Why does my temple throb and hurt during vigorous exercise?
May 8, 2010 5:52 PM   Subscribe

What explains the throbbing pressure and pain at my right temple and right eye socket area during physical exercise?

I feel this pressure/pain only when exerting myself fully, particularly during pull ups and usually at the beginning of a work out session. I believe it's linked to my breath as have also felt this pressure when I've exerted myself while, inadvertently, holding my breath or not breathing properly. It may also be related to my heads position. It seems to correspond with the beats in my pulse which I can feel at my temple. I only feel this pain in that frontal region of my head, on the right side more than the left.

Again, the longer into the workout the less I feel it.

For what it's worth, I had very itchy, bloodshot eyes this spring with no other allergy symptoms.
posted by mizrachi to Health & Fitness (10 answers total)
Are you getting enough potassium?
posted by null terminated at 5:59 PM on May 8, 2010

Response by poster: Not sure. I eat a banana a day.
posted by mizrachi at 6:02 PM on May 8, 2010

Any chance it culd be from a wisdom tooth or abscess in your upper jaw? Has it been going on long?
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:53 PM on May 8, 2010

Response by poster: No, nothing like that. I think it's some sort of "exertion headache" which is not uncommon for weightlifters. But I have no idea what that means really. Or what to do about it.
posted by mizrachi at 7:12 PM on May 8, 2010

If you don't know what your blood pressure is, I would go get that checked out.
posted by azpenguin at 7:32 PM on May 8, 2010

I've had a similar problem in about the same place caused by inadvertently holding my breath during strenuous exercise (lifting weights or whatever). I spent some effort trying to breath properly while exercising, and after a week or two the pain gradually stopped occuring. It did not instantly stop though - it felt like some kind of injury that healed.

(I am not a doctor, and this is not medical advice.)
posted by Diplodocus at 8:12 PM on May 8, 2010

Sounds like an exercise-induced migraine to me. At least for me, physical exercise (especially sudden, intense physical exercise) can trigger a migraine; however, if I go for a long time I can get the migraine to go away. My guess is that this is due to endorphin release. Anyway, the pain you describe sounds a lot like migraine pain.

Still, you should probably get it checked out.
posted by sickinthehead at 8:26 PM on May 8, 2010

Oh, I meant to type: if I do a nice, gradual warm up - usually walking - before I exercise I can usually avoid getting a headache. Like a good solid 5-10 minutes of warm up.
posted by sickinthehead at 8:28 PM on May 8, 2010

I had similar pain when working out and it turned out to be an infection in my sinus from botched dental work (long story). So don't discount a problem in your sinuses since that's where the pain seems to be located. Good luck!
posted by sinderile at 8:36 PM on May 8, 2010

This used to happen to me, and I posted a question about it awhile back. It's probably caused by your blood pressure spiking because you're not breathing. Doing weird things with your neck can cause it too, like twisting it or putting the bar on it. Use the valsalva maneuver (i.e. hold your breath) when you need to keep tight during a rep, but make sure you're breathing between reps somewhere, when the bar or your body are not actually moving.
posted by ludwig_van at 10:17 PM on May 8, 2010

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