Exercise in Treatment of Migraine Including Chronic Migraine

Tae Jin Song, Min Kyung Chu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: With this review, we aimed to investigate the effect of exercise on migraine and explored the possibility of exercise as a treatment option for migraine. Recent Findings: A close association of physical activity and exercise with migraine has been reported in clinical and population-based studies. Recent randomized controlled trials investigating the effect of aerobic exercise as a migraine-preventive treatment have revealed a notable improvement in migraine symptoms. Data on the effect of anaerobic exercise and exercise for flexibility, coordination, and relaxation on migraine are currently insufficient to make any recommendations. Possible pathways for the attenuation of migraine by exercise include the endogenous opioid and cannabinoid systems, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, inflammation, and behavioral/psychological factors. Summary: Regarding efficacy, side effects, and health benefits, aerobic exercise is a potentially beneficial strategy in the preventive treatment of migraine. Further studies are needed to delineate an evidence-based exercise program for migraine treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14
JournalCurrent Pain and Headache Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC part of Springer Nature.


  • Aerobic exercise
  • Exercise
  • Headache
  • Migraine
  • Physical activity


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