get relief from migraines with a magnesium supplement. Couldn't hurt to try, just don't take more than the recommended dose.