Last week, we were reviewing some preliminary research about how yoga can help people with TMJ. However, now a new study shows that yoga is an effective adjunct to typical migraine treatment with medications. The study shows that, after three months, people who did yoga had more improvement in their migraines and used fewer medications.
Episodic Migraine Patients
To analyze the impact of yoga on migraines, researchers selected 114 people with episodic migraines (between 4 and 14 migraines a month). They assigned these subjects randomly to either of two groups. One group received migraine medications, while the other got medications and yoga instruction.
The medication-only group was prescribed medication and received counseling about lifestyle changes that can help reduce migraine frequency, such as sleep, exercise, and proper nutrition. The yoga group got the same medications and counseling, but they also received yoga instruction. They were taught a one-hour yoga practice, composed of breathing exercises, relaxation postures, and other techniques. They visited a yoga instructor three days a week for a month.
Yoga Improved Results
All patients kept a migraine journal for three months, including the month of visiting a yoga instructor for the yoga group. Both groups had statistically significant improvement in headache frequency and medication use.
Initially, the yoga group had an average of 9.1 headaches per month, while the medication-only group had an average of 7.7 headaches per month. The yoga group saw their headaches per month drop 48% to 4.7 headaches per month. The medication only group saw their headaches drop just 12% to 6.8 per month.
Medication use dropped a comparable amount for each group, falling by 47% for the yoga group and just 12% for the medication only group.
Benefits of Using Less Medication
Not only did the yoga reduce the number of headaches that migraine sufferers experienced, it also helped them to use less medication. This has tremendous benefits for migraine sufferers. Many migraine medications are expensive. Plus, migraine medications can come with serious side effects, both in terms of immediate effects and in long-term stress on the organs that process the medication, such as the kidneys and liver.
TMJ Treatment Can Also Help Migraines
One of the main benefits of yoga is that it can help relax tense muscles. Muscle tension is a significant factor in triggering migraines.
Another way to relax tense muscles is TMJ treatment. TMJ treatment helps put your jaw in a position of maximum rest so that your muscles are no longer tense. This helps reduce the frequency and severity of migraines, and it can reduce your reliance on medications.
If your current migraine treatment is providing little or no relief from recurring headaches, TMJ treatment might be able to help. It can be an effective adjunct treatment for people who aren’t getting good results with simple migraine treatment.