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  1. #1
    Englishman in Oz's Avatar
    Englishman in Oz is offline Senior Member
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    Headache when I squat?

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    I started a LHT routine around 6-7 weeks ago, and all was going fine until recently. In my last few workouts I've got a headache as soon as I start doing squats. It's quite an intense headache at the back of the head on the left side, and increases with intensity with every rep. It's happened the last 3 times I've tried to squat, having previously had no issues with this. I haven't jumped up a huge amount in weight on the bar, only adding about 5lb each week, and currently only squat a very modest 60lb. I don't get the headache with any other exercise. Today I've done deadlifts, bench, chin ups and shoulder press with no issues. Has anyone else experienced this, or know what might be causing it? I've now removed squats from my routine, but don't want to do this permanently as they're such a great movement.

  2. #2
    dado's Avatar
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    get the squats back and live with the headache.

    this is just weakness leaving your brain.

  3. #3
    Englishman in Oz's Avatar
    Englishman in Oz is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dado View Post
    get the squats back and live with the headache.

    this is just weakness leaving your brain.
    Haha! Were you ever in the French Foreign Legion by any chance? I hear what you're saying but I think there's more to it than that. I'm no stranger to training with intensity, and I'm currently squatting well within my comfort zone. It's hard to describe but the pain is like nothing I've experienced before. Some of my more medically trained friends have mentioned trapped nerves and the like, but I dunno. Just wanted to see if any regular lifters have had the same.

  4. #4
    Conner P.'s Avatar
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    Probably just pulled it from straining your neck too much on the way up. I had a similar issue back in the fall and just had to lay off the squats for a while. Give it time.

  5. #5
    PeacefulWarrior's Avatar
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    Do some heavy shrugs and see if you experience the same discomfort.
    I expect if you do shrugs for about the same length of time, you will have the same sensation, albeit far less severe.

    If this is the case, the problem is coming from the additional strain placed on your cervical spine.

    Or, simply do front squats (holding the weight in front) and see if you experience the same problem. I expect you will not. If you still experience the same discomfort even with the front squats, I would advise you to get checked by your MD right away, because at that point it may be the increased pressure in your head causing the pain, which needs to be checked for and ruled out right away.

    But, I'm pretty sure you will find it is coming from your neck.
    "Your actions speak to me so loud, I can not hear a single word you are saying."

  6. #6
    spincycle's Avatar
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    I had the exact same thing happen to me. I had to b-r-e-a-t-h-e and relax. I was tensing up and powering through it. Evaluate yourself at the top, are you breathing, relaxing your neck and shoulder muscles. That's all it took for mine to disappear.

  7. #7
    lopisheep's Avatar
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    I got nauseous when I first started doing them -- headachey might relate. I thought it was the wheat belly getting squished:-):-):-) Figured I'd live through it and did them anyway. Annoying side effects gone now and just feeling the muscles getting tighter.

  8. #8
    jakey's Avatar
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    a similar thing happened to me with all heavy movements in which i had to hold my breath. dips, chins or squats. i was eating very low carb. you know what worked? eating more carbs. it was a tough thing for me to admit to myself, i had been all about that ketogenic thing, felt great for months. and then the exact types of headaches you mention started. scared the shit out of me too, so sharp and intense...

  9. #9
    deepglades's Avatar
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    I started randomly getting hammered by similar headaches on heavy overhead squats. This was helpful:

    Episode 228/365: Slaying the Exertional-Headache Beast | Mobility WOD

    If you google around, you will find lots of information related to making sure you're properly hydrated and fed well (in line with Jakey's comment about carbs).

  10. #10
    jakey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deepglades View Post
    I started randomly getting hammered by similar headaches on heavy overhead squats. This was helpful:

    Episode 228/365: Slaying the Exertional-Headache Beast | Mobility WOD
    thank you for that link!!

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