A Study to Evaluate the Feasibility of an Aerobic Exercise Program in Patients With Migraine

Authors

  • Emma Varkey RPT,

    1. From the Cephalea Headache Centre, Gothenburg, Sweden (E. Varkey and M. Linde); Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Göteborg University, Gothenburg, Sweden (E. Varkey, Å. Cider, J. Carlsson, and M. Linde); Institute of Medicine, The Sahlgrenska Academy, Göteborg University, Gothenburg, Sweden (Å. Cider).
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  • Åsa Cider RPT, PhD,

    1. From the Cephalea Headache Centre, Gothenburg, Sweden (E. Varkey and M. Linde); Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Göteborg University, Gothenburg, Sweden (E. Varkey, Å. Cider, J. Carlsson, and M. Linde); Institute of Medicine, The Sahlgrenska Academy, Göteborg University, Gothenburg, Sweden (Å. Cider).
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  • Jane Carlsson RPT, PhD,

    1. From the Cephalea Headache Centre, Gothenburg, Sweden (E. Varkey and M. Linde); Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Göteborg University, Gothenburg, Sweden (E. Varkey, Å. Cider, J. Carlsson, and M. Linde); Institute of Medicine, The Sahlgrenska Academy, Göteborg University, Gothenburg, Sweden (Å. Cider).
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  • Mattias Linde MD, PhD

    1. From the Cephalea Headache Centre, Gothenburg, Sweden (E. Varkey and M. Linde); Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Göteborg University, Gothenburg, Sweden (E. Varkey, Å. Cider, J. Carlsson, and M. Linde); Institute of Medicine, The Sahlgrenska Academy, Göteborg University, Gothenburg, Sweden (Å. Cider).
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  • Conflict of Interest: None

E. Varkey, Cephalea Headache Centre, Läkarhuset, Södra vägen 27, SE-41135 Gothenburg, Sweden.

Abstract

Objectives.— The aim of this study was to develop and evaluate an exercise program to improve maximum oxygen uptake (VO2 max) in untrained patients with migraine without making their migraines worse.

Patients and methods.— Twenty-six patients were studied at a headache clinic in Sweden. The exercise program, based on indoor cycling, was performed 3 times per week during 12 weeks. VO2 max, migraine status, side effects, and quality of life were evaluated.

Results.— VO2 max increased from 32.9 mL/kg/minute to 36.2 mL/kg/minute (P = .044). Quality of life increased and significant improvements in migraine status (attack frequency, symptom intensity, and intake of medicine) were seen. During the 12 weeks of exercise, on one occasion one patient had a migraine attack, which started immediately after training. No other side effects were reported.

Conclusions.— The evaluated exercise program was well tolerated by the patients and improved their VO2 max with no deterioration of migraine status.

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