Migraines and Exercise?

Austin, TX 78757

If you’ve ever had a migraine, you know that they’re more than just any old headache…

They cause intense pain, throbbing and sensitivity to light and sound. They’re also more common that you might think: the National Migraine Association estimates that 28 million Americans suffer from chronic migraines. While doctors suspect that exercise helps alleviate migraines, this is based on anecdotal evidence from patients alone. No research studies have ever been done to show a relationship between the two. Therefore,researchers in Germany set out to design an exercise program suitable for migraine sufferers in order to evaluate how they are affected by exercise in a lab setting. Their results were published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine.

Researchers examined the effect of exercise on migraines in 16 chronic migraine sufferers. The participants were divided into two groups: half of the patients completed a 10-week aerobic exercise program consisting of 3 workouts per week (running in a treadmill) and half the patients did not perform any physical activity. Migraine patients in the running group showed both a reduction in the number of days they suffered a migraine each month and a decrease in the intensity of their attacks.

If you or someone you know has recurring migraines, running on a treadmill – or participating in any form of cardio – may be the answer to their problems!

IHRSA Health E-Review: Darabaneanu, et al. (2011). Aerobic exercise as a therapy option for migraine: A pilot study. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 32(6):455-60.