migraine is a common form of primary headache disorder characterized by repeated episodes of moderate to severe headaches along with other symptoms such as nausea, sensitivity to light, and noise and vision problems, according to experts. Certain triggers such as stress, hormonal changes, certain foods and environmental factors, and exertion can also trigger it migraine in susceptible individuals.
One Twitter user shared that in her experience, “intervals of fast running and slow walking” triggered a “severe migraine attack.” The user named Apoorva said: “Running increases the chances of a migraine attack but for me?? Any general tips to reduce it?” When asked about this, Dr. Sudhir Kumar, a neurologist, that all exercises reduce migraine frequency. “Strength training is better than aerobic exercise,” he said.
Try to find the threshold that triggers a migraine attack and stop just before it. Over time you can increase it.
Other advice such as hydration, salt, etc. has already been given.
Get 7-8 hours of sleep, eat on time, and stay stress-free.
– dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (@hyderabaddoctor) March 13, 2023
For Apoorva, he said she should “try to find the threshold that triggers a migraine attack and stop just before that.” “You could increase it over time. Other advice such as hydration, salt, etc. has already been given. Sleep 7-8 hours, eat on time and stay free emphasize.”
Following this informative thread, we turned to experts to understand if weight training is better than aerobic activity to combat migraines. Why or why not?
What is a migraine?
Migraines are caused by electrical and metabolic changes in the brain that cause abnormal activation of the trigeminal nerve. This leads to the release of pain-mediating neurotransmitter chemicals, said Dr. Pawan Ojha, Director, Neurology, Fortis Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi. “It is believed that certain pain-controlling pathways such as endogenous opioid and cannabinoid pathways are underactive in patients with migraines,” said Dr. Oyha.
aerobic exercise, also called cardio exercises, are activities that increase your heart rate and breathing rate. These include activities such as running, cycling, swimming and dancing. Strength training, on the other hand, involves the use of resistance to build muscle strength and endurance. include examples weightliftingResistance band exercises and bodyweight exercises like push-ups and squats.
Both aerobic exercise and strength training have been shown to be effective in reducing migraine symptoms, said Dr. Lakshmi Lavanya, Chief Neurologist, Kamineni Hospitals, Hyderabad.
The expert explained that a study found that 40 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week for 12 weeks significantly reduced the frequency and intensity of migraines in women. Another study found that regular aerobic exercise was associated with a lower risk of developing chronic migraines. In addition, a systematic review of several studies found that aerobic exercise was effective in reducing the frequency and severity of migraines.
weight training has also been shown to be effective in reducing migraine symptoms. However, the evidence is not as strong as it is for aerobic exercise. dr Lakshmi said a study found that a 12-week strength-training program reduced the frequency and intensity of migraines in women. Another study found that a combination of aerobic and resistance training was more effective at reducing migraine symptoms than aerobic exercise alone.
However, there are fewer studies on the effects of strength training on migraines compared to aerobic exercise, she said.
“One theory is that aerobic exercise increases the production of endorphins, which are natural pain relievers that can help relieve migraine pain. In addition, aerobic exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which can help reduce inflammation and improve brain function. Strength training, on the other hand, can increase muscle tension, which can worsen migraine symptoms,” said Dr. lakshmi
Regarding a study by Stanford University, USA, on the benefits of different exercise interventions for the prevention of migraines, which included 1,195 migraineurs, Dr. Reshik Kannan, Associate Consultant Neurologist, Fortis Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi, states that all exercise interventions were more effective than the placebo group But “strength training exercise was most effective, followed by high-intensity aerobic exercise.”
according to dr Kannan explains this by the fact that endorphins, such as endocannabinoids and opioids, were elevated in the systemic circulation in people who performed strength-training exercises rather than aerobic exercise. In addition, strength training exercises also helped maintain lean muscle mass, since increased lean muscle mass is known to be associated with reduced migraine frequency.
Based on this meta-analysis study, the authors concluded that the combination of strength training days, which include all major muscles, including neck, shoulder, and upper limb muscles, should be trained in a rotation, and active recovery days may provide the optimal efficacy Reducing the burden of migraines.
“The duration of a session should be around an hour, including a 10-minute warm-up, 5-6 days a week,” said Dr. Can be.
dr However, Ravindra Srivastava, Director, Neuroscience, Primus Superspeciality Hospital, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi said whether strength training or aerobic exercise is preferable for migraine sufferers is “controversial” as migraine is a “complicated neurological condition”.
“Different training programs can have different effects on different people. But that has been shown Exercise generally helps to reduce the occurrence and severity of migraine attacks. Some migraine sufferers have found that aerobic exercise, such as running, cycling, or swimming, is particularly effective. This may be due to the fact that aerobic exercise can help relieve tension and improve cardiovascular health, both of which can be important migraine triggers,” said Dr. Srivastava indianexpress.com.
Before beginning a new exercise program, it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider, especially if you’ve had a history of migraines or other conditions, Dr. Srivastava added.
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