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Study shows exercise as effective as drug treatment and relaxation techniques for managing migraines

More than 2,300 years ago Plato observed that "lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it." Since then modern scientific research has shown that moderate daily exercise can reduce your risk for certain diseases and boost your overall health. Turns out being physically active may also help prevent migraines.

Findings recently published in the journal Cephalagia suggest that exercise is as equally effective as traditional drug therapies in treating migraines. In the small study (subscription required), Swedish researchers randomly assigned 91 migraine patients to work out 40 minutes three times per week, participate in relaxation practices or take the antiepileptic medication topiramate. e! Science News reports:

The study lasted for a total of three months, during which the patients' migraine status, quality of life, aerobic capacity and level of physical activity were evaluated before, during and after their treatment. Follow-ups were then carried out after three and six months.

The results show that the number of migraines fell in all three groups. Interestingly, there was no difference in the preventative effect between the three treatments.

Previously: Exercise may alleviate symptoms of arthritis regardless of weight loss, Treating joint pain with physical activity, self-management programs and How physical activity influences health
Photo by Hector Alejandro

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