Exercise headaches occur during or after sustained, strenuous exercise. Activities associated with exercise headaches include running, rowing, tennis, swimming and weightlifting.
Doctors divide exercise headaches into two categories. Primary exercise headaches are usually harmless, aren't connected to any underlying problems and can often be prevented with medication. Secondary exercise headaches, on the other hand, are caused by an underlying, often serious, problem within the brain — such as bleeding or a tumor — or outside the brain — such as coronary artery disease. Secondary exercise headaches may require emergency medical attention.
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