Encyclopedia of Pain

2007 Edition

Primary Exertional Headache

  • Andreas Straube
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-29805-2_3535

Synonyms

Weight-Lifter’s Headache; Diver’s Headache; Effort Headache

Definition

The headache is precipitated by any form of exercise. Recognized sub-varieties include “weight-lifter’s headache, diver’s headache, effort headache, etc.”

Characteristics

Since a patient with primary exertional headache (pEH) seldom goes to the doctor, there are very few epidemiological studies or reports on treatment options for pEH.

The new classification of the International Headache Society (IHS) provides the following description and diagnostic criteria for pEH.

Diagnostic Criteria

  1. 1.

    Pain is bilateral, throbbing on onset, and short or long-lasting (5 min–48 h)

     
  2. 2.

    It specifically occurs during or immediately after physical exercise requiring exertion.

     
  3. 3.

    There is a close temporal relationship between pain and physical exercise, particularly in hot weather or at high altitude.

     
  4. 4.

    The headache is prevented by avoiding excessive exertion.

     
  5. 5.

    It cannot be attributed to any other disorder.

     

When...

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References

  1. 1.
    Basoglu T, Ozbenli T, Bernay I et al. (1996) Demonstration of frontal hypoperfusion in benign exertional headache by Technetium-99m-HMPAO SPECT. J Nucl Med 37:1172–1174Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Buzzi MG, Formisano R, Colonnese C et al. (2003) Chiari-associated exertional, cough, and sneeze headache responsive to medical therapy. Headache 43:404–406Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cheshire WP, Ott MC (2001) Headache in Divers. Headache 41:235–247Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Förderreuther S, Straube A (2000) Indomethacin reduces CSF pressure in pseudotumor cerebri. Neurology 55:1043–1045Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Green MW (2001) A spectrum of exertional headaches. Med Clin North Am 85:1085–1092Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Heckmann JG, Hilz MJ, Muck-Weymann M et al. (1997) Benign exertional headache / benign sexual headache: a disorder of myogenic cerebrovascular autoregulation? Headache 37:597–598Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lance JW, Lambros J (1998) Unilateral exertional headache as a symptom of cardiac ischemia. Headache 38:315–316Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lane JC, Gulevich S (2002) Exertional, cough, and sexual headaches. Curr Treat Options Neurol 4:375–381Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lipton RB, Lowenkopf T, Bajwa ZH et al. (1997) Cardiac cephalagia: a treatable form of exertional headache. Neurology 49:813–816Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Mokri B (2002) Spontaneous CSF leaks mimicking benign exertional headaches. Cephalalgia 22:780–783Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Pascual J, Iglesias F, Oterino A et al. (1996) Cough, exertional, and sexual headaches: an analysis of 72 benign and symptomatic cases. Neurology 46:1520–1524Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Powell B (1982) Weight lifter’s cephalgia. Ann Emerg Med 11:449–451Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Rooke ED (1968) Benign exertional headache. Med Clinics North Am 52:801–808Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Silbert PL, Hankey GJ, Prentice DA et al. (1989) Angiographically demonstrated arterial spasm in case of benign sexual headache and benign exertional headache. Aust N Z J Med 19:466–468Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Silbert PL, Edis RH, Stewart-Wynne EG et al. (1991) Benign vascular sexual headache and exertional headache: interrelationships and long term prognosis. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiat 54:417–421Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Sjaastad O, Bakketeig LS (2002) Exertional headache. I. Vågå study of headache epidemiology. Cephalalgia 22:784–790Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Sjaastad O, Bakketeig LS (2003) Prolonged benign exertional headache. The Vågå study of headache epidemiology. Headache 43:611–615Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Williams SJ, Nukada H (1994) Sport and exercise headache: Part 1. Prevalence among university students. Br J Sp Med 28:90–95Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Straube
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyLudwig Maximilians UniversityMunichGermany