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  1. #1
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    tension headache/ migraine after ride?

    does anyone else have issues with getting tension headaches and or migraines after a hard ride?

    I was the 3rd time that I have gotten a migraine after going for a ride. It comes on about 1-2 hrs after the ride. I can run and do circuits that are just as hard without any issues.

    Has anyone else had issues with this? What have you done to alleviate or prevent getting them?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    www.4estbiker.nl
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    Yep, I having it to when I'm not drinking enough.
    1.5 liters in 2 hours and I'm not having headaches.
    When I'm riding longer I getting a headache.
    My bike is never the problem and can always be faster than I can...
    http://www.4estbikers.nl

  3. #3
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    I get these sometimes. I associate them with my overly tense shoulder muscles, but I'm not sure. Might be hydration related, but a week ago I rode for about 2.5hrs and drank a lot but still got a headache after riding. One cap of 400mg ibuprofen with lots of water and some food makes it go away fast.

  4. #4
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    Sounds like you guys need to find a sports Chiropractor

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by PitchCrew View Post
    Sounds like you guys need to find a sports Chiropractor
    Was going to suggest that. I used to get migraines at least once a month until I found a good chiropractor. Also is your bike fit properly for you? Maybe you need a slight adjustment to take some tension off your neck and shoulders?

  6. #6
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    My Wife has the same problem.
    drinking more and adding some gatorade to here water helped a lot.
    expensive cars are a waste of money. Expensive bikes...not so much!

  7. #7
    Ridin' Furry
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    I have not had after a hard ride but i have during.

    I had migraines a few times "during" some rides, one time it felt like my right eye was gonna pop out of my socket. I found out i had my Halo headband and helmet straps on a little tight which cut off just enough circulation to cause it. Simple adjustment made the migraines disappear instantly during one ride. :3

  8. #8
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    thanks I will give these ideas a try. My shoulders do get tense more since I got a new bike. I will try and tweak the cockpit a bit to see if it helps. Thanks for the ideas

  9. #9
    thread crapper
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    I've had that issue, but changed the lens tint in my glasses to help it. One of my riding buddies is an eye doc and that was his suggestion. He said some people can have that issue because of eye fatigue.

  10. #10
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    what did you end up going with?

  11. #11
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    I get headaches often after a ride too, I'm fine for one or two hours after the ride and then the headache comes. If you ride with a hydration pack try adjusting the fit of the straps, or switch to a water bottle on the bike frame, the weight of the pack can cause tension in your neck and shoulders. Another thing that helps me is a warm shower or hot tub soak right after the ride to loosen up the muscles before a headache comes on.

  12. #12
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    I get them this time of year whe I am just getting back out on the trails. After a few weeks I don't ge them anymore, the neck and shoulders get used to the pounding and extra stress.
    Giant XTC 2 29er
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  13. #13
    Me ride.
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    I tend to get them after long rides on hot days.
    I use water bottles, there are no straps from any gear, and my helmet is just tight enough that I know I'm wearing it and won't fall off.
    The headache is usually a "behind the eye pushing out" feeling that is usually gone the next day.
    It doesn't appear during the ride, but always after I get home, shower, and settle down. Maybe the temperature change?
    Still no idea what's causing them.
    And I'm drinking plenty of fluids before, during, and after the ride.

  14. #14
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    Hydrate , and be sure to get some cool down periods.

    Make sure its not your vision have it checked.

    Make sure you are eating properly. Sugars/Caffeine or low blood sugar can trigger migraines in some. "properly" is subjective you have to figure out whats best for you.

    Tweak the cockpit , STRETCH before riding and light stretches after. If you have someone to give you one a shoulder/neck rub afterwards until you narrow down causes.

    Check your equipment. Is your bag heavy and jostling around ? Is your helmet too tight ? Is the sun in your eyes the whole time ?

    If nothing else works check your blood pressure or see a chiropractor for other underlying issues that may be causing this.

  15. #15
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    I get them too after a long ride. I am finding that having stong legs and lungs aren't enough.. My shoulders and back need to be strong as well. Yoga, stretching and weight training are becoming keys to my riding enjoyment..

