Why Does Increased Exercise Decrease Migraine?

  • Andrew H. AhnEmail author
Migraine (R Cowan)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Migraine


Several lines of evidence affirm a positive role for exercise in the management of migraine. This review highlights the latest research supporting this view, covering not only its epidemiologic aspects but also the pain modulatory systems that are likely to be engaged by exercise. Recent research provides broad and consistent evidence indicating that cardiovascular exercise can activate multiple pain modulatory mechanisms, if not the underlying mechanisms that initiate the attack. Specifically, a synthesis of independent lines of recent research would indicate that exercise activates endogenous neurotransmitter signals that could be effective in reducing the intensity of migraine pain, though it may not have a direct effect on its overall frequency or duration.


Migraine Exercise Pain Cannabinoid Trigeminal 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Andrew H. Ahn reported no potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance, •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Florida College of MedicineGainesvilleUSA

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