Is Exercise Giving You a Headache?
Prevention in a Pill?
If you're at risk for headaches, you may want to consider taking a preventive dose of aspirin before your workout, says Stuart Warden, PhD, director of physical therapy research at Indiana University in Indianapolis. While Warden would generally advise pro athletes against this practice (the medicine may slow the healing of injured muscles, ligaments, and bones), "for recreational exercisers with headaches, the benefits outweigh the risks, but aspirin should be used only temporarily," he says. "Remember that aspirin, as well as ibuprofen and naproxen, typically treat symptoms and not their causes." Bottom line: Serious exercisers and athletes should be assessed by a doctor for the cause of their headaches before using these meds as a common practice.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, March 2010.
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