push up headaches--PLEASE HELP!!!

TheDoll

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okay, so i'm in recruit school, and i'm working my bum off trying to build upper strength. we have our class workouts on M,W,F, and on the off days i am still working on my push ups and core. i'm getting stronger and fitter for sure, but i'm having a real problem while i do push ups. i get a really painful, intense headache. i'm not much of a winer when it comes to physical pain, but this is almost incapacitating. i don't really say anything in class, but it is KILLING ME! i know that i could practice more on my off days if i didn't get this headache because the pain gets too intense before my arms get too tired.

i don't have this problem with any other exercise. ANY help would be appreciated if anyone has had this or knows about it. it's really killing me, and i need it to stop. i certainly can't stop doing the push ups!
 

mycrofft

Still crazy but elsewhere
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EMT, diagnose thyself.

What part of your head hurts? Does your neck or anything else hurt also? Does the pain pulse? Any associated visual and/or auditory manifestations? Is it relieved promptly by OTC Rx , or what DOES make it better? Remember these, because you may be bringing them to your doctor's attention.

Top three culprits in my mind (descending order of likelihood) are musculoskeletal tension, neck injury, and some sort of intracranial or cervical anomaly. Dehydration can also be suspected but easily addressed.

TENSION: first, practice running without tensing the unnecessary muscles, then practice that with other exercises. The head and neck muscles do not help you do a pushup, and lacking resistance besides gravity, they hurt. (PS: does jogging cause the pain also?).

The others need to be ruled-out or treated by you and your MD as they can be serious and even life-threatening. Don't be a hero, it can also turn out to be something much less serious and the doc can help you perform safely and eventually mkostly pain-free.

That's as far as I go onto that limb.;)
 

MSDeltaFlt

RRT/NRP
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okay, so i'm in recruit school, and i'm working my bum off trying to build upper strength. we have our class workouts on M,W,F, and on the off days i am still working on my push ups and core. i'm getting stronger and fitter for sure, but i'm having a real problem while i do push ups. i get a really painful, intense headache. i'm not much of a winer when it comes to physical pain, but this is almost incapacitating. i don't really say anything in class, but it is KILLING ME! i know that i could practice more on my off days if i didn't get this headache because the pain gets too intense before my arms get too tired.

i don't have this problem with any other exercise. ANY help would be appreciated if anyone has had this or knows about it. it's really killing me, and i need it to stop. i certainly can't stop doing the push ups!
Let's rule out the simplest things first. Are you breathing? What I mean is, are you exhaling during the "pushing up" phase of the exercise? If you're not, then you're going to increase your own ICP's as you are grunting/straining to push yourself up. As your ICP increases, it will compress on your sinuses. That tends to hurt. Technique is everything.

In the immortal words of Mr Miagi (?sp),

Mr Miagi, "Must get to basics of life."
Daniel-san, "What's that?"
Mr Miagi, "Breathing. No breathe. No live."

Breathe, and make a conscious effort to do so.
 
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mycrofft

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Ach, yes "Air goes in and out"..I forgot the basics.

duh-OH!:huh:
 
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TheDoll

TheDoll

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somehow my post disappeared! sorry, i just noticed it! darn black holes of the interwebs!

anyway, i think it might be the weightlifters headache. i'm making sure that i breathe when i do the push ups, but i might be tensing mah neck! also, the area between my shoulder blades is really tense since i've been weight lifting. i think this weekend i will go in for a massage and see if that helps.

thank you, everyone, for replying. if anyone has any additional advice on how to get rid of them, i would greatly appreciate it!

the ache comes on really quickly, then, leaves about 10 min after stopping the push ups. it is a quick, intense pain, and it POUNDS! anyway, thanks again, everyone!
 

fit4duty

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this is going to be a bit lengthy

Controlling the breath is absolutely correct!!! But the question is how. The following is taken from John Douillards "Mind, Body and Sport" =>

Darth Vader Breathing
Follow the steps below, and you will breathe as you should:


Step 1: Inhale normally through the nose. At first, do not take a large breath. It will be easy to master this technique with shallow breaths in the beginning.

Step 2: During the exhale, breathe out only through the nose. As you exhale, constrict the throat slightly, as if you were lightly snoring. The sound should be a little like Darth Vader. You will notice that in normal nose breathing you can feel the air coming through the nostrils, similar to the feeling you get when you blow your nose. In this technique, you will feel a sensation in your upper throat; it doesn't feel as if the air is moving through your nostrils at all. Of course this is just an illusion; your mouth is closed, and there is simply no other way out!

Step 3: Try making this sound during the nasal exhale, without contracting your abdominal muscles. Go ahead and do it now. If you are doing the Darth Vader breathing correctly, you will find it impossible to make that sound without slightly contracting your stomach muscles.

