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Old 11-19-05, 08:36 PM   #1
leadbutt
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Constant nagging headache after ride since it's turned cold?

The last two road rides I've took after resulted in this nagging headache that I cannot shake til I go to bed and rest for 8 hours. It's only started since the weather turned cold (50-60 deg.) and the air has become drier.

I feel like I'm hydrating properly and my recovery meals are better since I feel when this is about to start. It always takes @ an hour for it start, but once it starts, it continues. I've taken Advil, eat a little more and sucked down water to try and 'remedy' the situation.

The only thing I may be lacking, but it hasn't mattered other times during the summer, was a better breakfast. I haven't eaten that much before we left on the last two rides.

I used to go through this in the summer, but this past year I was fine during the transition from winter to spring to summer. I do remember this type of headache a couple of years back coming around more commonly during the fall.

Any ideas, suggestions, antidotes as to why this is happening and what I need to adjust?
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Old 11-19-05, 08:42 PM   #2
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Try a decongestant rather than an Advil. Chances are it's your sinuses.

If that doesn't seem to help, try a muscle relaxant. I find I tense up my jaw when I'm riding in cold weather which usually results in a nasty headache. A muscle relaxant designed for sore back muscles seems to do the trick.
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Old 11-20-05, 02:41 AM   #3
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Wear earmuffs... and turtlenecks and scarves to protect your carotid arteries.

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 11-20-05 at 04:29 AM.
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Old 11-20-05, 08:06 AM   #4
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I seem to only get headaches when my head isn't warm enough during my ride. I have a skull cap I will wear until it gets very uncomfortably warm, and only then will I remove it from under the helmet. Otherwise, if my head gets too chilled, I'll have a good pounding headache for hours.
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Old 11-20-05, 08:38 AM   #5
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I have had the same thing for decades. For me it turns into migraines most of the time, if I don't do something about it.
I have been to many specialists and have had many different meds. I can control it better with meds, and if I keep my head and neck warm. I like the suggestion to keep your neck warm. It may be a rebound effect. For me it does not matter if I am on the bike, or on foot, or just outside. Good luck, you may want to visit a good neurologist to find out if it is a migraine or not.
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Old 11-20-05, 11:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes
... For me it turns into migraines most of the time, if I don't do something about it...
You too? I'm also a migraine sufferer. Most people think that a bad headache is a migraine however a true migraine session is more than just a headache. Matter of fact, the pain felt during a tension headache and a migraine session are generated by almost the opposite conditions although pain is pain. With a tension headache, the blood vessels generally constricted reducing blood flow. In a migraine session the blood vessels expand and interact with surrounding nerves which cause the pain among other sensations.

I've read that if you take regular tension headache pills during a migraine session you can actually intensify the pain. So for migraine sessions you should take ONLY the medicine for migraines and not for general stress headaches.

Knowing the difference between the two sources of pain will help you decide how to alleviate the pain.

Of course, I tend to believe what the others said about cold weather. I recently moved from Florida to North Alabama. The temperatures dropped lower than I'm used to (50's for highs) and I've notice in the passed week some minor headaches however I certainly know that these are not migraine sessions.

Good Luck,
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Old 11-20-05, 12:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tippy
You too? I'm also a migraine sufferer. Most people think that a bad headache is a migraine however a true migraine session is more than just a headache. Matter of fact, the pain felt during a tension headache and a migraine session are generated by almost the opposite conditions although pain is pain. With a tension headache, the blood vessels generally constricted reducing blood flow. In a migraine session the blood vessels expand and interact with surrounding nerves which cause the pain among other sensations.

I've read that if you take regular tension headache pills during a migraine session you can actually intensify the pain. So for migraine sessions you should take ONLY the medicine for migraines and not for general stress headaches.

Knowing the difference between the two sources of pain will help you decide how to alleviate the pain.

Of course, I tend to believe what the others said about cold weather. I recently moved from Florida to North Alabama. The temperatures dropped lower than I'm used to (50's for highs) and I've notice in the passed week some minor headaches however I certainly know that these are not migraine sessions.

Good Luck,
tippy
What do you take for your migraines? How often do you have one? I can go a couple of weeks without a migraine in the heat of the summer. I can give myself one in the winter just by going outside without a head covering.
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Old 11-20-05, 08:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes
What do you take for your migraines? How often do you have one? I can go a couple of weeks without a migraine in the heat of the summer. I can give myself one in the winter just by going outside without a head covering.
Caffeine. One of the ingredients of Excedrin Migraine medicine is caffeine. The problem is, if you have a regular intake of caffeine (sodas, coffee, etc) then taking caffeine in small doses will be less effective (much like any drug ... the more you take ... the more you have to take to make a difference). So the first thing I did was to completely cut caffeine from my diet.

