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What could possibly cause pain at the bottom of skull post exercise ?

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Practicing since : 2001
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When I exercise and become overheated I get a pain at the bottom of my skull on both sides. What is this and it is a sign of heart disease constricting blood flow to my brain? I am a 59 yr old female, 5'5" and 160 lbs. I have moderately high cholesterol of 230. I have never had a heart attack or stroke.
Posted Mon, 7 May 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 1 hour later

Thanks for the query

Various reasons come into the picture when an individual experience sensation of pain and warmth in the base of the skull. Considering your age, sex, physical activities and the medical condition, neck pain appears to be one of the commonest problems a post menopausal woman experience.

During menopause there will be loss of calcium leading to a condition called osteoporosis. Women with osteoporosis begin to lose bone density more rapidly due to reduction of the estrogen levels in the body. And also, the risk of heart disease is increased during this period due to cholesterol, atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.

In relation to your problem, during the exercise the muscles surrounding the neck and the skull tend to pull the vertebral and the shoulder bones leading to inflammation and pain. Secondly, it could also be due to reduced blood supply to the muscles in the neck causing inflammation of the muscles during the exercise and eventually pain. Narrowing of the medium sized arteries due to atherosclerosis can cause reduced blood supply to the target organs.

You need to consult your physician and an orthopedician for a complete investigation and appropriate treatment.

Hope I have answered your query. If you have any more doubts, you are welcome.

Dr. Naveen Kumar
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