Exercise-induced migraine – Know why it happens

If you are frequently getting migraines, you should know that intense exercise is one of the migraine causes and can incapacitate your condition. Read on to know the common causes, how it can be prevented and treated.

What are the common causes?

Movement often activates migraines. Movements such as rotating your body all of a sudden, turning your head abruptly, or bending over can all activate or worsen migraine symptoms. Exercise-induced migraines occur most often in association with certain forceful or active sports or activities such as weightlifting, rowing, running, tennis, swimming, and football. Keep reading to learn more about the common causes.

  • You have an exertional headache

An exertional headache is a type of headache that is triggered by some type of physical activity. This can be anything from coughing to an active workout. You might feel that this happens during or after your workout. It is often described as a pulsating pain on both sides of the head. This type of headache happens with exercise only. It is also more likely to develop primary exercise headaches when working out in warm weather or at high altitudes.

  • You are dehydrated

You must be aware of the fact that dehydration happens when your body loses more fluid than it takes in. And it is quite common to sweat when you exercise. This is counted as fluid loss. If you do not drink enough water before exercising, it is quite easy to become dehydrated.

  • Your blood sugar is low

Low blood sugar levels can also cause a headache after exercising. Blood sugar refers to glucose which is one of your body’s main energy sources. If you do not eat enough before working out, your body can burn through glucose, leading to low blood sugar levels.

How it can be prevented?

The best migraine remedy is to prevent them before they start. If exercise is one of your migraine causes, it’s not necessary that you have to give up exercise. Described below are some self-help tips to prevent exercise-induced migraines.

  • Consider the weather

Exercising in hot, humid weather might make you more likely to develop an exercise-induced migraine. When the weather is hot and sticky, it’s important to keep yourself hydrated. If possible, try to exercise in a cool, temperature-controlled environment like an air-conditioned gym or wait until the worst of the heat and humidity has passed. Also, consider switching your workout time to the early morning when it is generally cooler, especially during hot summer months.

  • Consider the altitude

If you have recently moved to or are visiting a location at high altitude, wait two days before beginning your exercise regimen. This will allow your body to get used to the lower oxygen levels. Drinking more fluids and staying away from alcohol can also help.

  • Warm-up and cool down

Spend 15 minutes warming up before engaging in intense activity and five minutes cooling down afterwards.

  • Stay hydrated

Dehydration might be a trigger for migraines. It’s a good idea to always carry a water bottle with you while you exercise, and sip often.

How it can be treated with homeopathy?

As migraine is periodic and recurrent, it needs continuous homeopathic migraine remedies during the migraine attack and homeopathic medicines need to be taken even when there is no migraine attack. This is to reduce the frequency and intensity of subsequent migraine attacks and eventually stop them.

In all types of acute and chronic illnesses, homeopathy applies the concept of individualisation. This means that even if two people are suffering from the same type of migraine, a homeopath will study the whole case history of each of you i.e., your particular nature of warning signs, state of mind, likes and dislikes. And then suggest a remedy suitable for each of them to determine deep-rooted and permanent cures.


It’s highly recommended to book an appointment with your homeopath and seek treatment.