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New to Forum & Hockey... need some advice.

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Old
03-04-2007, 10:49 PM
  #1
Donnie
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New to Forum & Hockey... need some advice.

To All,

This will be my first post... and I thought I would just stick my head in the door and say "Howdy"... and ask a question.

Sad to say... my son is just finishing up his first season of hockey, and after our first season... the whole family is really pumped about hockey in general. But... one of the problems my son has been plagued with is that after he plays or practices REALLY hard... he gets a major headache... similar to a migraine.

We thought it might be his helmet, or a lack of protein... but to be very honest... we are at a loss as to what is causing his SEVERE headaches. First... He first sees lights... the gets sick... and then all he wants to be in a dark room, for about two hours. Its to the point in which he is almost hesitant to practice.

I would sure love to here your thought or ideas...

Take care!

Donnie

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03-05-2007, 12:41 AM
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ISensFanI
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Only thing I can think of, is maybe his helmet is WAY too tight.

One other thing..maybe he isnt breathing properly

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03-05-2007, 12:50 AM
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I used to get the exact same thing all the time, I never found a solution. Try seeing a doctor. It just recently went away, probably about this time last year.

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03-05-2007, 01:02 AM
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Keetz
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Yeah helmet being tight could do that, but may be as simple as being dehydrated! Kids don't drink water like they should period. And he needs to be replenishing during practice and games. Force him do down one of those big Gatorades after the game under your watch so you know he drinks it ALL. If thats not it see a Doctor.

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03-05-2007, 01:05 AM
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Take him to see a doctor right away (if possible, a sports doctor in your area, but your family doc can probably handle it.) Much more qualified than the rest of us at this kinda stuff. He might have some sort of anemia or deficiency.

Somethings you can do: check his helmet and equipment to make sure that they are snug but not constricting. Make sure he's eating properly, and he's also drinking lots of water during breaks in practices. Keetz is dead on with the Gatorade thing - electrolytes and liquids, plus it's flavored so that'll make him want to drink it. Get some Gatorade powder from the supermarket and make a big bottle for him every time he goes to practice, and make sure he drinks it.

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03-05-2007, 07:39 AM
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Dehydration would be my first guess. Your son should start drinking water before, during and after his games and practices. The rink might be cold but hockey players sweat profusely.

Second would be carbohydrates. Hockey burns a lot of calories (2000-4000 per game for a professional player) so make sure he chows down (spaghetti?) the night before a game. He shouldn't eat too much in the few hours before a game but a granola bar or trail mix wouldn't hurt if you think that's the culprit.

My wife has suffered from migraines, though she doesn't play hockey. Often her headaches result from back and neck pain. His helmet may be heavy and taxing his neck and shoulder muscles. Skating can also put a lot of stress on the lower back. Teach your son to stretch properly before and after he skates. If all else fails, have him try skating at a more moderate speed, at least in practice to see if it makes a difference.

Seeing a doctor goes without saying -- he/she can rule out any non-hockey causes. I hope you find what's causing the migraines. I'd hate to see your son equate playing hockey with splitting headaches and lose his love for the game. Good luck

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Old
03-05-2007, 09:36 AM
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I got to agree with everything that everyone said. My first guess is dehydration.

First off, does he wear glasses? I used to get severe migranes exactly like his when I wore glasses. I know he's probably too young for contacts, but as soon as I switched they went away for the most part(less pressure on the sinuses). Second, I can get bad migrations, tunnel vision, and sickness from dehydration. That's probably the most likely cause.

Just make sure you don't put his helmet on too tight. I never wear mine incredibly tight that it doesn't move, mine still moves a bit. Remember, comfort over stability in this case. If you want a good helmet that'll stay tight, look into investing into the Mission Intake, they've got a "lock" on the back of the head that holds onto the back of your head that keeps the helmet steady without having to tie it incredibly tight.

Otherwise, anything else I can think of has already been said.

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03-05-2007, 10:06 AM
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I used to get these also, although they were unrelated to any physical effort. Talk to a doctor or check the web for foods to avoid that may trigger migraines. Here's an article that explains the visual aura associated with these headaches that may help you understand what he's experiencing. As an earlier poster noted, he may just outgrow them. I had them from age 13-14 and have only had three since then, I am now 41.

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03-05-2007, 10:24 AM
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Thanks everyone!!!

I'll definitely talk to a doctor and most likely have him in to get looked at as well. (Including his eyes.) He loves hockey so much that I really don't have to worry about him getting spooked off the ice because of the headaches. In fact... he just grins and says, "Its worth it!"

