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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

 

 

 

 

 


Migraine Awareness Week

Posted on 1st September 2018 by

Migraine Awareness Week 2018

Each September, The Migraine Trust dedicate a week to raise general awareness of migraine as a serious public health issue and to reduce stigma.

Migraine is the third most common disease in the world, with an estimated global prevalence of one in seven people. Despite being recognised as one of the most disabling lifetime conditions, awareness and understanding is low.

This year, Migraine Awareness Week is focusing on the impact of migraine in the workplace. 

Being mindful of migraines means that employers should try:

  • to be aware of the high numbers of people who get migraine, that it is very common and that there is a strong possibility that someone they employ might get migraine.
  • to have an understanding that it is a complex neurological condition and that people can experience migraine very differently.
  • to make reasonable adjustments once they become aware that they have an employee who gets migraine, such as considering flexible working practices and looking at how their physical environment can be adjusted to help prevent the triggering of a migraine.

Workplaces being mindful of migraine won’t mean that people with migraine never struggle at work again or that they won’t encounter issues at work because of migraine, but we believe it is an important step in helping people work with migraine.

How Physiotherapy can help people with migraine

Headaches and migraines can have many different causes. You can read more about some of the common types on a previous blog.

Physiotherapy techniques can be very effective at successfully relieving and preventing headaches and migraines. One such technique we use at goPhysio is acupuncture.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Acupuncture works as preventative method for treating headaches and migraines – it works to resolve the cause of the issue by addressing imbalances and then continues to maintain that equilibrium to prevent any further re-occurrence of migraines.

Migraines often have a systemic cause involving reduced or compromised blood supply to the brain – TCM Acupuncture aims to improve the blood supply and circulation to help reduce the symptoms of a migraine.

It can also help with the following:

  • Pain relief – by stimulating nerves located in the surrounding muscles, neuro-chemicals are released that alter how the brain processes pain signals.
  • Reducing inflammation – by promoting the release of vascular and immune system altering factors.
  • Regulating extra- and intra-cranial blood flow.
  • Reducing the degree of cortical spreading depression, which is an electrical wave in the brain common in migraines.
  • Affecting the serotonin levels within the brain, which can halt an acute migraine attack

Read more about the evidence and safety of using acupuncture to treat migraines.

At goPhysio, we will use an integrated approach to help you manage your migraines. We will look at all the factors involved and tend to use acupuncture as a part of your treatment programme, which may also include:

  • Exercises to address muscle strength, flexibility and stability around the neck and back areas if this is contributing to your migraines
  • Education and advice to address any lifestyle factors or habits
  • Addressing any other areas that may be contributing to your problems, commonly neck, thoracic spine or shoulder regions

Read more

Tension headaches

Cervicogenic headaches

The prevalence of headaches

The impact of migraine to the economy

#letsbeatmigraine #migraineawarenessweek

Migraine Awareness Week 2018

Migraine Awareness Week 2018

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