Exercise Can Ward Off Migraines

Migraines vary from one person to the next. Many migraine sufferers are reluctant to hit the gym, fearful that exercise may trigger one—for some, exercise may relieve some of the pain.

What triggers a migraine is different for everyone, but few case reports have shown that regular exercise, a few times a week, either does no harm or may have modest benefits.

In an article published by the journal, Cephalalgiau, researchers in Sweden randomly split 91 migraine sufferers into three groups: one group exercised for 40 minutes, 3 times a week; another was given topiramate, medication that helps prevent migraines; and the third group underwent regular relaxation exercises. The results showed that over a span of 6 months, all three interventions were found to be effective in decreasing the rate of migraines. They noted that for individuals wanting to reduce their migraines, exercise would be a good alternative.

In a smaller study, the same researchers looked at 26 migraine suffers before, during and after cycling sessions on a stationary bike. The subjects cycled three days a week for three months, and the results showed that improvements were not only seen in their cardiovascular fitness, but also their reduced in the severity and frequency of migraines experienced.

Under a physiotherapist’s guidance, specific core and neck exercises, as well as acupuncture have also been proven to help reduce the pain and onset frequency of migraines.

If you suffer from migraines or know someone who suffers from frequent migraines, please consult your Sheddon Physiotherapist at (905) 849-4576, or visit our website at Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic.

By Dana Clark