Lawn-Mowing Headache

By Mark W. Green, M.D. Frederick R. Taylor, M.D. Park Nicollet Headache Clinic and Research Center and Adjunct Professor of Neurology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN THE CASE A 45-year-old woman has had occasional headaches for twenty years, which she attributes to drinking beer. For the past two years, she has also been getting headaches during extremely hot weather about 45 minutes into mowing her lawn with a push mower. The frontal headache, which lasts about three hours, responds partially to acetaminophen, but no off-the-shelf medication has worked to her satisfaction. Similar headaches have occurred inconsistently with her workouts. She exercises indoors and finds that a fan reduces the likelihood of a headache. She has never had a headache with coughing or sexual activity, a suddenly explosive headache, or a headache relieved by lying flat or in any other position. She doesn't recall one-sided headache, throbbing or vomiting but from time to time has had stomach queasiness she attributed to medicines. The patient is of good health and her general and neurological examinations are normal.

Q. I have very frequent migraines. When they strike, they are continual for weeks. The only thing that helps me get on with my life is Imitrex®. I believe my headaches occur mostly from stress and atmospheric changes. However, they almost always come on during the early morning hours and wake me out of sleep. I have been to several doctors and they have no problem giving me prescriptions for the Imitrex. My insurance company, on the other hand, believes you can’t have more than nine migraines a month (that is how many pills they allow before you pay all on your own). I will take three pills a day when my migraines are in full force. I have been reading about the possibility of people with severe migraines being more susceptible to certain kinds of stroke. If this is true, what can I or should I do to reduce that risk and reduce the migraines? I am 50 years old, in good health, do not smoke, and am not over weight. I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I try to exercise as much as possible, but I’m sure it is not enough; I’m just too tired and it sometimes makes my headaches worse. I have also read about preventive medicines, but I’m concerned about the side effects. I am beginning to feel that I will always be plagued by migraines. I can manage a few but not ones that last for weeks on end.

Exertional headaches are a group of headache syndromes, which are associated with some physical activity. These headaches typically become severe very quickly after a strenuous activity such as weight lifting or sexual intercourse. Exertional headaches can, in some instances, be a sign of abnormalities in...

Rarely is a brain tumor the cause of headache. Headache can be either a late or early symptom of a brain tumor, depending on the location of the tumor. A constant, progressively increasing pain or a change in the character of headache pain may alert...

Indomethacin (Indocin®) is an analgesic. It is classified as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. These are commonly referred to as NSAIDS. Other NSAIDS are also used as analgesics. Indomethacin can be used as a pain reliever or analgesic. It can also be used as a treatment for arthritis, fever or other conditions where inflammation plays a role in creating the symptoms.