What getting headaches while exercising means

Are you someone who suffers from headaches when you exercise?

Do you avoid doing certain things as they can trigger a headache? Like arm weights, push ups, core exercises or running?

Did you know this doesn’t have to be the way?

At Elite Physiotherapy we think differently to most physios. We look at the body as a whole to determine what the root cause is. Then we form a plan to treat the root cause and ease the current symptoms. All these steps combine to set our patients up for success in living the lives they want.

For a lot of people, if you get headaches with arm exercises, the culprit is often the arms not doing enough work. This lack of load absorption from the arms means the poor neck has to tolerate a higher load than it is designed for.

Let’s take the situation of me doing a push up.

What we want to have naturally happen is that the hand and forearm muscles quickly turn on and absorb the load. After that the upper arm muscles like your biceps and triceps need to absorb the load. This is all necessary as the rotator cuff muscles are naturally slow to turn on. Getting the arm muscles to quickly turn on and absorb load gives these rotator cuff muscles time to turn on. And lastly there will be a tiny bit of load left for the neck to tolerate.

Unfortunately for many that isn’t what happens.

Most people when doing a push up will push through the heels of their hands as they rise. This technique makes it hard for the hand and forearm muscles to absorb any load. Then the load quickly transmits to the upper arm. Here the triceps are prioritised instead of having help from the biceps. The rotator cuff typically hasn’t had time to turn on yet so all that load is put on the neck and upper back.

I know it sounds really complicated but the solution is actually really easy.

At Elite Physiotherapy we ease headaches firstly with special gentle hands-on techniques. After that we also do hands-on techniques to make it easier to engage the arm. And then we start working on simple exercises to get the whole arm doing it’s job and not overloading the neck.

It’s a really simple approach but gets amazing results every time.

If this blog has triggered any questions I’d love to hear them. Please get in touch with us on (07) 4999 9773 so I can help you with your headaches.

As headaches are a really common problem, please share this article with your friends. Then they too can start the journey to living the lives they want without the fear of headaches.

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