This is a very real, extremely unfair phenomenon.
There are a few things you can typically expect after a great workout—an energy boost, some sweet endorphins, maybe a little soreness—but a debilitating migraine shouldn’t be one of them. Unfortunately for some people, working out can actually be a migraine trigger, which is basically the least motivating news ever.
If you get exercise-induced migraines, being laid out in bed with the lights off probably feels like the opposite of the healthy life you were trying to maintain with working out. So, why does this happen? And how can people whose migraines come on with exercise still get the movement their minds and bodies need? We spoke with migraine specialists to find out why this happens and what you can do about it.
First things first: What exactly are migraines?
You may think of migraines as wildly painful bouts of sharp, throbbing head sensations. That’s true for some people, but not everyone, Nauman Tariq, M.B.B.S (Bachelor of Medicine-Bachelor of Surgery), assistant professor of neurology and director at John Hopkins Medical Center, tells SELF. The pain can present as a debilitating, dull, steady ache as well, and it can strike one side of your head or both. You may also deal with symptoms like nausea and vomiting, along with sensitivity to light, sound, and other sensory input, the Mayo Clinic says. For some people, migraines can even come on with no pain—just visual disturbances and other annoying symptoms.