Some studies have shown that regular exercise is a great way to reduce the frequency of migraines, and may be as effective as medication. However, for other people exercise serves as a regular migraine trigger. Although there is some evidence that exercise is not as potent a migraine trigger as we used to believe, there are still some things that you should do to help reduce the risk of exercise-related migraines.
How to Reduce Your Risk of Exercise Migraines
It’s important to make sure you’re doing your exercise right if you are hoping to avoid exercise-related migraines. Here are some important tips to keep in mind:
- Warm up: Take time to warm up before exercising. Starting intense exercise right away increases the risk of a migraine.
- Hydrate: Dehydration is another potential cause of exercise migraines. Make sure you’re properly hydrating before, during, and after exercise.
- Eat right: Another common cause of exercise-related migraines is low blood sugar. If you’re not eating enough prior to exercising, you might give yourself a headache. This is commonly experienced by people who start a new diet and a new exercise program at the same time.
- Be a regular: Infrequent exercise is more likely to cause migraines than regular exercise, especially if your routine is fairly intense.
- Know your limits: Exertional headaches are common in people who are exercising too hard. These can be confused with migraines or can trigger migraines. Remember, exercising during hot weather or at altitude makes exercise harder.
Following these tips can help you enjoy your routine and experience the potential benefits of reduced migraines.
TMJ and Exercise Migraines
Another important consideration for exercise-related migraines is that TMJ may play a mediating role. During exercise, your jaw will often clench. This is necessary to properly anchor your head and allow you to take full advantage of your strength and balance. but if you have TMJ, it can can also worsen the effects of your jaw imbalance, leading to pressure on nerves, tenseness in muscles, and other headache causes. This can lead to jaw pain, tension headaches, and irritation of the trigeminal nerve or its various branches, all of which can trigger migraines.
If you’re taking caution about your exercise routine, but migraines still persist, it’s important to talk to a dentist about TMJ.