The Migraine Relief Center Blog

Here’s the latest from the Migraine Relief Center

Keep up with the doctors, patients, treatments—and results—from all our locations.

Reducing Migraines With Exercise and Movement

Posted by Migraine Relief Center on Oct 8, 2013 7:00:00 AM

If you suffer from migraines, then you have probably tried many of the techniques and medications on the market that are designed to lessen the pain and intensity of each attack. However, you may have overlooked one simple strategy that will minimize the effect that migraine headaches have on your life. Many doctors are now telling their patients to regularly exercise to help fight their migraines. Exercise releases neurotransmitters, which can improve your mood and fight depression. Physical activity may also encourage the body to heal itself so that migraine symptoms are less frequent and less severe. 

Types of Exercise for Migraines

Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural chemicals that can help control pain. Nearly any type of exercise is beneficial because our bodies are naturally built to move. Unless physical activity is one of your migraine triggers, you may want to consider participating in an exercise that you enjoy. Stretching, aerobic exercise and strength training are all excellent ways to keep your body healthy and minimize the impact that migraine attacks have on your life. 


Special Exercises That Boost Brain Chemicals

migraine_exercisesYou don’t need to participate in vigorous activities in order to reap the benefits of exercise. The following activities don't require a lot of physical exertion, but they are effective in managing your migraine headache symptoms:

  • Isometric exercises: If physical activity is a trigger for your pain or if you have physical limitations, then try isometric exercises. They will strengthen your muscles while releasing beneficial brain chemicals.
  • Breathing exercises: If you suffer from hyperventilation during your headache attacks, then you may benefit from deep breathing exercises. Take one breath every 10 seconds to release neurotransmitters.
  • Walking: Walking is a cardiovascular exercise that will strengthen your heart and your muscles, but you should take care to start slowly. Gradually increase the speed, intensity and length of your walks to increase the amount of endorphins that will fight pain.
  • Yoga: Yoga is known for helping people to release stress and refocus. It is also beneficial for migraine sufferers because it lowers blood pressure and fights depression. You may need to alter a few of the poses if you find that they trigger migraine symptoms.

The Best Time to Exercise

You will need to find the best time to work exercise into your schedule, but make sure that it is something that you do regularly. Many people discover that morning workouts help them to feel better all day long, while others find that they feel better when they work out in the evening. You do not need to exercise during your migraine attacks, but you may find that some deep breaths and slow stretches will alleviate some of the pain.

There are many medicines on the market that can help patients to cope with their conditions, but exercise is a natural alternative that has proven to be very beneficial. If you are looking for a way to manage your migraine pain without resorting to medications, try a few exercises to see which ones work best for you.

* Image courtesy of

migraine diary

Share this on social media:

Topics: Migraine

Feel free to leave a comment below.