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Can exercise help reduce migraines?

Posted on 3rd September 2018 by

Migraines are very common and research suggests that 3,000 migraine attacks occur every day for Exercise migraine goPhysioeach million of the general population. This equates to over 190,000 migraine attacks every day in the UK.

More than three quarters of migraineurs experience at least one attack each month, and more than half experience severe impairment during attacks

The cause for Migraines is not yet clear, it is thought there may be a link to genetics. Migraine is ranked globally as the seventh most disabling disease among all diseases (responsible for 2.9% of all years of life lost to disability (YLDs) and the leading cause of disability among all neurological disorders.

Some of the most common symptoms alongside headache are nausea, photophobia (sensitivity to light) and disability.

Recently, data from the research has been suggesting that moderate regular exercise can be an effective way to reduce the frequency of the attacks.

One of the reasons why it is thought that exercise may help sufferers of migraine, is because exercise stimulates your body to release natural pain controlling chemicals called endorphins and natural anti-depressant chemicals called enkephalins. Engaging in a well-planned, regular exercise program could help you to reduce your migraine medication needs, particularly medication taken daily to prevent migraine.

Krøll et all (2018) concluded that aerobic exercise consisting of bike/cross-trainer/brisk walking for 45 minutes, three times/week significantly reduced the impact of tension-type headache and neck pain. It helped reducing migraine frequency, pain intensity and duration.

Migraines are a very complex subject that requires a multifactorial approach in order to understand what is triggering the symptoms, how the symptoms behave and what’s the best treatment to reduce them/prevent them from happening. Exercise for some people can be a trigger for migraines, so embark on any new routes gradually and carefully. Read more about this here.

If you’d like some support in starting exercise or increasing your exercise levels, do get in touch. We offer a range of ways to support and help you on your journey.

References

Lotte Skytte Krøllet all (2018) – Theeffects of aerobic exercise for persons with migraine and co-existing tension-type headache and neck pain. A randomized, controlled, clinical trial

H. Hanssenet all (2017) – Effects of different endurance exercise modalities on migraine days and cerebrovascular health in episodic migraineurs: A randomized controlled trial

 

 

 

 

 


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