Exercise related headaches

Benign exertional

This is common in sports that cause a sudden rush of blood to the head and a subsequent increase in blood pressure, such as weightlifting. This type of headache usually last a short period of time but some can last several hours.

Post traumatic

This is commonly known as ‘footballer’s migraine’ and is caused by a blow to the head. In extreme cases, a player may lose consciousness.

External compression

This is also known as swim goggle headache and is caused by a prolonged period of pressure on the skull; for example, the pressure applied by the strap of swimming goggles.

High altitude

This is common in athletes who are not used to high altitudes and relates to the availability of oxygen in the air. Many people who suffer from headaches at altitude also experience nausea and sickness.


This is also known as ‘diver’s headache’ and is caused by increased pressure under the water. Headaches are thought to be associated with an increase in carbon dioxide in the blood as a result of going under water.

Types of Headache Index:

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