Dick Van Dyke health: ‘My head bangs every time I lay down’- star’s strange health battle

Dick Van Dyke reveals workout routine at 95 years old

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The Hollywood star is set to grace the screens of the nation once again, as Mary Poppins Returns, the sequel to the much loved 1964 original, is being shown on BBC on Christmas Day. After starring as Bert in the original alongside Julie Andrews, this time around Van Dyke has a much smaller part. Yet viewers were left gobsmacked when the star leapt up and performed a whole tap routine. At the time, the star was 91 years old, proving to all that he still possessed the same talent that made him a star all those years ago.

Seemingly proud of the level of fitness he has managed to maintain, the star revealed a small insight into his daily routine during an interview with CBS back in June of this year.

Virtually calling into the show from his home in California, the star was seen almost showing-off as he did multiple sit-ups.

“The stomach is the core of your whole body. If your stomach’s strong, you’re in good shape,” he explained.

“So all you old guys out there, listen to me. I’m telling you, you can keep going. I’m still dancing and singing!”

In fact, proving to others that he was still capable in his older age was one of the main motivations he had for signing up to the cameo in Mary Poppins Returns in the first place.

In the interview he went on to explain that he was given the choice of three different dances to learn, but chose the most difficult one to make a point.

“[They] gave me three versions, and I took the hardest one. I said, ‘I want that one.’

“I had to prove I can do it. I was 91, I think.”

Despite his undeniable fitness, back in 2013, there was trouble in paradise, as the star shockingly revealed that he had been suffering from a pounding in his head whenever he laid down.

The strange heartbeat-like sound baffled many medical professionals who completed multiple tests, but couldn’t figure out the source of the star’s distress.

In a desperate attempt to fix it, Van Dyke took to Twitter, asking if anyone had any ideas what might be causing the head pounding.

Medical News Today explains that symptoms such as a pounding, or throbbing, head when lying down could be a sign of a positional headache.

The site explains that a positional headache is a type of headache that usually occurs when sitting or standing up, and tends to go away fairly shortly after lying down. They are usually caused by leaks of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

For around 20 to 30 minutes after the person stands up or sits down, pain will persist. Individuals may also wake up in the morning with a mild headache, or it may get worse throughout the day.

People describe the pain associated with positional headaches as:

  • Severe
  • Pressure-like
  • Throbbing
  • Pounding
  • Stabbing
  • Aching.

In addition, certain actions or activities can make the headache symptoms worse. These include:

  • Coughing or sneezing
  • Strenuous exercises
  • Sexual activities
  • Bending over
  • Lifting
  • Reaching
  • Straining during a bowel movement.

The best form of treatment for positional headaches depend on the underlying cause. Most commonly, people use bed rest, drinking plenty of fluids and taking common medication like paracetamol to help ease symptoms. If pain persists, individuals should seek medical attention.

Unbelievably enough, in Van Dyke’s case, the source of his ongoing head pounding was not as expected at all.

Replying to his original tweet a few weeks later, he wrote: “It seems that my titanium dental implants are the cause of my head pounding. Has anyone else experienced this? Thanks for all your replies.”

Ironically, what provided him with a movie star smile was also the root to so much pain. The star has titanium dental implants, which replace the original root of a tooth for metal. Implanted into the jawbone, over time the bone and implant fuses together, creating stronger, healthier teeth. In Van Dyke’s case, damage had been caused to his nerves, causing his head pain.

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