Benign Exertional Headache Quiz

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Scott Nass

Scott Nass, MD, MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS

GP / Family doctor

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Learn more about Benign exertional headache

Content updated on Nov 2, 2022

What is benign exertional headache?

A harmless headache that is brought about by physical exertion such as strenuous exercise, sneezing or straining during bowel movements. Exact cause is unknown, it is believed to be related to the narrowing of blood vessels during physical activity.

Symptoms of benign exertional headache

  • Headache

  • Headache after strenuous exercise

  • Living in a warm or hot environment

  • Headache occurs on coughing

Questions your doctor may ask to check for benign exertional headache

Your doctor may ask these questions to diagnose benign exertional headache

  • Do you have headaches or does your head feel heavy?

  • Do you have headaches after intense exercise like lifting heavy objects?

  • Do you live or work in a hot environment?

  • Do you have a headache when you cough?

Treatment for benign exertional headache

Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen are usually prescribed for benign exertional headaches. If the headaches are predictable, your doctor may prescribe medication to be taken regularly to prevent them.

View the symptoms of Benign exertional headache

  • Headache

References

  • Sjaastad O, Bakketeig LS. Prolonged benign exertional headache. The Vågå Study of headache epidemiology. Headache. 2003 Jun;43(6):611-5. doi: 10.1046/j.1526-4610.2003.03123.x. PMID: 12786919.

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi?DOI=10.1046/j.1526-4610.2003.03123.x

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