Welcome to our Gymnastics Community
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.
Sign up

Headache advice needed!

profmom

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Nov 18, 2011
9,236
Region 7
Country
USA
Gymnast involved is a 15 year old L10 who is in the early phases of puberty. No history of concussions. Over the last few weeks, he has been getting debilitating headaches at gym, which seem to be linked to his rings rotations. He's not the kind of kid who complains a lot, so this is concerning. I did take him to the pediatrician, who recommended upping his water intake, taking allergy meds, keeping track of when he gets the headaches, and dosing himself with ibuprofen at the first sign. He nonetheless came out of practice last night a wreck. He says he feels like it is related to his recent efforts to go harder on rings when he's working front and back giants and piked yamawakis. Any experience or advice with this, oh wise parents and coaches? @krc maybe?
 

twinmomma

Active Member
Proud Parent
Jun 13, 2013
1,138
California
Country
USA
I'm not sure if it's related, but I'm wondering if it's vestibular/migraine. I would say try to hit caffeine at the onset as well (as a migraine sufferer myself that's a huge help). I don't know if the symptoms fit...
 

txgymfan

Administrator
Staff member
Coach
Proud Relative
Fan
Sep 4, 2008
2,916
Houston
Country
USA
I normally chime in and say “ doctors doctors doctors “ but you’re on that path already and the above advice makes sense.
 

Jard.the.gymnast

Verified Coach
Verified Coach
Coach
Gymnast
Apr 12, 2017
1,305
16
Heerenveen
Country
Netherlands
Is he drinking enough, and even small amounts during practice (not just a lot before and after)? In my experience, that is one of the main reasons people get headaches during sports.

And if its not getting better, maybe taking it slow for a while might help him not feel like a total wreck.
 
  • Like
Reactions: txgymfan

profmom

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Nov 18, 2011
9,236
Region 7
Country
USA
The pediatrician says it's not presenting as migraines, fwiw. When he has them, he does have light sensitivity, which I always associated with migraines, but she's the one with the MD, not me. Maybe I'll get him some Excedrin to try in addition to nagging him about drinking water. It's a puzzler for sure.
 

duyetanh

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Feb 21, 2015
3,884
Country
USA
I am so sorry he is going through this. I do remember a girl on my swim team who got these right before competitions, and she literally put her hands in a full sink of ice with little water and squeezed and I squeezed her hands for five minutes, and the headaches went away. Idk or remember the logic behind it, sorry, it was years ago....but maybe an idea?
 

NutterButter

Active Member
Proud Parent
Jan 24, 2013
627
Country
USA
I'm sorry. Headaches of mystery origin are the worst. I'm sure this is NOT what it is but I was just told my son has Chiari malformation. The main symptom is headache, especially while straining. Adolescence is when many start experiencing symptoms. My son has no symptoms but it was discovered on an MRI for something else.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2gymmies

skschlag

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Jul 19, 2011
10,067
Region 9
Country
USA
I wonder about him being tense during rings....like holding his neck, shoulders tight to do the strength moves? and possibly not breathing?

I love all these ideas too! Water, ice, etc. I hope you figure it out. This kiddo has had enough to deal with this year!
 

MILgymFAM

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Fan
Feb 6, 2014
4,435
39
NoVa
Country
USA
I'm sorry. Headaches of mystery origin are the worst. I'm sure this is NOT what it is but I was just told my son has Chiari malformation. The main symptom is headache, especially while straining. Adolescence is when many start experiencing symptoms. My son has no symptoms but it was discovered on an MRI for something else.
My brother also had this- it was discovered during the strain of boot camp. I hope it’s nothing as serious as that, profmom. My DD gets headaches at practice at times that are related to her allergies. Sometimes she has to up her dosage for awhile.
 

Cheryl

Member
Proud Parent
Feb 28, 2018
112
Country
USA
Allergies have been pretty bad this year, with accompanying headaches. My son has said he sometimes has been getting vertigo on rings, so it could be pressure.

When my daughter was starting puberty, she had ongoing headaches, fatigue and General malaise which made her miss about one day of school a week for a few months. We had blood work, a neurological consult, all negative. Once she got her period, it disappeared, so I wouldn’t discount hormones and the stress on the body of sudden growth as partially causing this.
 

Cheryl

Member
Proud Parent
Feb 28, 2018
112
Country
USA
Allergies have been pretty bad this year, with accompanying headaches. My son has said he sometimes has been getting vertigo on rings, so it could be sinus pressure.

When my daughter was starting puberty, she had ongoing headaches, fatigue and General malaise which made her miss about one day of school a week for a few months. We had blood work, a neurological consult, all negative. Once she got her period, it disappeared, so I wouldn’t discount hormones and the stress on the body of sudden growth as partially causing this.
 

raenndrops

Well-Known Member
Coach
Proud Relative
Former Gymnast
Oct 24, 2009
6,336
The 'Wood, Ohio
Country
USA
If it isn't water consumption or allergies, the next step is a neurologist.
3 months after my 23rd concussion, I finally went to a GOOD neurologist. I was still having headaches and memory issues. The first neurologist didn't get me in until a month after it happened (her office staff claimed not to have received the referral from the ER twice... and on the third try, the charge nurse at the ER HAND-DELIVERED it to the office) and she was only concerned with the dizziness I reported in the ER ... which had already gone away. She tried to replicate it and couldn't. Then she decided I just had migraines and didn't actually have a concussion that was diagnosed in the ER???
When I was still having the same problems 2 months later, I knew I didn't want to go back to her and there was a new doctor in the clinic that I heard was amazing. He explained that on that last concussion (and yes, it was a concussion), I got micro-tears in one of the muscles in the side of my neck that actually goes up over the top of the skull. As it healed, it got knotted up. It could tense up, causing the headaches, light sensitivity, and memory problems and I needed trigger point injections to fix it. I am all better now :)

I hope it is nothing serious.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sce

twinmomma

Active Member
Proud Parent
Jun 13, 2013
1,138
California
Country
USA
If it isn't water consumption or allergies, the next step is a neurologist.
3 months after my 23rd concussion, I finally went to a GOOD neurologist. I was still having headaches and memory issues. The first neurologist didn't get me in until a month after it happened (her office staff claimed not to have received the referral from the ER twice... and on the third try, the charge nurse at the ER HAND-DELIVERED it to the office) and she was only concerned with the dizziness I reported in the ER ... which had already gone away. She tried to replicate it and couldn't. Then she decided I just had migraines and didn't actually have a concussion that was diagnosed in the ER???
When I was still having the same problems 2 months later, I knew I didn't want to go back to her and there was a new doctor in the clinic that I heard was amazing. He explained that on that last concussion (and yes, it was a concussion), I got micro-tears in one of the muscles in the side of my neck that actually goes up over the top of the skull. As it healed, it got knotted up. It could tense up, causing the headaches, light sensitivity, and memory problems and I needed trigger point injections to fix it. I am all better now :)

I hope it is nothing serious.

23rd???????????????
 

sce

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Former Gymnast
Mar 11, 2014
6,115
Country
USA
I wonder about him being tense during rings....like holding his neck, shoulders tight to do the strength moves? and possibly not breathing?

I love all these ideas too! Water, ice, etc. I hope you figure it out. This kiddo has had enough to deal with this year!
I was wondering this too. Maybe a pinched nerve, or a lack of breathing?
 

Similar threads