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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    5

    Angry "Effort Migraines" after cycling longer distances

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    Does anybody else get headaches after riding? I have been getting full blown migraines about 2-3 hours after completing longer rides. The 3 that have happened this year were after the Iron Horse-50 mile hills, Durango 100-mostly flat, Susan Komen Century- hilly. These do not seem to be associated with hydration, voiding at every aid station, nor calorie intake of about 1200 or so. I normally do not get migraines and it is a bummer to be fatiqued but fine after a ride and then get home to relax and eat and end up flat on my back and vomiting. What is up? Does anybody else get these and if so, what do you do to avoid them? I have signed up for this years Fall Blaze another pretty flat century and am scared to death I am going to get another migraine. Yikes, please advise. Thank you, Lisa.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,845
    Something to read about exercise induced migraines:
    http://www.medicinenet.com/script/ma...ticlekey=51909

    Are you getting your electrolytes?

    The thing I'd say for migraines - is normally it helps to increase the bloodflow to your brain. peppermint tea, caffeine, etc. And do it, take excedrin migraine immediately upon the first sign of a headache...

    Since you know when you're probably going to get one... i'd say start pre-treating after the event with caffeine or peppermint or something like that and see if you can stave off the headache...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,827
    Is this only after a big organized ride or does it also happen after long training rides?

    I take daily meds to prevent migraines but that's because they were occurring daily. For occasional migraines, that wouldn't be recommended. I sometimes get headaches after a long ride but not migraines.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,226
    I don't know anything about migraines, but I do know that I get regular headaches after long rides if I am not properly hydrated. And that usually is the case even when I drink plenty during the ride. It's a struggle for me to remember to drink water throughout the day, every day.

    Off to get a glass of water, now.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Looking at all the love there that's sleeping
    Posts
    4,172
    Quote Originally Posted by lisag View Post
    Does anybody else get headaches after riding? I have been getting full blown migraines about 2-3 hours after completing longer rides. The 3 that have happened this year were after the Iron Horse-50 mile hills, Durango 100-mostly flat, Susan Komen Century- hilly. These do not seem to be associated with hydration, voiding at every aid station, nor calorie intake of about 1200 or so. I normally do not get migraines and it is a bummer to be fatiqued but fine after a ride and then get home to relax and eat and end up flat on my back and vomiting. What is up? Does anybody else get these and if so, what do you do to avoid them? I have signed up for this years Fall Blaze another pretty flat century and am scared to death I am going to get another migraine. Yikes, please advise. Thank you, Lisa.
    I get them.
    They are MUCH worse for me on hot, summer, strenuous rides.
    I find if I take some Vitamin I before the ride (um...that's Ibuprofen), drink plenty of sports drink, eat plenty, and follow up the ride with a high protein drink, a multivitamin, and a good mix of carbs and protein in the form of real food afterwards, combined with a cool shower and a nap, I'm usually good. Oh. And more Vitamin I. I buy that in bulk at Sam's club.
    Crud. That sounds like a lot of effort. But basically, that's what works for me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    566
    When I was getting headaches 30-50miles into a ride, I had a few "duh" moments.

    I usually drink tons of coffee in the morning, but I had been skipping it before a long ride because I didn't want to pee. So: caffeine withdrawal. Started doing a shot of espresso and ensuring my first couple of Gu's were caffeinated.

    Strange hairdo. In my case, I thought I was being clever with the pigtails. Took off the elastics, and felt my head release. Who knew?

    Then, I keep a baggie of Vitamin I and electrolytes with me. I try to take one of each every 50 miles or at the first sign of headache or cramping.

    -- gnat (now quite pleasant to be with on a ride!)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,827
    I wonder if too much sun in your eyes/squinting for a long time might also be a cause. I always wear sunglasses, even in the rain, so I don't know.

    I agree about the pigtails -- I always wind up loosening my ponytail during a long ride, and sometimes have to loosen my helmet a bit also.

    If lisag is only getting them after big event rides but not after long training rides, then stress might be a factor. Changes in sleep and eating schedules can also contribute. I would also look at diet, specifically any foods you eat during the ride that you don't normally eat, since some foods and drinks can trigger migraines. It can also be a combination of triggers.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Denver Metro
    Posts
    844
    I used to get them, but it turned out to be for a different reason.
    I was getting a pinched nerve in my neck from my fit on the bike and that was causing my migraines.

    So another thing to check is your fit!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    5

    Red face Wow, thanks for the ideas !!

    I pretty much get a bad headache after longer rides of 50 ++ but not the full blown migraine vomiting action. I like the idea to take the Vit. I during the ride instead of just at the start and finish. I asked a Doc to prescribe Celebrex and will try that plus Vit I, and get my butt home or to my massage therapist to work on my neck. Huh, that and the glasses. GREAT IDEAS ! Caffine is pretty much a given during the morning and with all the gels but I never thought of it after I finish. OK, well some stuff to work on. Bye for now and I will see how it goes! Lisa G.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Olympia, WA
    Posts
    21
    Here is some recent breaking medical advice against Pre-treating pain with NSAIDs. I have copied it from another forum where I am a member...