Migraines are diseases that are inherited. Typically, a sufferer will have triggers that start the sessions. Some sessions come on fast and hard, some (like mine) take a little time to build up. When I "feel" the indications of a session starting up, I can take some caffeine (pills or high caffeine drink) and it will dampen the harsher symptoms. People suffer from these migraines at different levels and general have different triggers. The most common triggers are sudden temperature changes, sudden bright lights, blood chemical changes (this causes females to be more susceptible to migraines than males). Each person can have different combinations of triggers that cause the session.

The sooner I take the caffeine when I notice those "feelings", the higher the chance if subduing the bad part of the session. BTW ... if you take Excedrin Migraine medicine at night ... don't plan on sleeping. It will definitely keep you awake.

This is just my take on migraines. I am not a doctor. This just happens to work for me. Your results may vary.

Good Luck,
d.tipton
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Old 11-20-05, 10:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tippy
Caffeine. One of the ingredients of Excedrin Migraine medicine is caffeine. The problem is, if you have a regular intake of caffeine (sodas, coffee, etc) then taking caffeine in small doses will be less effective (much like any drug ... the more you take ... the more you have to take to make a difference). So the first thing I did was to completely cut caffeine from my diet.

Migraines are diseases that are inherited. Typically, a sufferer will have triggers that start the sessions. Some sessions come on fast and hard, some (like mine) take a little time to build up. When I "feel" the indications of a session starting up, I can take some caffeine (pills or high caffeine drink) and it will dampen the harsher symptoms. People suffer from these migraines at different levels and general have different triggers. The most common triggers are sudden temperature changes, sudden bright lights, blood chemical changes (this causes females to be more susceptible to migraines than males). Each person can have different combinations of triggers that cause the session.

The sooner I take the caffeine when I notice those "feelings", the higher the chance if subduing the bad part of the session. BTW ... if you take Excedrin Migraine medicine at night ... don't plan on sleeping. It will definitely keep you awake.

This is just my take on migraines. I am not a doctor. This just happens to work for me. Your results may vary.

Good Luck,
d.tipton
Thanks.
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Old 11-20-05, 10:24 PM   #10
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I pretty much always got bad headaches a few hours after really hard cardio workouts and sometimes after drinking, but all that changed about 4 years ago when I got a headache that lasted about a week.

After a year or 2 of tests and seeing different doctors I was diagnosed with migraines.

I was getting 3 to 5 a week for a few weeks then I could go a month or 2 without any, then I would go back to 3 to 5 a week. Eventually it became a chronic daily headache with 3 to 5 migraines a week thrown in with almost no pain free periods.

Even though intense exercise was one of my triggers I did not stop, or slow down on my workouts. I did pretty much give up alcohol since that was a consistent trigger that I could live without.

I started taking some preventatives (low dose beta blockers which I still take) and that helped quite a bit, but the best thing I did about 3 months ago was to stop completely from taking any medication for headache pain. No ASA, tylenol, ibuprofin, triptans, codeine headache meds, nothing. Best thing I ever did. I still get headaches with almost the same frequency, but they are much shorter lived, much less intense and I do get more periods in between where I am pain free.

Other than the preventatives I take for migraine I hope I never will have to take pain medication again for M and CDH. I am convinced (and many studies back this up) that pain medication really messes up people who are prone to migraines, by reducing their trigger threshold. It's very hard fo rmost people to stop taking the thing that they hope will relieve the pain. For many (not all M sufferes it in fact makes things worse).

People who are not prone to M do not suffer more headaches when taking pain medication.

It's awful to have 12 to 14 hour (or worse) headaches almost all the time. Ruins your life pretty much.
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Old 11-20-05, 11:28 PM   #11
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It's awful to have 12 to 14 hour (or worse) headaches almost all the time. Ruins your life pretty much.

Don't I know it!! I've had a horrible, almost blinding, headache for exactly two weeks now. 14 days straight. I'm pretty sure mine is a tension headache though, not a migraine because I can get it to ease off a little bit, to a tolerable level, when I take a muscle relaxant similar to Robaxacet. I'm also pretty sure I must be grinding my teeth at night, which is just making matters worse, because I wake up in absolute agony every morning.

