Skip to content
Jump Rope Headache
avatar
physther posted:
I recently picked jumping rope back up & developed a consistent, throbbing, headache after about 100 to 200 consecutive jumps. The headaches are pounding, always left-sided, and seemed to begin in the temporal region and progress outward from there into the parietal/occipital area and behind the L eye. They begin to subside immediately after stopping, but a slight ache lingers for 15 minutes or more. Possible theory's I've seen or thought of include: sinusitis, upper cervical muscular strain causing pressure on trigeminal nerve complex near C1, other adverse vascular disorder in the head (hemorrhage, aneurysm, etc), dietary complications, poor breathing, dehydration. I am a PT and not inclined to visit the MD who will undoubtedly cost me $1-2K in medical tests, not to mention the time wasted..... so first with the free options... I don't feel congested at all so sinus's are unlikely. I'm not buying diet or hydration. Breathing maybe, but why just L sided HA. I tested jumping without the rope, keeping my arms relaxed, and focusing on steady breathing. Bingo. No onset of headache after 3+ minutes of steady jumping. I'm thinking this is related to tension in my upper cervical putting pressure on trigeminal nerve complex.

Take the Poll

Would love to hear from others who have suffered from this, and those who have advice. I will continue to experiment...
  • I have had similar symptoms and found that _________________.
  • I have known someone with this condition and observed __________.
vote
View Poll Results
Reply
 
avatar
physther responded:
Sorry about the poll... this is my first post and didn't know how that works.
 
avatar
nyheadache responded:
Exercise-induced headaches are fairly common. The simplest solution is to start slow and gradually build the intensity and the duration of exercise. Exercising at least 3 times a week, rather than once a week or less, also helps prevent headaches. If that doesn't work, taking 1 or 2 ibuprofen or Migralex before exercise for the first couple of weeks can help. If headaches persist, seeing a doc and getting an MRI scan and blood tests is a good idea.
Migralex doc
 
avatar
physther replied to nyheadache's response:
Thanks for the response. I have exercised regularly for my whole life. Typically hike & rock climb 2-3 days/wk. Run trail 1/wk or so for 5-10 miles. Do push-ups, pull-ups, and various other exercises everyday. I took a couple weeks off of the norm for the holidays, but kept up with push-ups & walks. I even did some jump-roping with no issues. When I returned home I tried jump-roping and began to feel the symptoms described in my post. Currently they limit me to about 150 consecutive jumps. The left sided headaches are detectable after 20-30 jumps and build from there. I feel the symptoms most acutely just after the round of jumping, but then they quickly fade away. I can do other exercises such as pull-ups, push-ups, etc. without issues. I plan to test another high intensity *sustained* exercise will produce the symptoms. Last night I woke up and my bottom left-side lip was numb. That was weird! I think I had gotten into an awkward position, and my arms will often "go to sleep", but never felt anything like that. I changed position and sensation quickly came back.
 
avatar
physther replied to nyheadache's response:
Well it's got to be vascular... Did some high intensity, no impact, exercise on an UE ergometer and the head ache came on. Seems directly related to my blood pressure. The ache was more generalized & not throbbing this time, and I found that it leveled off without getting too intense & I was able to sustain the workout for over 30 minutes. I don't know why this started, but I hope to treat it with conditioning. I did some jump-rope, and even sprints, while on recent holiday travel & didn't notice symptoms then - only after I returned 1 wk ago. I've been a recent (months) daily coffee drinker & I think I'll take a break from that in case caffeine could be part of the cause.
 
avatar
toddchaney responded:
I used to have severe headache; so consulted the doctor at Lewis Pain. They treated me with effective pain management therapy and now I don't feel the pain at all.
 
avatar
tristanno responded:
Hope it's ok to reply to this being 4 months old but I'm frustrated with this exact problem. I'm 32 years old and do cross fit 3 days a week at 6am. Naturally I'm not a morning person so I wasn't sure if my body was simply adjusting to this regimen. This pounding sharp headache pain ONLY happens when we do DU's. It starts hurting a couple minutes into it. It's only painful on the left side of my head. It does subside if I stop but takes 15 minutes. I still feel some of the pain during the day and Advil helps but doesn't completely take it away. I perform ALL the WODS and never have this problem until jump roping comes into play. What did you mean by "vascular"? Have you made any progress with this? I have read other blogs about getting CT scans to check blood vessels. Seems like a waste of money since I seem to handle high intensity work outs except jumping of course. Any help or input would be appreciated. Thank you for posting!!
 
avatar
physther replied to tristanno's response:
I no longer have any problem w/ jump-roping. I'm still at it... I suck at DUs, but I can now jump for over 10 minutes straight w/ no headaches. Hard to know exactly what made the difference, but the other PT at my clinic worked on my upper cervical spine where I suspected I had some muscle tension issue that was causing my headaches. I was significantly better *not completely* immediately after he worked on me. My tolerance for jump-roping increased quickly from that point on. I suggest seeing a chiro or PT who does spinal manipulation and get the upper cervical spine cracked. The PT who helped me also used some Primal Reflex Release Therapy (may be hard to find one who does this around you, but it's worth looking into). If you have any tips on DUs let me know


Helpful Tips

Migraine Prevention MedicationsExpert
Which medications work for migraine prevention? This question comes up all the time, so I've made a list of some of the medications we use ... More
Was this Helpful?
79 of 107 found this helpful

Related News

There was an error with this newsfeed

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information, visit the Duke Health Pain Disorders Center