Headaches Update

June 1, 2011

First post on this subject is here. I’ve been having headaches, and my first hypothesis was that it was caused by nitrates in bacon.

Ditching the bacon seemed to help at first, but even as the bacon remained absent, the headaches returned.

The bacon hypothesis relied on exertion; the theory dictated that headaches were caused by a combination of low blood oxygen and high muscular oxygen requirement (exertion), resulting in less oxygen to my brain.

The problem is that sprints, squats and deadlifts do not cause headaches for me, but even warmup sets of chinups and bench press do. The common theme? Compression of the dorsal side of the spine.

Now I’m thinking that the headaches are due to nerve impingement on the back side of my spine, due either to a pinched nerve or herniated disk.

The big breakthrough that led me to this happened during a particularly intense headache on Thursday. I asked The Girlfriend to apply pressure to different parts of my back, and when she pushed on a spot between my spine and right shoulder blade, the headache dissipated. When she discontinued pressure, the headache returned.

I achieved the same effect by grabbing the doorknob with my right hand and leaning away from the door. Both of these actions relieved inter-vertebral pressure on the back side of my spinal column, likely unpinching the affected nerve.

Hopefully I’ll know more after an appointment with a neurologist on Thursday morning.

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