As far as the helmet... we haven't purchased him his own helmet yet, he is using a rental, that has the steel face guard. At the beginning of the year, he complained that the helmet continued to fall forward on his head, to the point in which he was having a hard time seeing. So he tinkered with it until he got it to stay put. (I wonder if he is just not admitting to me that its too tight... kids do THAT ya know!) I'm gonna check into the Mission, "Intake" and see about talking with someone who knows how to get the helmets "just right".

"Fluids"... that is something that we have been pretty big on, but I have to admit... we have been slacking lately. I'll make sure he pounds the liquids.

He has (3) three more practices this week, and (1) one more game, which will be this next Saturday. Again... the headaches haven't slowed him down... but they are definitely an issue. We are trying to find a few hockey camps for this summer... and BOTH he and I will probably be playing in-line hockey as well. (We don't have year-round "Ice" here in Southern Oregon,) So... my hope is to get on top of these headaches so he can really start pushing himself harder than he already is!!!

Thanks again... I really appreciate your input!!!

Donnie

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Old
03-05-2007, 11:11 AM
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I know one kid on my team mentioned that he got really bad migraines if he didn't stretch immediately following a game or practice. Sounds weird but you may want to consider that. I know when i was younger the lights used to give me headaches.

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03-05-2007, 11:26 AM
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Playing on an empty stomach might be something to watchout for too. Not too much and carbs like pasta are perfect.

My advice would be to ask a doctor. Rather than us just taking a few guesses at what might be wrong, a doctor could tell you what really is wrong. Before making the trip I would try the helmet thing though, as well as the water and eating. When I play I usually go through my own 34 oz bottle during a game, and then another 34oz after the game. Before I usually just have a little bit. Maybe a glass. Drinking plenty of water after is important to avoid dehydration obviously, but it also makes your body heal quicker, and you will be alot less sore.

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03-05-2007, 11:44 AM
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All the posts above sound like some possibilities....but going on my own personal experience and what you said, it might just be overexertion. I get that every once in a while from just going too hard and being the outta shape college student that I am. Just give me a seat for like 5 minutes and drink some water and I'm good to go again...might just be the case since you say your son goes all out.

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03-05-2007, 12:06 PM
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Sounds like he is having migraines. Do some research on causes of migraines and I'm sure you will find your answer.

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Old
03-05-2007, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnie View Post
To All,

This will be my first post... and I thought I would just stick my head in the door and say "Howdy"... and ask a question.

Sad to say... my son is just finishing up his first season of hockey, and after our first season... the whole family is really pumped about hockey in general. But... one of the problems my son has been plagued with is that after he plays or practices REALLY hard... he gets a major headache... similar to a migraine.

We thought it might be his helmet, or a lack of protein... but to be very honest... we are at a loss as to what is causing his SEVERE headaches. First... He first sees lights... the gets sick... and then all he wants to be in a dark room, for about two hours. Its to the point in which he is almost hesitant to practice.

I would sure love to here your thought or ideas...

Take care!

Donnie
Quote:
Originally Posted by JM47 View Post
Sounds like he is having migraines. Do some research on causes of migraines and I'm sure you will find your answer.
I hate to sound like a jerk, but JM47, you should definitely look into becoming a doctor.

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Old
03-05-2007, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnie View Post
Thanks everyone!!!

I'll definitely talk to a doctor and most likely have him in to get looked at as well. (Including his eyes.) He loves hockey so much that I really don't have to worry about him getting spooked off the ice because of the headaches. In fact... he just grins and says, "Its worth it!"

As far as the helmet... we haven't purchased him his own helmet yet, he is using a rental, that has the steel face guard. At the beginning of the year, he complained that the helmet continued to fall forward on his head, to the point in which he was having a hard time seeing. So he tinkered with it until he got it to stay put. (I wonder if he is just not admitting to me that its too tight... kids do THAT ya know!) I'm gonna check into the Mission, "Intake" and see about talking with someone who knows how to get the helmets "just right".

"Fluids"... that is something that we have been pretty big on, but I have to admit... we have been slacking lately. I'll make sure he pounds the liquids.

He has (3) three more practices this week, and (1) one more game, which will be this next Saturday. Again... the headaches haven't slowed him down... but they are definitely an issue. We are trying to find a few hockey camps for this summer... and BOTH he and I will probably be playing in-line hockey as well. (We don't have year-round "Ice" here in Southern Oregon,) So... my hope is to get on top of these headaches so he can really start pushing himself harder than he already is!!!

