Niseko Chiropractic research review: The role of weight training in managing Migraine headaches
A suprising result for headaches sufferes
If you have ever had a bad migraine headache you would know understand just how horrible they are and would give anything just for them to stop.
The great thing about reasearch is sometimes it can yeild resuls that we may not think to be to be a first glance and this certainly the case with a recent paper that adresses the question
” What works better to reduce the severity and frequency of migraine headaches ? Weight training or exercise ? “
A recently published paper in the ” Journal of headache and pain ” reviewed 1195 migraine cases reported in 21 papers on the subject of Migraine headache and concluded that strenght and weight training actually results in the best improvement for migraine sufferes.
Not that the authors are arguing you head down to squat university when you room is spinnng and your about to stab your eye with spoon but if are a migraine sufferer you may be well adviced to start a weight training program weekly as a preventative measure.
And it’s more interesting too. Even though exercise was effective it was the high intenstity stuff that had a better result than the low intenstity workouts.
Of course both these are not mutally exclusive and you may be better planning on weight training a few times a week and also incorporting some high intensity cardio workouts as well.
But why ?
The paper looked a few possibilities.
Migraines are incredibly complex but there is a leading thoery that there some dysnfuction of the way the trigiminal nerve and nerves from the muscles interact at perhaps weights helps normalise this.
There is also a close association between migraine headaches and neck pain so maybe just adressing the neck pain through better muslce tone reduces the chances of frequency of migraine.
In regards to the high intensity exercise, it’s much more likely to cause chemical changes in the brain as endorphines and other chemicals are released so perhaps thay have a mediating role.
At any rate I doubt the ” why ” question will be understood with certianty any time soon but if you are migraine sufferer you really should try at least a weights program and see if makes any differences on the frequeuncy and intensity of your migraine.
Woldeamanuel, Y.W., Oliveira, A.B.D. What is the efficacy of aerobic exercise versus strength training in the treatment of migraine? A systematic review and network meta-analysis of clinical trials. J Headache Pain 23, 134 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s10194-022-01503-y