Push Up Challenge and Migraine Stuff

Pain in the neck

I decided to abort my push up challenge yesterday. Doing push ups stiffens my upper neck muscles which in turn triggers migraine headaches, so I decided it makes no sense to  continue with the challenge.

Also, I visited a headache specialist on Tuesday for the first time.

To decrease inflammation, she put cortisone injections to the muscles that attach to the base my skull . (Yikes!) I also got a prescription  for preventive medication (amitriptylin) to be taken in the night. The nice thing (really a side-effect) about amitriptylin is that it knocks me out in the evening and I’m finally able to get a good nights’ sleep. I also got a prescription for sumatriptan, which I take in case I notice I’m getting a migraine attack.

Now we will wait and see how my migraine corresponds to the medication.


I’m a bit disappointed I have to give up push up challenge. I could already feel I’m getting stronger in my upper body. However, it doesn’t mean I’m going to give up on military push ups altogether. No, I still have more than 6 years to figure out how to get a really strong body upper body.  🙂

If I can’t take a straight route to my goal, I take circuitous one!


  1. Satu, is there something you could switch to do instead of the push up challenge – something else for your shoulders / chest that doesn’t strain your neck or cause migraines?


  2. Satu says:

    Hi Deb! I think that will be the approach I’m going to adopt. I haven’t yet decided what exerixses I choose: I guess I have to experiment to find out what aggravates my migraines and what does not.

  3. Marion says:

    Hi Satu! Well, I think nobody should do exercises that feel *wrong.* Some soreness is one thing, but feeling pain of any sort should be avoided. So I agree with Deb that you may need to try a different chest/arm exercise.

    🙂 Marion

  4. Migraines and neck issues…you’re speaking my language. I’ve had positive results from a series of cervical nerve blocks. Without them I too cannot do any type of upper body exercise. With them I’ve been able to slowly work my way toward doing extreme workouts.

    Initially I was seeing great results from physical therapy, but my insurance company decided PT wasn’t medically necessary. I always try to seek out drug-free treatments first because I hate the way my body feels on meds.

    I hope you’re able to find what works for you, so you can strengthen your whole body 🙂

    • Satu says:

      Thanks for commenting, Jasmine! I’m always glad when I find someone who has similar experiences – it’s so frustrating when I’m not able to do more advanced exercise stuff and always have to find workarounds 🙁

      About four years ago my tension headaches were so bad that even physcial therapy didn’t help anymore – but luckily I discovered Feldenkrais Method which helped me mostly get rid of them. The migraine stuff is something new again for me.

      I checked your blog and it looks interesting. 🙂

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