Study finds exercise reduces migraine headaches - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Study finds exercise reduces migraine headaches

TYLER, TX (KLTV)- Ask any migraine sufferer and they'll tell you they would do just about anything to avoid their next painful headache.

A new study may give some patients an option to stop a migraine, without reaching for a pill.

One East Texan said she wishes someone would have told her about this treatment a lot sooner.

Marisa Sitton has been suffering from migraine headaches since she was 9 years old.
She took preventative medicine for the last four years, but recently decided to stop.

"Some of the side effects are not really good for you. It's hard on your kidneys and hard on your liver and I just decided being 55 years old I needed to try something different," Sitton said.

She is trying something different to ensure she will be around for years to watch her grand-kids grow up.

Marisa keeps it simple, "I don't do anything heavy or lift weights or anything like that. I just walk and walk briskly," she said.

Her friends with migraine headaches have their own routines.

"My best friend, she does yoga and stationary bicycle and that helps her," Marisa said.

Neurologist Allison Hennigan said the exercise technique isn't necessarily new... it's just not as well known because it's harder.

"It takes more willpower and it takes more determination. It's easier to take a pill than it is to make those lifestyle changes," Hennigan said.

She said recommended life style changes are drinking more water, avoiding caffeine and exercising.

Hennigan said doctors know exercise helps, but they don't exactly know why.

"It could be that you're improving blood flow and improving the human dynamics because migraines [happen when] blood vessels become too dilated," she said.

Whatever the science behind it, Marisa said she's sticking with it.

"So far, knock on wood, it's working. So I'm just going to continue to do that," she said.

She said she is pleased to be fending off those agonizing headaches medication-free.

Dr. Hennigan said it's very important to consult your doctor before quitting any medications.
She said abruptly stopping can cause severe side effects.

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