Exercise Regularly for Migraine Prevention

January 3, 2012

Did you make a New Year’s resolution to exercise more?  Here’s another incentive to keep your promise to yourself.  We all know regular exercise is good for the heart, but now researchers have found that it is also good for your head.

When your pain shoots up to a six, seven or eight on the scale of one to 10, you want one thing: you want your head to stop hurting — right away. And if you suffer from chronic migraine pain (pain lasting more than four hours at least 15 days every month), you’ve probably investigated every prescription medication and migraine procedure that promises to stop the pain.You’re not alone. From Lubbock to Dallas to Houston migraine sufferers across Texas — and the nation, for that matter — are on the quest to find the migraine treatment that works best for them.  An excellent place to start is with migraine prevention that feels good: regular exercise.

In the September 2011 issue of Cephalalgia, the journal of the International Headache Society, physiotherapists and doctoral students at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden chronicle a study in which 91 migraine patients were evaluated over a three month period. One-third of the migraine sufferers were asked to exercise for 40 minutes three times each week. Another third performed relaxation techniques, and the final third were prescribed Topiramate. Participants in all three groups experienced fewer migraine headaches, leading researchers to conclude that exercise is just as effective in preventing migraine pain as medication and relaxation techniques.

Houston migraine sufferers have an advantage during the winter months, since they have blue skies and relatively warm weather to encourage a daily walk.  However, migraine sufferers from New York to California may still find that years of diligent diet, exercise and medication have still not been able to manage their chronic migraine pain.  If that is the case, you may want to make a different resolution this year: to look more at a migraine procedure.  Medical advancements have helped several types of migraine procedure to become available, from Botox injections to a long-term, reversible neurostimulation implant like Migraine Treatment Centers of America’s Omega™ procedure.  Learn more at one of MTCA’s online webinars.


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