Migraine : Exercise Eases Headache Pain

Megan Witt

Regular, moderate exercise is proving to be very beneficial for migraine and headache sufferers. While more strenuous exercise may induce a migraine attack, gentle or moderate exercise can help relieve stress and boost the body’s production of feel good brain chemicals that ease pain and depression. Studies have found that regular moderate aerobic exercise, such as jogging, brisk walking, or swimming, provides the most benefits to those with migraines.

In 2002 a study published in the journal Headache found a migraine treatment plan that incorporated regular exercise and relaxation techniques helped reduce the number of migraines experienced and also reduced their intensity and duration compared to those in a standard treatment program. After three months, migraine sufferers incorporating exercise and relaxation techniques reported improvements in quality of life by almost 60%. Relaxation techniques can be just about anything you find to be enjoyable and stress relieving such as yoga, meditation, going for a walk, knitting, reading, or deep breathing.


Cephalalgia 2011 Oct;31(14):1428-38.

Headache 2002;42:845–54

The Migraine Trust http://www.migrainetrust.org

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