Thanks again... I really appreciate your input!!!

Donnie
I like the attitude of your kid, lol. True hockey player at heart.

Yeah definitely make sure he has food in his stomach, carbs, like mentioned above, and water BEFOREHAND. Try to get him to drink a poland spring bottle before the game, there are a lot of players who forget that the best start is to have lots of water in your body already and to only use your water bottle to replenish lost water. Also, I read somewhere that only a 2% in hydration in your body will make you go from energetic to tired, so keep that in mind, especially for someone at a younger age.

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Old
03-05-2007, 12:19 PM
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McNasty,

Now... THAT is something we haven't tried. I'm gonna get he to start stretching after his practices and games. (It will only help him anyway!) Thanks!

Daniel,

34 oz. of water... that sure sounds like a lot... but being a brand new "Hockey Dad"... its gonna sound like a lot to "ME." Ya know... when I think of the amount that he sweats... drinking even MORE water or Gatorade might be the ticket. I'll also tell him (Alex,) about him not being as sore if he drinks more water!

sc37,

Alex is out of shape. (He IS NOT fat.. he is just out of shape.) We have been home schooling him, so he has no real "Phys-Ed" to speak of. Both he and I started running together... but where I live... (5) five feet of snow is COMMON... so its been kinda hard to find a place to run.

The coaches see it... and they put him on the bench often... more so than any other player. But... he is usually out playing hard within a few minutes. The headaches come about (1) one hour after a game or practice... and it isn't EVERY time that this happens. So... the headache thing is kind of "Hit & Miss".

JM47,

Yes. It definitely sounds like a migraine... but something is bringing them on, since the ONLY time he has them is when he plays or practices hard. My hope is that it is some sort of deficiency such as... "He needs more water"... or... "More Carbs"... ect... ect... But... to be honest... I haven't done a search on "Migraines"... so I may find something out when I do. Thanks!

To All,

As mentioned so many time above... Its always good sense to see a doctor when it comes to having a problem, while involved in sports. And... Alex will be seeing a doctor. But... On the other hand... You folks are accustomed to the Hockey life style... (I am not... at least... "Not Yet!") and are on the ice more than any doctor. And... With the amount of experience here on this board... I can guarantee that the valuable input that everyone has offered... will PROBABLY be more in-depth than what the doctor will give. But... just so you know... Alex will be seeing the doctor today!

My big concern is this. So far... his practices and games only last about an hour... to an hour and a half. Alex really wants to go to at least one hockey camp this summer, and I believe that these hockey camps are about (8) eight hours in length... EVERY DAY. I don't want Alex to have to pull out of the hockey camp after only a few hours of physical exertion because of these headaches.

What are your thoughts on this?

Donnie

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Old
03-05-2007, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnie View Post
To All,

This will be my first post... and I thought I would just stick my head in the door and say "Howdy"... and ask a question.

Sad to say... my son is just finishing up his first season of hockey, and after our first season... the whole family is really pumped about hockey in general. But... one of the problems my son has been plagued with is that after he plays or practices REALLY hard... he gets a major headache... similar to a migraine.

We thought it might be his helmet, or a lack of protein... but to be very honest... we are at a loss as to what is causing his SEVERE headaches. First... He first sees lights... the gets sick... and then all he wants to be in a dark room, for about two hours. Its to the point in which he is almost hesitant to practice.

I would sure love to here your thought or ideas...

Take care!

Donnie

I used to get these a lot, not related to hockey, but it is exactly how you desribe it, I would see lights, my vision went blurry for a bit and then you'd see lights, then the lights would go away and you would have a huge headache.

My doctor said to try and see what you do before you get this, like what types of things do you eat, pretty much find out what triggers it and try to avoid those things.

Doctor said carbonated drinks and tomato filled substances are possible triggers for this type of thing.

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03-05-2007, 12:41 PM
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I used to get these a lot, not related to hockey, but it is exactly how you desribe it, I would see lights, my vision went blurry for a bit and then you'd see lights, then the lights would go away and you would have a huge headache.

My doctor said to try and see what you do before you get this, like what types of things do you eat, pretty much find out what triggers it and try to avoid those things.

Doctor said carbonated drinks and tomato filled substances are possible triggers for this type of thing.
My doctor said a little bit of caffeine could help. Sodas are bad, but believe it or not a little bit of coffee would help. They used to really suck too because when I would get them it would zap the energy out of me completely. Although, some of the best sleep of my life has been with a migrane and 2 aleve lol.