  16. #16
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    What I find helps is if I am going to be out a few hours is to get off the bike every hour and stretch, do some rolliing neck stretches and such, stretch my back and legs. I find it really helps alot, I don't think its the hard riding more then your neck is stuck in one postition for so long. I also get massage therapy once a week on back and neck and one calf that really wants to cause me some agony. One calf muclse is pulling on my heel causing allot of pain in the morning when my feet hit the ground, about 15 mnutes up and it goes away but its still tender. Getting old sucks goat balls.
    Giant XTC 2 29er
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  17. #17
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    If it's not hydration (you're drinking roughly one 24oz bottle an hour), then after that most likely culprit is death gripping the bar and having your should "up" and not relaxed. Try consciously rolling your shoulder back and down and relaxed and try not to grip the bar so tight. You say it's since you got a new bike, could be fit, could be you're going faster on it and scarying yourself and hence death gripping, simple as that.
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  18. #18
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    I can't tell if I get a headache after I ride as I always reward myself with too much beer...

  19. #19
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    It's actually a pretty common issue with mountain bikers. Cervicogenic headaches (coming from the neck) is often related to misalignment of the top vertebra in the neck. When we ride we carry our head in a extended position for long periods of time. Between this and bouncing off rocks this articulation can get into a bind and cause problems. As was stated before make sure you are properly hydrated and your ergonomics as they relate to your riding position are sorted out. If you're still having issues get checked out by a chiropractor. Good luck!
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  20. #20
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    I'm dealing with something similar this week. I had a pretty hard race on Saturday and ever since I'm having a pain on the top of my head, almost like a bruise. It hurts to even touch my hair in that area. It's sensitive all the time and occasionally throbs with pain - very uncomfortable. I read online that it could be a pinched nerve in my neck or muscle strain. I'm hoping it goes away soon!
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  21. #21
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    I had that problem riding motocross for a while. Hydration and not enough salt intake was actually the problem. Your body can't process water without sodium. So a sports drink is usually a good solution instead of straight water or you might need a little more salt in your diet.

    I started getting minor headaches after adjusting my seat 1 inch higher for a better petal stroke. It took me forever to figure it out but I was tensing up my shoulder/neck muscles from the slightly longer reach. I raised my handlebars 1/2 inch, focused on staying relaxed and I haven't had an issue since.

  22. #22
    Rolling
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    Last edited by lidarman; 05-09-2013 at 08:21 PM.

  23. #23
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    I've battled headaches - particularly tension headaches and dehydration - since childhood, and still struggle with them today.

    Anterior headaches (e.g., those behind the eyes, in the forehead or temple area) are likely related to dehydration, and for some folks, it can take a day or two to recover depending on metabolism and just how dehydrated you were. This is fortunately an easy fix. In addition to drinking more while riding, hydrate yourself BEFORE you ride. If you know you're riding tomorrow, start drinking more water today. You can also drink AFTER your ride, but power through a gatorade or powerade, and then drink water. The sports drink actually does help to replenish salts, etc. lost via sweating.

    Pain in the neck/shoulders/based of the skull are more likely related to muscle strain. This strain can be caused by myriad factors ranging from poor bike fit, crap workstation setup at the office, to sleeping with the wrong pillow. One of the best things anyone can do is get a professional fit, which through a GOOD LBS will be included with purchase, but if not, its worth paying for it. Find someone reputable too . . . once you know your bike fits, then its time to start tweaking other things. Stretching before and after a ride can help. Something else to think about too is having someone take a side-profile shot of you riding along on flat ground for perspective on your riding posture. You may be riding "too tense" (as previously mentioned), and if aware of it, you can focus on correcting it. Adequate core strength (lower back, abs, etc.) is also important and not to be neglected.

    As far as non-bike things are related, the issue is that if you're workstation isn't correctly set up for good, proper posture, or you have the wrong pillow or crappy mattress, you're predisposing yourself to added neck and shoulder strain . . . then going biking, where you're head is forced in a tensed position, you're going to exacerbate whatever is already going on.

    One thing I will say, don't ever, EVER see a chiropractor for anything. Ever. Not even once.
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  24. #24
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    If it is true migraine, they are often triggered by what goes on in your gut. Skipping breakfast before a ride may be the issue. Alternatively something you are sensitive to taken as a routine before rides may be the culprit. Could also be a chemical sensitivity to snacks or gel ingredients you take on the ride. Look to the pattern of how you prepare for a ride and see if something in it could be to blame. Migraine is also more common after the stress dies down - like in weekend and holiday migraine, so the posts above about being tense on the ride may be on the money.

  25. #25
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    I am glad I am not alone in this battle, I should buy stock in Advil I take so many of them.

    Now this is the weird part what gives me a headache can also take it away. If I wake up with a monster pounder I can take some advil and it might dull it down but if I go for a MTB ride it will normally take it away.
    Giant XTC 2 29er
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