Ponytail Headache

Lately I just noticed that my head aches when I pony tailed my hair especially  while it is wet. I have learned that I am not alone because according to the book  Ponytail Headache: A Pure Extracranial Headache written by J. N. Blau MD there are 50 of 93 females experienced headache from wearing a ponytail. Pain was experienced only at the site of the hair tie in 10 subjects, extending in others, forwards to the vertex or forehead laterally to the parietal region  or temples, downwards to the neck, or to other areas. Loosening the hair relieved pain immediately in 4 subjects, within half an hour in 32, and within an hour in 5 subjects; the remaining 9 subjects were uncertain of pain duration. This headache was preventable by wearing the ponytail more loosely tied.

It says that ponytail headache, well known to females and is not described in the medical literature because the remedy is obvious, therefore those affected do not seek medical advice. This seemingly common headache provides an example of a pure extracranial headache arising from pericranial muscle fascia and tendon traction. Males almost certainly have similar experiences, but were not questioned in this study.


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