Step 4: If you're not sure you've got it right, try it this way: Instead of focusing on exhaling through your nose and constricting your throat, think about squeezing the air out from your tummy by tightening your stomach muscles. You will find that the tighter you make your stomach during the exhale, the more pronounced the Darth Vader resonant sound will be.

Step 5: If you're still not sure, take out a pair of sunglasses and blow on them, with your mouth open, as if to fog them up for cleaning. You will make a HAAA sound that comes from inside your throat rather than your mouth. Now, close your mouth and make the same glass-fogging sound, but through your nose. The only slight difference is that, instead of just a short glass-fogging burst, I want you to carry that HAAA sound throughout the exhale. The same breath that cleans your glasses with the mouth open will mimic Darth Vader with the mouth closed.

Step 6: Now that you have mastered making this sound with a shallow breath, begin to increase the size of the breath, ensuring a quality, resonant, Darth Vader sound! Keep increasing the depth of the breath until you are taking in every last bit of air and squeezing out every last bit. Practice this as much as possible while sitting or walking, because the better you make this sound now with a deep maximal breath, the easier it will be to apply to your exercise program.


Now once you are breathing properly you will notice far less tension in the upper torso when you exercise this will now allow the musculature to be focused on the primary task of movement as opposed to respiration. This is of particular importance especially with push-ups since the initial phase of the movement actually calls for your body to be pulled to the floor (more on technique later).

The take home message here is that once you can control your breathing, and keep it even during exercise, you have much greater control over your brain and ultimately your system. Our bodies are designed (well most of ours) to be able to withstand a huge amount of work/pain/discomfort; the weak link is almost always in the mind. Its never the pain that gets us its the "mental panic" that comes with the pain. Controlling the panic, begins with mastering the breath.
 

BirdtheEMTB

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had the same thing happen to me when I first started working out with a trainer. That said 3 years later I ended up having a Pituitary Gland Tumor:wacko: Not Fun!
 
OP
TheDoll

TheDoll

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had the same thing happen to me when I first started working out with a trainer. That said 3 years later I ended up having a Pituitary Gland Tumor:wacko: Not Fun!
that's awful! are you okay now? as soon as my insurance kicks in i'm going to my doctor
 

KEVD18

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What part of your head hurts? Does your neck or anything else hurt also? Does the pain pulse? Any associated visual and/or auditory manifestations? Is it relieved promptly by OTC Rx , or what DOES make it better? Remember these, because you may be bringing them to your doctor's attention.

Top three culprits in my mind (descending order of likelihood) are musculoskeletal tension, neck injury, and some sort of intracranial or cervical anomaly. Dehydration can also be suspected but easily addressed.

TENSION: first, practice running without tensing the unnecessary muscles, then practice that with other exercises. The head and neck muscles do not help you do a pushup, and lacking resistance besides gravity, they hurt. (PS: does jogging cause the pain also?).

The others need to be ruled-out or treated by you and your MD as they can be serious and even life-threatening. Don't be a hero, it can also turn out to be something much less serious and the doc can help you perform safely and eventually mkostly pain-free.

That's as far as I go onto that limb.;)

how can you have an over the counter prescription?
 

traumateam1

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Uh-oh.. I tried the Darth Vader breathing and now I have a really bad headache... Musta done something wrong.
 

Solus

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Hello! I am new here and have registrated only to pose this one question because this seemed like the right place to do that. I know this is a relatively old thread but it is very related to the issue at hand.

I have been exercising for years and I have never experienced any problems. Last few days however, I seem to be getting severe headaches after 20 or so pushups. Pullups, running or any other cardio exercise or anaerobic exercise - it's fine. But after doing pushups I would get pulsating headaches in the right part of my skull exclusively. I have also noticed some tension in the neck afterwards. I hadn't previously been exercising for a certain period of time and I basically started out intensively.

I assure you breathing is not a problem. As I've already mentioned, I have been doing pushups for quite a long time and never before did I experince a similar problem. Through puberty I used to have some pretty strong migranes but they were no match for these headaches, although these only last a minute or two. I'm not taking any supplements and my diet is balanced.

I have to add that sleep deprivation might be influencing this to a degree. However, last night I had more than 10 hours of sleep and I experienced the headaches again today. I try not to think about anything extreme, like aneurysm or something. My mother is a doctor and she thinks it's nothing serious. Anyone with similar problems and a possible resolution?

Thank you very much in advance!
 

mycrofft

Still crazy but elsewhere
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See your doctor.

Don't seek medical advice via internet without seeing that .
 

fit4duty

Forum Crew Member
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GO SEE YOUR DOCTOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Judas Priest! Why is everyone afraid to go to the doc BEFORE there is a catastrophe. Seriously how many times have we heard this:

"Well its (symptom x) been bothering me now for a couple days and I figured if I let run its course (manifestation y) it would clear itself up"

And know they're wondering why they are drooling and can't walk straight.

Make the damn call
 

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