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03-10-2007, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnie View Post

My big concern is this. So far... his practices and games only last about an hour... to an hour and a half. Alex really wants to go to at least one hockey camp this summer, and I believe that these hockey camps are about (8) eight hours in length... EVERY DAY. I don't want Alex to have to pull out of the hockey camp after only a few hours of physical exertion because of these headaches.

What are your thoughts on this?

Donnie
Research the hockey camps' programs. I'd be very surprised if they had kids on the ice for 8 hours straight. I have no experience with hockey camps but I can't see any practice, especially with kids, lasting more than 2 hours at a time.

How old is your son? I'm trying to imagine what these camps could fill 8 hours with outside of skating and lunch . Maybe a trip to the weight room, but that's not advisable until a child hits puberty. Jogging or other dry land exercise for them to build up their wind? Tag or soccer to improve their agility? Depending on the age group the programs might be your standard summer camp fare with whittling, archery and campfires and hockey-related drills. I haven't been to summer camp since 1980, though, and I assume things have changed a bit since then.

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03-10-2007, 10:19 AM
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EmptyNetter,

Alex has just turned (14) fourteen years old.

You are correct... Its not (8) eight solid hours. (I got some bad information. ) I called the Hockey camp yesterday and they said that the kids would hit the ice at 09:00 AM and would practice until 03:00 PM. Well... that's only (7) seven hours... and ya know that there will be a lunch... and I'm assuming a few breaks, in-between. So... now I'm guessing (5) five or (6) six hours???? (We, as a family, have never been involved with hockey camps... so this is all very new!)

Today is his last game. (Here in about an hour,) But.. he has also been asked to participate in one traveling game with the Bantams on the other side of the mountain, over in Medford, Oregon. Alex is very excided to say the least. So... by 03:00 this afternoon.... our hockey season will be over. (Its kinda sad around house this morning.)

Last week, we spoke with the doctor and he said that the migraine headache was kinda strange for a kid his age. He gave us a few ideas as to "What we should do"... but he still wants my son to come in for a CT scan... just incase there is the possibility of an embolism.

His suggestions were as follows...
**Drink lots of water. (Twice as much as he had been currently drinking.)
**Take some Ibuprofen "Before" the game or practice.
**Eat right... but pay attention to what he eats... just in case some of the food triggers the migraine.
Pretty much everything that has been said here....

So... he has had (4) four practices since I last wrote (he got in on two extra practices this week!) and we have been following the doctors advice. Lots of water... and taking an ibuprofen BEFORE his practices. (The good food has never been a problem.) And... so far... he hasn't had a single headache! (He's pretty pumped now that he hasn't had one of these headaches in a week!)

Now... he is talking about possibly earning his own money to send himself to a second hockey camp this summer!! I can barely afford (1) one hockey camp... and financially... a second hockey camp is out of the question for us. But he is really jazzed about this... so... provided we figure out what is causing these headaches... and we can keep them at bay... he may be going for a second camp!

Take care!

Donnie

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Old
03-10-2007, 10:29 AM
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As someone who suffers from classical migraine (with aura, need dark rooms, quiet, etc.), the only think I don't see mentioned although some guys are headed in the right direction is glucose. A quick fall off in glucose levels is a known trigger for migraines. You see, the brain only needs oxygen and glucose. So some of the comments about blood flow constriction are good things to discuss with a medical professional. Carb loading is preferred by endurance athletes because it allows for a steady, even breakdown of carbs into energy (glucose). Protein takes a lot longer to break down and is used as building blocks for muscle. When the body runs of energy, it will start to break down muscle to get some. This is not an immediate response so glucose levels will drop off quite quickly. Also, eating foods that are rich in simple sugars results in a big sugar spike very quickly, but is not sustainable. It's not a good way to go as it can wreak havoc with a person's metabolism (too much insulin can get released, resulting in too much sugar getting removed from the blood-- the sugar crash basically).

If your son is having these responses now, he's probably burning up the sugar too quickly or doesn't have enough of carb reserve going into an intense practice. The other thing could be the dehydration guys have mentioned. You lose more than just water when you sweat, including important salts (electrolytes). Dehydration does cause headaches, not necessarily migraines. These types of headaches only appear in people predisposed to having migraines (a technical way of saying only migraineurs get migraines).

