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Avatar universal

Extreme pressure/pain in head, neck and ears after physical exersion (exercise)

I recently started exercising again and after any type of physical exersion I have extreme pressure/pain in my ears, head and neck.  It's mainly the bottom, back of my head, where my neck connects to my head.  And my ears feel like they will burst.  After stopping running, or other exercise, (because of the discomfort and/or pain), it subsides but leaves the muscles in the front of my neck aching.  I'm assuming that it's some kind of liquid build up in my ears.  What is the problem and is it serious?  Would sudafed or something similar help?  It's excrutiating sometimes.  Thanks for your help.
28 Responses
Avatar universal
I am in a similar position.  I will call my G.P right now and go and see her, may some blood pressure needs checking.  I am 43 year old and over weight, I can not effort to take risks.
Thanks for raising this.
Roada
Avatar universal
I also have this problem. I am only 21 and am in very good physical condition(150 pound sprinter). I recently began having these problems and I am not sure what is causing them. I am allergic to just about everything and I have never had any blood pressure problems although my dad has had some recently along with a low red blood cell count but he is 51.

My symptoms are just extreme pressure behind my ears and eyes after any workout that lasts anywhere from 3 minutes if it is heavy lifting to 8ish minutes of jogging. It also occurs when I do a 100m dash as well which takes about 10 seconds.

I do not experience extreme neck pain though. It is more like what happens to your head when you have a sudden altitude change where your ears pop and you can't get the pressure to come back out of them for 5 minutes or so. I have tried holding my nose and closing my eyes and then blowing out which normally works for me when I change altitudes to get the pressure out of my head but it does not work in this case.

Any help on this topic would be great.
Avatar universal
Hi,

How are you?
Bad posture, not breathing well and cold air can cause pain the ears while exercising. From your description the problem seems more severe than can be explained by these factors.
Another cause could be thoracic outlet syndrome which causes numbness, tingling and pain in the ears.
Please consult your physician about it at the earliest. Do keep us posted!



Avatar universal
I am a 19 year old female. in very good shape. i am 5' 7" and 130 lbs not over weight at all. I have the same pressure feeling in my head after i work out except the pressure for me lasts a long time and my face becomes bright red and stays that way for hours afterwards. I also have issues during excercising. While im running i start to feel dizzy/lightheaded and my eyes begin going black. I have gone to my doctor about this. he first thought it was exercise induced asthma. so he gave me an inhaler and made me take a PFT (Pulmonary Function Test)...turns out i dont have asthma. Then my doctor took an x-ray of my lungs, did an EKG, took a CAT scan of my head and send me to a neurologist. Still no answers. everything looked normal so far. I had lab work done but have not gotten the results yet. My doctor is baffled by all of this. He really doesnt know what is wrong. I would greatly appreciate any information or opinions. Please feel free to let me know if there is anyone else out there with the same issues.
1 Comments
I often got extreme pressure/pain behind my ears/back of my skull after working out, even just for 5 minutes. After I had been conditioning for about 5 or 6 weeks, it stopped happening- gradually though. I think it is a combination of high heart rate and increased blood pressure. Because it happens when my ears get cold also, which means circulation is poor (i.e.- elevated blood pressure)
Now I've began conditioning again, I have the same problem... Must be REALLY out of shape again!! lol
Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hello!

Sometimes proper rehydration and salt balance helps.

Check your mineral values and also have a proper breakfast before you work out.

Check your sinuses near an ENT specialist for any chronic sinusitis and also check for migraines and an MRI of brain may reveal something.

With all reports normal you have to slow down and only restrict yourself to exercises which do not give symptoms.

Take care!
Avatar universal
I just recently started having similar symptoms, but it happened shortly after an extremely heavy workout and now is continuing to the point where I can not do any heavy workout at all.  I am 44 years old and eat healthy balanced meals and supplement shake 6 times a day, have borderline high blood pressure and perform 3 cardio workouts and 3 weight training workouts a week.  I have been doing this off and on for years and steadily for the past 6 weeks and never had this problem.  

My pain starts as a sharp isolated pain in the lower right rear part of my head and within a few seconds explodes to my entire head, eyes and ears.  It feels like a blood vessel under pressure blows out like one of those balloons used to make balloon animals.  The pain subsides from a 10 to a 3 or 4 within a few minutes, but my blood pressure sky rockets for a short period of time due to the pain and it leaves my eyes sore and my ears ringing for hours.  Usually, I have to take ibuprofen or tylenol to make the pain go away.  I am seeing my doctor on Friday and will update as soon as I figure out anything.

Good luck,

Tim
Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hello!

The most important thing for you is taking anti hypertensive medications regularly and monitoring your blood pressure. Do you take them regularly? Discuss with your physician for titrating the dosage or changing the present drug.

Take care!
Avatar universal
Wow.  I finally found some people who experience this head pressure with exercise.  Except my head pressure first started when I just bent over to pick up a couple of sticks.  I have coronary artery disease and thought it was heart.  
Then, prepping for a cardio stress test, I over-did some biking exercises which led to the head, ear and facial pressures ... just as you describe - that of a balloon being blown up.
I did have the stress test (chemical), and all was clear, including an echocardiogram.
Now my doctor wants an MRI of the brain.  I have a bad sliding hiatal hernia and I thought it was from that but he didn't believe it would affect my head.
I wonder -- do any of you spend a lot of time doing close eye work, such as computer or reading?
-olio
Avatar universal
I forgot to add:
My BP at home has been consistently in the 130s/70, but can be 140/80 at times - in those areas.  After one of these episodes, I thought to take it and it was 180/90 - it scared me.
My doctor doesn't want me taking by BP but maybe once a week (guess he thinks I'll get scared when I see it high -- and he's right).
And he doesn't want to put me on more BP meds for fear it will go too low. (I have a very hard time taking any meds -- chemical sensitivities.) Taking Cardizem 120 and lisinopril 2.5 twice a day.
Avatar universal
Guys, im 21 and I just started feeling this as well, but i guess is because of the recent cool weather, i live in miami and is warm in here most of the year, but on january is cold, and today was my first time in my life i jogged in such cold and felt this.....do you all live in cold areas? ....please just let me know with a yes or no so i have hopes i`ll be able to jog again when the cold goes away..
thank you.
Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hello!

If you resting blood pressure is below normal and diastolic is around 80 and less than 90 and systolic around 120 and less than 130 there is nothing to worry.

Anti hypertensives are only for people suffering from high blood pressure without physical exercise.

Take care!

Avatar universal
I am 23 years old and also have this problem; although for the past 4-5 months I have been experiencing these symptoms to a lesser extent on a constant basis. Exercise definitely makes the stuffy/throbbing feeling much worse and the terrible pain after the run that I just got back from (only 2 miles) caused me to look for answers online. I found a few possibilities as to what could be the cause (such as Exercise-Induced Eustachian Tube Dysfunction) but no solutions. When I told a friend about the problem and accompanying dizziness she suggested the possibility of Vertigo. I have a physical coming up in one week and plan on asking the doctor to help me get to the bottom of this!
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