Why do I get a Headache after I run?

A lot of people who run complain of headaches, especially after a long run. Lengthy runs do place a lot of stress on various parts of your body. Muscle tension, fatigue, lack of hydration – these are all things that can give you a headache as your body requires you to maintain homeostasis to keep you moving well. Seeking an assessment from City Physiotherapy will be able to help identify the cause of your headaches – we have great results with eliminating headaches whether from running or simply from poor posture at work, stress or other reasons.

The most common causes of headaches after your run are:

Hydration and electrolyte imbalance

Even though you feel you are drinking enough fluids during your run, you may not have had enough fluids throughout you day before you run. Your body could also be low in sodium and this may stop your body from making the most of the liquids that you are consuming throughout the day.  If you drink lots of water and still feel thirsty this may be a sign of low sodium. You should discuss this with your GP or a dietician.

 Muscle Tension

This is the big one.  Incorrect running form can make your neck and shoulder muscles work too hard. Your shoulders are designed to unweigh the top portion of your body to help out your lower body.  You may have been told to drive with your arms or to focus on where your hands should be during your run.  What we should be doing is training your shoulders to work properly and your elbows, arms and hands will follow suit. By focusing on pushing your arms forward the harder your arms and shoulders have to work and that creates a lot more muscle tension. Weakness in your upper body muscles will contribute to neck and shoulder tension. The lack of endurance in these muscles means it is difficult to maintain good running form for lengthy periods of time.

If you push your shoulders back and chest out during a run this will create lots of tension throughout your upper body. Good posture is a very important part of running technique, but you don’t get good posture from forcing your shoulders backwards.  Postural re-education needs to come from training the correct muscles. At City Physiotherapy we re-educate postural muscles every day and we can help you eliminate your headache when you run.

Don’t forget you can still use your $10 off voucher for New Patients to the clinic for your initial assessment and treatment at City Physiotherapy for all corporate cup participants, their friends and families.  We have low physiotherapy prices every day and we are preferred providers for Bupa, Health Partners, Medibank Private and HCF. Online bookings available 24/7 at www.cityphysiotherapy.com.au  or call 8212 4886 Monday- Friday 8am -6pm and Saturdays 8.30am- 2pm.