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03-10-2007, 10:52 AM
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I can't really offer much morethan what previous posters have mentioned. On the water front, make sure he is drinking plenty before, during and after the practice/game. Just before or watiting until after will not work. He also needs plenty during. I have a doctor as an assitant coach and his motto to every kid coming off of their last shirft is "Don't wait, hydrate!". I know i get killer headaches if I haven't had enough water in everyday situations. That is just compounded by playing hockey.

In addition to the water before the game give him something like a banana. It is loaded with potassium and will give him a little bit of full just before the practice/game without loading him down.

Good luck. let us know how the trip to the doc goes.

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03-10-2007, 12:04 PM
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My doctor said a little bit of caffeine could help. Sodas are bad, but believe it or not a little bit of coffee would help. They used to really suck too because when I would get them it would zap the energy out of me completely. Although, some of the best sleep of my life has been with a migrane and 2 aleve lol.
I would bet my life on Excedrin migraine medicine. It's basically a huge dose of caffeine but my oh my does it cure headaches. Keeps you wide awake too! Seriously, if he hasn't had excedrin to cure the headaches, look into it. (he might only want 1 pill at his age).


I used to get some headaches too. Then my eye doctor said it could be quick movement + bright lights combining with my astigmatism. Might want to get him to an eye doctor. (sides, maybe its an excuse to wear an Ovechkin bubble! haha)

But a tight helmet sounds like the most common problem. Hydration is important. Don't forget also to drink before the game! Before my games i down a water bottle and a red bull (sugarless) half an hour before the game.(dont forget to use the bathroom before you suit up, hahah) Kill a bottle during the game. And then another after (sometimes a gatoraide or apple juice when I get home, I like to drink some sugar right away after a workout, little tip my brother gave me some years ago).

And being someone who suffers from full body arthritis since I was 5 (and am now 18), I also back the Aleve for about any pain imaginable. But nothing compares to Excedrin when it comes to headaches. Just gotta watch the dosage for his age.


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03-10-2007, 12:21 PM
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I would bet my life on Excedrin migraine medicine. It's basically a huge dose of caffeine but my oh my does it cure headaches. Keeps you wide awake too! Seriously, if he hasn't had excedrin to cure the headaches, look into it. (he might only want 1 pill at his age).


I used to get some headaches too. Then my eye doctor said it could be quick movement + bright lights combining with my astigmatism. Might want to get him to an eye doctor.

Caffeine does help migraines, but in reality it is the aspirin with its anti-clotting (platelet aggregation) characteristics that's important. Aspirin also reduces inflammation. A lot of neurologists will tell people who get classic migraines with complex symptoms (they think they're having a stroke) to start a low dose aspirin regimen. Migraines are a complex disorder that involve higher platelet activity than in normal people, and tendencies for blood vessels to constrict and dilate. The role of inflammation is not well-defined but it is known that inflammation is part of the triggering process that leads to higher platelet activity and vasoconstriction. Acetominaphen (Tylenol) is included in Excedrin for the pain alone, while caffeine increases blood flow simply by being a stimulant. It's a three-pronged approach to treating the symptoms of migraines.

When you do take your son to a doctor, preferably a neurologist, discuss having him checked for mitral valve prolapse. If he gets very red and out of breath during exercise, even if he is otherwise healthy, this is something to look at. Mitral valve prolapse is also seen in the migraine population with a greater frequency. There's another heart abnormality that can pop up in the migraine population called PFO (patent foramen ovale)--- but do NOT worry about this. A lot of people live with these things and survive by taking an aspirin every other day!

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03-10-2007, 07:17 PM
  #25
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Well... Alex's first hockey season is over. The house smells like sweaty gear... and the blues are beginning to settle in for Alex. His team lost both games. They lacked the speed of the two other teams... but by the end of the second game... Alex's team was skating at the same speed and skill as the other team... but by then it was too late. All in all... and even though they lost... It was a great day!!!

Fugu,

On a whim... I had Alex try some pasta before the two games today, not too mention the ibuprofen and a ton of water... and Alex did really well. Alex played harder today than he ever has before. I figured that if he was going to get a headache... "TODAY" would have been the day. I will keep your advice in mind about the glucose! (Also... I will ask about the heart condition when he goes in... Thanks again!)

Frito,

Alex has been pounding down both water and Gatorade... but I never considered the banana for the potassium. (Very good idea!)

lotus,

We have been doing just the ibuprofen... but the "Excedrin Migraine" was the big one that the doctor prescribed. (I forgot the name of it... that's why we haven't tried it yet.) He has now gone a full week without a migraine... and he is pretty excited! (I will definitely remember the Excedrin!)

Thanks again everyone!!!!!

Donnie

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