Exercise According to Studies Can Help Reduce Migraines

sports illustrations. (Ayobandung.com/Irfan Al-Faritsi)

AYOPURWAKARTA.COM — The benefits of exercising are many. In fact, according to studies, exercising can help relieve migraine symptoms, especially those caused by stress, depression, and difficulty sleeping.

Launching from Medicinenet, the most common migraine symptoms are throbbing, pain, and visual disturbances.

“This is a complex relationship, but we know that generally exercise helps increase levels of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin which contribute to reducing headaches and promoting better mood,” said study author Dr. Mason Dyess of the University of Washington School of Medicine.

The study involved more than 4,600 people who were diagnosed with migraines. About 75 percent of respondents experience migraine symptoms 15 or more times a month. Meanwhile, another 25 percent experience symptoms less than 15 times per month.

Through a questionnaire, the results showed that participants who exercised less than recommended (150 minutes per week) experienced an increase in depression, anxiety, and sleep problems which are some of the causes of migraines.

Researchers found that 47 percent of people who didn’t exercise had depression, 39 percent had anxiety, and 77 percent had trouble sleeping.

The study also found a link between exercise and headache frequency. In the no-exercise group, 45 percent experienced headaches up to 25 times a month. Meanwhile, in the high exercise group, 10 percent experienced low headache frequency and 28 percent experienced high headache frequency.

Mark Green, member of the National Headache Foundation Health Care Leadership Council, and professor of neurology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai New York urges migraine sufferers to be careful with their exercise routine as the effects are still minor.

“In general, migraines are influenced by genes. For example, if you have migraines, your child has a 50 percent risk of developing migraines. If both parents have migraines, the risk is about 80 percent of migraines,” says Green.

Green emphasized that exercise still has a low impact on reducing migraine symptoms. Therefore, Green advises his patients to eat lots of small meals a day, stay hydrated, and maintain consistent sleep. The findings will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting held online April 17-22.


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