Painfull head after running?

Hi all, my other half is trying to get into running however quite often she runs and afterwards gets a really painfull head, she describes it as at the front of her head and a painful aching that gets so bad that it keeps her awake, last night she ran at around 10pm and the pain was still there at around 6am!
I have made sure that she is having adequate fluid but not too much etc but I can't think of anything else that might help - any ideas?


  • Sounds wierd. Could be her action. Is she running like Paula Radcliffe - no not as fast as her - but nodding her head a lot ??
    This could be putting strain on the muscles at the back of the neck, which can sometimes lead to a headache.

    It could also be some sort of other neck problem. Does this ever happen when she isn't running ??

    Eyestrain may also be a possibility. Does your partner wear specs or contacts normally and remove them for running ??

    I'd pay my GP a visit as well - just to be safe....

    Hope this helps
  • I find that when I swim, and I haven't eaten enough carbs, I get a really bad pounding headache. Strangely, this only happens when I swim. Might be worth eating a banana about an hour before the run?

    I thought for ages it was dehydration, but ater experimenting, I know it's not.

    Worth a try...
  • Could it be due to overheating? If I get too hot I almost invariably get a headache a couple of hours later.
  • I suffer from the same kind of headaches and wondered if it was 'beginner runner' syndrome! Have tried drinking a lot more fluid before a run - doesn't make a difference. I've had bp checked - all ok, so i am thinking of sticking with it in the hope that the headaches will disappear.
  • Neck tension sounds like a good call. If there's a problem with her neck biomechanics, it could be causing jarring at the front of the head, or neurological symptoms because of tense muscles and irritated nerves. There's no reason why it shouldn't be fixable. How about seeing an osteopath?
  • I would think about sternocleidomastoid imbalance.
  • It's always with me when I take a break from running and start again.
    Dave Alce
    Marketing Manager
  • Hi Homer Hart,
    This is quite a common problem, with muscles in the neck often to blame. That said, headaches related to exercise can rarely have serious causes and so should be assessed asap. A quick cardiovascular screen (blood pressure and listening to heart) is all that should be required and would be really prudent.
    Assuming the all clear, an assessment of the neck should be the next step. This will usually reveal some muscles having to work too hard to hold the head steady and assist with breathing (sternocleidomastoid like AbrahamMike says often involved), with these muscles referring pain to the head.
    Treatment for this involves a mix of manual therapy and exercises, along with some possible technique/postural advice, and is usually very successful.
Sign In or Register to comment.