Exercise Induced Migraine


Migraines are a common type of headache that can cause moderate to severe pain on one or both sides of the head. They are usually accompanied by other symptoms, such as nausea, sensitivity to light, and sometimes, visual disturbances. Exercise has been known to trigger migraines in some people, a condition known as exercise-induced migraine, or EIM.


Exercise-induced migraine is believed to be caused by a combination of factors, including genetics, environmental factors, and lifestyle choices. For example, if you have a family history of migraines, you may be more prone to EIM. Other factors that can cause migraines include poor nutrition, dehydration, stress, poor sleep habits, and hormonal changes.


The symptoms of exercise-induced migraine are similar to those of other types of migraines. They include:

  • Intense, throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light, sounds, and/or smells
  • Visual disturbances, such as seeing flashing lights or zigzag lines
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Difficulty speaking


The treatment for exercise-induced migraine is similar to that of other types of migraines. The first step is to try to prevent migraines from occurring in the first place. This can be done by:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Drinking enough water to stay hydrated
  • Avoiding triggers, such as stress or certain foods

If you do experience a migraine, there are several remedies that can be used to alleviate the symptoms. For example, over-the-counter pain medications like aspirin or ibuprofen can help to reduce pain and inflammation. Ice packs or heat packs can be used to alleviate pain and swelling in the affected area. If the symptoms are severe or persistent, you should consult a healthcare provider for further treatment options.


Preventing exercise-induced migraine is key to avoiding the pain and discomfort associated with this condition. Here are some tips for preventing migraines:

  • Warm up before exercising to prevent a sudden onset of physical stress.
  • Avoid exercising in hot or humid conditions, which can increase the risk of dehydration.
  • Stay hydrated before, during, and after exercise by drinking plenty of water or other fluids. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.
  • Try to exercise at the same time of day each day to stay consistent and avoid sudden changes in routine.
  • If you experience migraine symptoms during or after exercise, consult your doctor for advice on how to manage your condition.


Exercise-induced migraine is a condition that can cause intense pain and discomfort during or after exercise. If you experience migraines or other types of headaches, it’s important to take steps to prevent and manage them. This may include staying hydrated, avoiding triggers, and seeking medical treatment when necessary. By taking these steps, you can reduce the frequency and severity of exercise-induced migraine and enjoy a healthier, more active lifestyle.


What is exercise induced migraine?

Exercise induced migraine is a type of migraine that occurs after physical activity. It is a common problem experienced by people who exercise regularly. It is characterized by a severe headache that usually lasts for a few hours to a few days. The pain can be mild to severe and can cause other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.

What are the causes of exercise induced migraine?

Exercise induced migraine is caused by a variety of factors such as changes in blood flow, dehydration, and hormonal changes. In some cases, it may be due to a genetic predisposition. It can also be triggered by certain foods, environmental factors, and stress. It is important to identify the underlying cause of exercise induced migraine and avoid the triggers to prevent its occurrence.

What are the ways to treat exercise induced migraine?

The best way to treat exercise induced migraine is to prevent it from occurring. It can be achieved by maintaining a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and avoiding triggers. In some cases, medication may be prescribed by a doctor to manage the symptoms of exercise induced migraine. It is important to seek medical advice if the symptoms persist or worsen.


1. Varkey, E., Cider, Å., & Carlsson, J. (2011). Exercise as migraine prophylaxis: A randomized study using relaxation and topiramate as controls. Cephalalgia, 31(13), 1428–1438. doi: 10.1177/0333102411419681
2. Koseoglu, E., Akboyraz, A., & Soyuer, A. (2004). Aerobic exercise and plasma beta endorphin levels in patients with migrainous headache without aura. Cephalalgia, 24(10), 851–857. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2982.2004.00752.x
3. Diener, H. C., & Holle, D. (2013). Exercise-induced migrainous aura: A case report. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 53(9), 1509–1512. doi: 10.1111/head.12122