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/0...ring-exercise/

    Phys Ed: Does Ibuprofen Help or Hurt During Exercise?
    By Gretchen Reynolds

    Several years ago, David Nieman set out to study racers at the Western States Endurance Run, a 100-mile test of human stamina held annually in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. The race directors had asked Nieman, a well-regarded physiologist and director of the Human Performance Laboratory at the North Carolina Research Campus, to look at the stresses that the race places on the bodies of participants. Nieman and the race authorities had anticipated that the rigorous distance and altitude would affect runners’ immune systems and muscles, and they did. But one of Nieman’s other findings surprised everyone.

    After looking at racers’ blood work, he determined that some of the ultramarathoners were supplying their own physiological stress, in tablet form. Those runners who’d popped over-the-counter ibuprofen pills before and during the race displayed significantly more inflammation and other markers of high immune system response afterward than the runners who hadn’t taken anti-inflammatories. The ibuprofen users also showed signs of mild kidney impairment and, both before and after the race, of low-level endotoxemia, a condition in which bacteria leak from the colon into the bloodstream.

    These findings were “disturbing,” Nieman says, especially since “this wasn’t a minority of the racers.” Seven out of ten of the runners were using ibuprofen before and, in most cases, at regular intervals throughout the race, he says. “There was widespread use and very little understanding of the consequences.”

    Athletes at all levels and in a wide variety of sports swear by their painkillers. A study published earlier this month on the website of the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that, at the 2008 Ironman Triathlon in Brazil, almost 60 percent of the racers reported using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers (or NSAIDs, which include ibuprofen) at some point in the three months before the event, with almost half downing pills during the race itself. In another study, about 13 percent of participants in a 2002 marathon in New Zealand had popped NSAIDs before the race. A study of professional Italian soccer players found that 86 percent used anti-inflammatories during the 2002-2003 season.

    A wider-ranging look at all of the legal substances prescribed to players during the 2002 and 2006 Men’s World Cup tournaments worldwide found that more than half of these elite players were taking NSAIDS at least once during the tournament, with more than 10 percent using them before every match.

    “For a lot of athletes, taking painkillers has become a ritual,” says Stuart Warden, an assistant professor and director of physical therapy research at Indiana University, who has extensively studied the physiological impacts of the drugs. “They put on their uniform” or pull on their running shoes and pop a few Advil. “It’s like candy” or Vitamin I, as some athletes refer to ibuprofen.

    Why are so many active people swallowing so many painkillers?

    One of the most common reasons cited by the triathletes in Brazil was “pain prevention.” Similarly, when the Western States runners were polled, most told the researchers that “they thought ibuprofen would get them through the pain and discomfort of the race,” Nieman says, “and would prevent soreness afterward.” But the latest research into the physiological effects of ibuprofen and other NSAIDs suggests that the drugs in fact, have the opposite effect. In a number of studies conducted both in the field and in human performance laboratories in recent years, NSAIDs did not lessen people’s perception of pain during activity or decrease muscle soreness later. “We had researchers at water stops” during the Western States event, Nieman says, asking the racers how the hours of exertion felt to them. “There was no difference between the runners using ibuprofen and those who weren’t. So the painkillers were not useful for reducing pain” during the long race, he says, and afterward, the runners using ibuprofen reported having legs that were just as sore as those who hadn’t used the drugs.

    Moreover, Warden and other researchers have found that, in laboratory experiments on animal tissues, NSAIDs actually slowed the healing of injured muscles, tendons, ligament, and bones. “NSAIDs work by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins,”substances that are involved in pain and also in the creation of collagen, Warden says. Collagen is the building block of most tissues. So fewer prostaglandins mean less collagen, “which inhibits the healing of tissue and bone injuries,” Warden says, including the micro-tears and other trauma to muscles and tissues that can occur after any strenuous workout or race.

    The painkillers also blunt the body’s response to exercise at a deeper level. Normally, the stresses of exercise activate a particular molecular pathway that increases collagen, and leads, eventually, to creating denser bones and stronger tissues. If “you’re taking ibuprofen before every workout, you lessen this training response,” Warden says. Your bones don’t thicken and your tissues don’t strengthen as they should. They may be less able to withstand the next workout. In essence, the pills athletes take to reduce the chances that they’ll feel sore may increase the odds that they’ll wind up injured — and sore.

    All of which has researchers concerned. Warden wrote in an editorial this year on the website of the British Journal of Sports Medicine that “there is no indication or rationale for the current prophylactic use of NSAIDs by athletes, and such ritual use represents misuse.”

    When, then, are ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory painkillers justified? “When you have inflammation and pain from an acute injury,” Warden says. “In that situation, NSAIDs are very effective.” But to take them “before every workout or match is a mistake.”
    Hiking, Biking, Paddling, Swimming, Surfing, & Running to my heart's content (or at least trying).
    You're never too old to try something new!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    5

    Question Vitamin I withdrawls

    That is a very intresting article. I have taken enough NSAIDs in my life to choke a chicken. Perhaps I will try to stick with the natruals...fish oil, Traumeel, Topricin, ice and diet to see what happens. More news later and thank you all, Oh I just love science projects! Lisa.

 

 

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