My semester will be done in 4 weeks and I'm hoping the tension will lift at that point.
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Old 11-21-05, 09:42 PM   #12
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Make sure your ears are covered when you ride in the cold. I give myself one hell of a headache, complete with nausea, when I don't.
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Old 11-21-05, 10:12 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Machka
Try a decongestant rather than an Advil. Chances are it's your sinuses.
+1, Sinuses.
I got it from biking in cold weather without proper caution. Wet underwear from sweating and later getting cold. Took two years to get rid off. Refused to take antibiotics which the MD told me to take. I am very careful now.
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Old 11-21-05, 10:14 PM   #14
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Make sure your ears are covered when you ride in the cold. I give myself one hell of a headache, complete with nausea, when I don't.
Those are very, very, typical migraine symptoms.

A good doc will be able to help that with the right meds. Just to have around in case you do it again.

I'm sorry that you have that, I know that it's terrible. But it is interesting to hear the exact same symptoms from others. Some people think that you don't have the trigger identified properly, or that it's stress, or something else. In a way it's a confirmation of the idea that one can get a migraine from the cold air. edit post: Especially if you live in R.I.




Quote:
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I've had a horrible, almost blinding, headache for exactly two weeks now.
Time to see a doctor Machka !! Just to be safe. It could be a lot of different things.
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Old 11-22-05, 12:08 AM   #15
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Time to see a doctor Machka !! Just to be safe. It could be a lot of different things.
I'm pretty sure it is a tension headache. I accidentally got some extra sleep last night and have been feeling quite a bit better today.
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Old 11-22-05, 10:52 AM   #16
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I'm pretty sure it is a tension headache. I accidentally got some extra sleep last night and have been feeling quite a bit better today.
That's good to hear.

All the doctors I have talked to and the information I have read say if a headache goes that long to get it checked out just in case. It can be very difficult to diagnose something like that, even for a good doctor. I thought I had sinus headaches for 30 years. Then I finally went to the right doctor. I was having migraines. Now I have something that stops them. About 30 years too late.
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Old 11-22-05, 11:00 PM   #17
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...the best thing I did about 3 months ago was to stop completely from taking any medication for headache pain. No ASA, tylenol, ibuprofin, triptans, codeine headache meds, nothing. Best thing I ever did.
That's the problem with migraines ... the pain is developed from almost the opposite condition as a stess/tension headache. Migraine sufferers who don't know this attempt to treat the migraine "headaches" with regular stress/tension headache medicine. In some cases, this can intensify the pain .... oooouch. From the stand point of a person with a headache ... pain is pain and it seems a good idea at the time to take headache medicine. Then later they learn that the intensity of the (migraine) "headache" might have been due to them taking (stress/tension) headache medicine.

The reason is that the stress/tension headaches are generated when blood vessels are constricted (reduced blood flow) due to keeping muscles tensed for a long time or any other physiological source (worry, stress, not enough rest,etc). The stress/tension headache medicines are design to restore blood flow (open the vessels back up) and of course adds a little pain suppressant for good measure.

On the other hand, migraine headache pains ( the entire session for that matter ) is caused when blood vessels expand and interact with the surrounding nerves. This causes sufferers to "feel" weird, be sensitive to light and noise, get tinctures or blind spots in their vision, get severe painful headaches and nausea.

So you can imagine what having enlarged blood vessels interacting with nerve endings and taking a medicine that is designed to open the blood vessels up will do to for you.

So far - as migraine sufferers go - I think I'm lucky. The longest full blown session I've ever experienced was about 5 hours (about 3.5 was the brutal pain and nausea part). Since I've learn to sort out the symptoms (migraine vs tension), I've yet to carry a migraine session to term (brutal pain and nausea) even though I do still get those "feelings". I just make sure I treat each one appropriately.

Good Luck,
d.tipton
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Old 11-22-05, 11:01 PM   #18
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Make sure your ears are covered when you ride in the cold. I give myself one hell of a headache, complete with nausea, when I don't.

This sounds more like what I'm having, so maybe I'll start wearing my balaclava until I get acclimated to the drastic temp. changes we've had lately.

Almost two-three weeks ago, what started as a sinus cold (right after a Sunday ride) turned into VERTIGO by the end of the week. That Saturday before, we did a 30-mile ride @ 9:00 in the morning in 40-45 degree weather. I had the headache all day!!!

It seems like the older I get, the longer I have to have to adjust to the season changes, although the transition into summer went better this year. I was actually able to ride in the 90 degree weather without passing out!!
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Old 11-22-05, 11:08 PM   #19
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Interesting migraine reading ...

Good Luck,
d.tipton
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