Working out at home or at the gym is supposed to enhance your well-being and make you feel alive, but for some people, working out means pain. Pain in the left side of your head after physical exertion can be a sign of something serious or just a mild problem that occurs once in awhile. Nevertheless, it is important to consult your physician for chronic head pain that does not respond to at-home treatment.
Tension headaches are the more common form of headaches brought on by overexertion during physical exercise. These headaches can start at the back of your head and migrate either left or right. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, tension headaches are highly treatable through relaxation and breathing technique. In order to prevent tension headaches during exercise, do not move rigidly or overexert your muscles. If at all possible with your chosen activity, make sure you use the muscles on the left side and right side of your body equally. Keeping your mind off of stressful problems during exercise also might help prevent tension headaches from occurring.
Paroxysmal dyskinesias is a rare genetic disorder involving one-sided migraine onset after physical exertion. According to a study published in the "Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry" in 2000, this genetic disorder is linked to three chromosomes in the human DNA structure. Testing and evaluation is required to make a clear diagnosis. Treatment options include pain management with over-the-counter or narcotic pain medications.
Headaches are not always brought on by tension or something in your brain relay. Injuries to your neck also are a culprit when dealing with exercise-induced, left-sided headaches. According to R. Allan Purdy and Alan M. Rapoport, authors of "Advanced Therapy of Headache," neck injury can cause headache pain ranging from mild irritation to severe migraine. Should you suspect injury-induced headaches, seek medical attention promptly to prevent further damage.
Headaches on the left side or any part of your head that persist for a week or two should be brought to the attention of a licensed physician. Chronic headaches can be a sign of neurological disorders or trauma, in worst cases. Always take note of which exercise activity induced your head pain to give you a better understanding of how to avoid it in the future.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Tension Headaches
- Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry: A New Family with Paroxysmal Exercise Induced Dystonia and Migraine: A Clinical and Genetic Study
- Advanced Therapy of Headache; R. Allan Purdy, Alan M. Rapoport