Question: I get a sudden pain in my head whenever I start exercising, but it stops after a minute two, if I stop exercising. Then I can continue exercising later for an hour without any pain. What may be the reason behind it, and should I be worried?
Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Headaches brought on by exertion should be evaluated by a doctor. And, yes, I would be concerned until I knew what was behind these headaches. It could be a simple matter, but could also be a symptom of a bulging blood vessel (aneurism) about to burst or a tumor.
I would want to know: Are these headaches related to spikes in blood pressure, or perhaps related to thyroid or other internal disorders of metabolism or electrolytes that are easily remedied? Depending on the cause, the condition could become life-threatening if left unchecked.
In general, any new symptoms such as headache should be evaluated professionally. Most severe headaches related to hypertension, ischemia, spasm, or aneurism would most often persist or recur with continued exercise.
This being said, structural headaches from hypertension, a brain disorder such as a tumor, or even the more common migraine or tension headache can sometimes seem very similar.
Statistically, you are probably experiencing migraines or tension headaches, but a medical workup needs to be done to rule out a more serious problem. At this point, you really have no information with which to judge whether these headaches are warning of more serious consequences or they can be managed simply and easily.
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