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How can exercising regularly prevent migraines?

ANSWER

You may be tempted to avoid being active, afraid it might trigger a migraine. Overdoing a workout may trigger a headache for some people, but research suggests regular, moderate aerobic exercise may make migraines shorter, less severe, and happen less often for many people. It also helps control stress, another trigger.

SOURCES:

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "Migraine Information Page."

Silberstein, S. , April 24, 2012. Neurology

Migraine Research Foundation: "About Migraine."

National Headache Foundation: "Migraine Prevention: A Guide to the Latest Methods and Treatments."

Huntington J. , Oct. 15, 2005. American Family Physician

Epilepsy Action Australia: "Epilepsy and Migraine -- More than just a headache."

News release, FDA.

The Migraine Trust: "Botox for Migraine."

American Headache Society Committee for Headache Education (ACHE): "Preventive Treatments."

American College of Physicians: "Managing Migraine: How to prevent and control migraine headaches."

Silberstein, S. , Sept. 26, 2000. Neurology

University of Berkeley: "Guide to Managing Migraines."

Bastyr Center for Natural Health: "Exercise: A New Migraine Headache Therapy."

Varkey, E. , 2011. Cephalalgia

American Headache Society: "Headache Hygiene Tips."

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Headaches and CAM."

National Headache Foundation: "Migraine."

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on May 22, 2017

SOURCES:

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "Migraine Information Page."

Silberstein, S. , April 24, 2012. Neurology

Migraine Research Foundation: "About Migraine."

National Headache Foundation: "Migraine Prevention: A Guide to the Latest Methods and Treatments."

Huntington J. , Oct. 15, 2005. American Family Physician

Epilepsy Action Australia: "Epilepsy and Migraine -- More than just a headache."

News release, FDA.

The Migraine Trust: "Botox for Migraine."

American Headache Society Committee for Headache Education (ACHE): "Preventive Treatments."

American College of Physicians: "Managing Migraine: How to prevent and control migraine headaches."

Silberstein, S. , Sept. 26, 2000. Neurology

University of Berkeley: "Guide to Managing Migraines."

Bastyr Center for Natural Health: "Exercise: A New Migraine Headache Therapy."

Varkey, E. , 2011. Cephalalgia

American Headache Society: "Headache Hygiene Tips."

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Headaches and CAM."

National Headache Foundation: "Migraine."

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on May 22, 2017

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