Your journey with Migraine is complex, changing, and can be confusing. There are so many things you can try, many of which I may not have even heard of – it truly take a well rounded healthcare team to treat Migraine, and in this case, Vestibular Migraine. Exercise, even for just 30-40 minutes, can help prevent and treat Migraine attacks. It is difficult because in the moment exercise may sound like the most impossible thing to do with your body. But, if you start slowly, even during a Migraine Attack, you can help cut down the time or prevent the attack entirely.
We all know, tucked away somewhere in the back of our brains, that exercise is good for us. It has many health benefits from stress relief to heart health. National College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise/week, which can be broken up into smaller sections of your choice, to meet that guideline. This guideline, combined with the Migraine-prophylaxis guideline, is a great place to start for overall health and wellbeing.
Migraine attacks can be prevented with light, moderate, or high intensity exercise. Any form of exercise that you enjoy counts – yes, even walking, barre, and Pilates count! The best part about exercise, is that just about any form of movement is helpful.
Exercise is so effective in preventing migraine, that this study from 2011 found that exercise, regular meditation/relaxation, and topiramate were equally effective in stopping a migraine attack. In this study, those who were in the exercise group were to exercise with a physical therapist for 40 minutes, three times a week. This exercise program had a 15 minute warm-up, 20 minute workout time, and 5 minute cool down. There were absolutely no adverse effects in the exercise group, however the topiramate group had 8 participants with adverse effects – just another reason to utilize exercise as a treatment and preventative!
Exercise can also help your symptoms to improve more quickly during Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy. If you have Vestibular Migraine, Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy is hopefully a part of your plan for recovery! Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy is the exercise program used to habituate, or teach, your brain how to respond to irritating stimuli. This process is most effective when patients and clients are encouraged to exercise as a piece of their rehabilitation.
Where Do I Begin?
Beginning to exercise again can be a difficult step – that’s why we created Vestibular Fit! Vestibular Fit is the custom exercise program built for those with vestibular disorders. Returning to exercise after diagnosis, treatment, and management of a vestibular disorder can feel daunting. Sign up for Vestibular Fit and we will get your workouts customized to you in the next 48 hours!
There are few things as good for your body, and soul, as physical activity. the best kind of exercise is the kind that you will do. I mean that – if you like to jog, let’s make that happen. If you love to go to Barre, let’s get you back to class!
(1 )Amin FM, Aristeidou S, Baraldi C, et al. The association between migraine and physical exercise. J Headache Pain. 2018;19(1):83. Published 2018 Sep 10. doi:10.1186/s10194-018-0902-y
(2) Penney, S. (n.d.). Fitness. how much activity is enough? NASM. https://blog.nasm.org/fitness/fitness-how-much-activity-is-enough.