Exercise is Medicine by ACSM


August 6, 2017 / Uncategorized


Debilitating headaches can really ruin a person’s day and lead to time spent in bed or even throwing up. Clients suffering from migraines have a difficult time working out during these bouts of head throbbing pain and some clients are even undergoing scientific studies to get to the bottom of the cause. So let’s check out migraines and learn more as I’m sure we all know someone who has been impacted by this terrible condition.

We should start with the basics of course. Background: “A migraine can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on just one side of the head. It’s often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine attacks can cause significant pain for hours to days and can be so severe that the pain is disabling. Warning symptoms known as aura may occur before or with the headache. These can include flashes of light, blind spots, or tingling on one side of the face or in your arm or leg” (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/symptoms-causes/dxc-20202434) .

There are actually 4 stages of a migraine and different people either experience some or all of them. (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/symptoms-causes/dxc-20202434)
1. Prodome: you feel changes to your body that serve as a warming system a migraine may be approaching. These might include stiff neck, mood changes, thirst, constipation, and/or food cravings
2. Aura: your senses seem “off” including vision, touch, and hearing
3. Attack: the actual pain, throbbing, nausea, that can last up to 72 hours during the migraine
4. Post-drome: total exhaustion after the attack

Causes vary among individuals and can be the result of genetics. Here are the most common causes (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/symptoms-causes/dxc-20202434):
• Hormonal changes in women. Fluctuations in estrogen seem to trigger headaches in many women. Women with a history of migraines often report headaches immediately before or during their periods, when they have a major drop in estrogen.
• Foods. Aged cheeses, salty foods and processed foods may trigger migraines. Skipping meals or fasting also can trigger attacks.
• Food additives. The sweetener aspartame and the preservative monosodium glutamate (MSG), found in many foods, may trigger migraines.
• Drinks. Alcohol, especially wine, and highly caffeinated beverages may trigger migraines.
• Stress. Stress at work or home can cause migraines.
• Sensory stimuli. Bright lights and sun glare can induce migraines, as can loud sounds. Strong smells — including perfume, paint thinner, secondhand smoke and others — can trigger migraines in some people.
• Changes in wake-sleep pattern. Missing sleep or getting too much sleep may trigger migraines in some people, as can jet lag.
• Physical factors. Intense physical exertion, including sexual activity, may provoke migraines.
• Changes in the environment. A change of weather or barometric pressure can prompt a migraine.
• Medications. Oral contraceptives and vasodilators, such as nitroglycerin, can aggravate migraines.

We want to be at peak performance on our fitness journeys and migraines our not on our team. But we learn to overcome and know that the show must go on, which means we need to take care of ourselves, seek treatment and help when needed, and try to avoid situations that can trigger migraines. I don’t like for folks to miss workouts ever. The community of sufferers is quite large, so I hope there comes a medical solution to this phenomenon very soon.

1 Comment

  1. neurologist glendale az Author October 2, 2017 (10:54 pm)

    Very interesting information to read. Helpful for all who are suffering from a migraine. Thanks and keep sharing such useful information.

    Reply to neurologist glendale az

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