Exercise and Relaxation Relieve Migraine Pain

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Dec 18, 2008

Mind-Body-Spirit News

Migraine sufferers who participated in an aerobic exercise and relaxation program experienced less intense migraine pain, according to authors of a small study published in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine (2008; 18 [4]; 363–65).

Austrian researchers from Innsbruck Medical University conducted a randomized, controlled study of 30 female migraine patients under standard medical care for 6 weeks. Fifteen participants did twice-weekly indoor exercise consisting of 45 minutes of aerobics and 15 minutes of progressive muscle relaxation, in addition to usual care. Control group members received only standard medical care.

The exercise group members reported a significant reduction in migraine pain intensity. Study authors noted that further larger studies were necessary and that researchers needed to determine whether it was exercise, relaxation or the combination that provided the relief.

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About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at www.shirleyarcher.com.