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Squat Headaches (Benign Extertional?)

Training discussion on Squat Headaches (Benign Extertional?), within the Bodybuilding Forum; See, my pain comes from a flat bench, at least so far. A lifter buddy of mine said he had ...


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Old 05-03-2006, 08:10 AM   #11
Frankie
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See, my pain comes from a flat bench, at least so far. A lifter buddy of mine said he had the same problem, and it stemmed from abused traps. Right now, it's hard for me to look to the left because the upper trap on the right side of my head is stiff as a board and hurts pretty good. Considering that's where it hurts, and my whole upper back and traps are being pinned against the bench while benching, I'm thinking that's where my problem stems from. I'm gonna let that bad boy calm down before I put any more weight against it. I may go to the gym tonight to see if I can get my arms into the mix without any trouble.

Edit - I forgot to mention that I do have slightly high blood pressure. I'm mostly Italian, so it's hereditary. I watch my breathing very carefully while lifting and stay hydrated to minimize any risk. I never had any problems before, so I'm not going to say it's a coincidence that my traps are destroyed and I'm getting headaches. I guess only time will tell. If this happens again next week, I'll take a trip to the doctor.
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Old 05-03-2006, 11:16 AM   #12
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Well, this could certainly stem from any number of causes, but if your pain is anything like mine was, then I would'nt make any assumptions....so the doc is defitnitely a good idea if it reccurs after a rest.

Mine happened on squats as I stated above and I am almost certain they are related to sudden changes in blood pressure. But I would like to point out that I don't have high blood pressure and I would get them no matter how well I monitored my breathing. That is not to contradict Sleazy, I am speaking of myself....and also these things are difficult to pin down.

I can't say that the VERY FIRST one I had wasn't due to breathing. And after the first one, if you don't take a while you're pretty set up for them. I was able to get past that first (debilatating) group of them and surprisingly it wasn't by lifting lighter weights. I went heavier and reduced the volume. I would feel them coming on for quite a while after that, though even though I was paying particular attention to my breathing.

One way I got past them, though, was actually breathing related. If I felt one coming (which meant I had a couple of seconds before the pain came crashing down) I would pause at the top (of the squat) and do these little fast puffy breaths. Sort of a vilent and rapid pant. Amazingly I would feel the pain melt away. It's hard to describe the breaths....the closest I can get is that they are like what women do in labor.

I found out later (from Trouble) that this actually reduced the intracranial blood pressure or something. The only reason I tried them is because I'd seen a couple of powerlifters doing it.

Of course none of us know what is causing yours, Frankie, and it could be related to your traps. I would point out that the bench press is common for headaches too. VerbatimReturned actually had this problem on bench press and he was unable to link it to anything (I hope you don't mind me mentioning that, Verb).

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If you act sanctimonious I will just list out your logical fallacies until you get pissed off and spew blasphemous remarks.
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Old 05-03-2006, 11:22 AM   #13
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This board is alright, you guys have been a ton of help and support already, and I've only posted on here a handful of times.

Well, I'm thinking I'll just give it a rest until my neck stops hurting. Once that goes away, maybe I'll start off with a tricep workout or something else that's going to leave my traps alone.
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Old 05-03-2006, 12:06 PM   #14
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I actually got the same problem from flat benching. It was the worst thing in the world, if i tried to pick up any kind of weight the back of my neck would start pounding with pain (not muscle pain, but more like a really bad headache). I just took some time off and it eventually went away. I think thats the only solution, little time off never hurt anyone.
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Old 05-03-2006, 12:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verbatimreturned
I actually got the same problem from flat benching. It was the worst thing in the world, if i tried to pick up any kind of weight the back of my neck would start pounding with pain (not muscle pain, but more like a really bad headache). I just took some time off and it eventually went away. I think thats the only solution, little time off never hurt anyone.
That's exactly it. It's a serious throb like a headache. Oh well, I guess my body is telling me to take a break
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Old 05-04-2006, 04:54 AM   #16
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This board is alright, you guys have been a ton of help and support already, and I've only posted on here a handful of times.
we are always happy to help. I hope this all works out, injury, especially sudden stuff like this is the worst. your moving along great then all of a sudden you just cant anymore. It frustrates the hell out of me.

