5 Headaches You Don't Deserve

5 Headaches You Don't Deserve

Don't let random headaches stop you from having fun. Here are five headache causes and fixes.

Sometimes a headache is right out of a no-good-deed-goes-unpunished script. We're talking about the kind that happens when you're working out, spending a family day at an amusement park, or cuddling with your partner after sex. Don't let an unfair head banger spoil things. Stop it before it starts.

Workout Whopper
Why it happens: As you exercise, tension in your abdomen or chest triggers the expansion of blood vessels in your head, and that pressure hurts. The throbbing may vanish 5 minutes after your workout . . . or not.

What prevents it: Warm up slowly, dial back the intensity of your exercise (working longer can be as good as working harder), and take it indoors, where it's air conditioned during hot weather. If this kind of headache happens to you a lot, try taking aspirin (or the Rx anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin) before your tennis match or weight work.

Amusement-Park Ache
Why it happens: It's not the cotton candy or long lines. This headache comes on after you step off of a super-fast roller coaster, a Tilt-A-Whirl, or any ride that changes direction suddenly. They literally shake your brain. See a doc if this kind of headache is severe or lasts more than a few hours. While injuries are rare, intense jerking can tear blood vessels inside your cranium, causing dangerous bleeding.

What prevents it: Even on the wildest ride, don't turn to look at your friend. Keep your eyes -- and your head -- looking straight ahead. And if you don't think the ride's seat fits and is supportive, or if the body restraint seems wimpy, don't go on the ride in the first place.

Related: Learn when to take your headache to the doctor.

Postsex Head Banger
Why it happens: In one survey, 47% of headache sufferers said that fun between the sheets was sometimes no fun for their heads. This pain is a lot like the Workout Whopper -- vigorous motion creates muscle tension in your torso that makes blood vessels in your head swell.

What prevents it: Take your preferred pain reliever pre-foreplay.

Related: How many of these headache triggers cause you pain?

Updo Agony
Why it happens: When you pull your hair back into a sleek, stylish, but tight ponytail, it can put constant pressure on tiny scalp muscles, irritating nerves in them. Result: pain in your scalp, forehead, temples, and neck.

What prevents it: Loosen up. A sexy, soft updo is just as chic. In fact, pull out a few extra strands.

Barometric Blitz
Why it happens: Getting outdoors can be a wonder drug for your mood -- unless you're sensitive to shifts in barometric pressure, temperature, humidity, and even wind speed. Any of these climatic changes may alter your body chemistry in ways that set off head pain.

What prevents it: Keep a headache diary to see whether there's a pattern to your pain, then stay indoors as much as possible when those triggers are in the forecast. If your headache is as predictable as the weather, take a pain reliever at the first sign.

Medically reviewed in March 2020.

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