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Old 05-04-2006, 05:46 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrdgain81
we are always happy to help. I hope this all works out, injury, especially sudden stuff like this is the worst. your moving along great then all of a sudden you just cant anymore. It frustrates the hell out of me.
You're telling me! I keep close goals since they're easy to attain, and this was week 3 of a self-dedicated hard 3 week pump. It's totally frustrating.
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Old 05-05-2006, 02:57 PM   #18
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This is not necessarily for Frankie or to beat a dead horse. Just info. I would like to point out that things like this should be taken seriously.

Thomas Souza, DC, DACBSP

Athletic Headaches

The athlete may present with a complaint of headaches in three ways: (1) headaches unrelated to athletic activity; (2) headaches that are exertion/activity related; and (3) posttraumatic. The first category of presentation is evaluated and managed like non-athletic presentations. Exertional and post-traumatic headaches are often acute events which require immediate triage. On-the-field evaluation is limited but can provide a reasonable basis for decision making with regard to return-to-play or referral for further evaluation.

Exertional/Activity Related Headaches

One of the major concerns with exertion related headache is the possibility of an underlying tumor or vascular weakness which may lead to sudden death. Although 50-60 percent of patients with brain tumors have headaches, only 2-25 percent experienced exertion-related headaches.1 When aneurysms rupture, a quick onset of headache followed by loss of consciousness and death is the usual scenario. However, in patients with an aneurysm that is slowly hemorrhaging, a severe headache may appear over several days or weeks. This "sentinel" headache appears in 30- 60 percent of patients with eventual rupture.2 Associated symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, visual disturbances and photophobia, aphasia, nuchal rigidity (without fever), and weakness. Immediate referral is necessary. Evaluation will include a CT for structural brain lesions and a lumbar puncture to detect a subarachnoid bleed.

It is important to screen athletes regarding some common culprits of benign exertional headaches including dehydration, hyperventilation, hypoglycemia and/or poor diet, alcohol use, caffeine withdrawal, and heat intolerance. These are more likely to be triggering mechanisms in the poorly conditioned athlete. When headache is associated with a specific activity, clues may be found with regard to the mechanism is some cases.

For example, one common presentation is "weightlifter's" headache.3 There are probably two possible explanations for this occurrence; (1) increased intracranial pressure is caused by the Valsalva-like maneuver with lifting, and (2) stretching or strain of cervical musculature/tendons.
Valsalva maneuvers increase intracranial venous sinus pressure. This in turn leads to a general increase in intracranial pressure which reduces cerebral blood flow. This effect is generally short lived and benign. If persistent or severe, further evaluation with CT or MRI may be necessary.

Overstrain due to maximum lift effort or abnormal posturing of the neck during activity may lead to a primarily subluxation/soft-tissue caused headache. Historical review of the mechanism of onset with regard to neck position and the onset of symptoms is valuable. Confirmation by physical examination, spinal palpation, and resolution with chiropractic care are likely with this etiology. Migraine headaches occur with some athletes involved in short, strenuous activities including weightlifting, and short distance running or swimming.4 Although the mechanism is not clear, it has been proposed that hyperventilation leads to a decrease in Pco2 with resulting vasoconstriction. This leads to a migraine aura followed by vasodilation leading to the headache.
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Old 05-09-2006, 06:17 AM   #19
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So I was able to hit the weights last night no problem. I took it easy first, starting with a dumbbell flat bench, and slowly ramped myself back up to my usual weight. The headaches were definitely upper trap related, because I could feel my body trying to favor itself up by the neck. I made sure to keep solid form and not cheat with my traps at all. I was able to make it through the entire workout unhinged. Man I feel good today. I think I was actually starting to get depressed about not working out
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