Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Headache Pain. 2019 Feb 14;20(1):16. doi: 10.1186/s10194-019-0961-8.

The effect of aerobic exercise on the number of migraine days, duration and pain intensity in migraine: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis.

Author information

1
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.
2
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Antwerp University Hospital, Edegem, Belgium.
3
Department of Translational Neurosciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.
4
Department of Neurology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel (UZ Brussel), Laarbeeklaan 101, 1090, Brussels, Belgium.
5
Department of General Practice and Elderly Care Medicine, Amsterdam Public Health research institute, VU University Medical Center, van der Boechorststraat 7, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
6
Healthcare Center Haarlemmermeer, Waddenweg 1, Hoofddorp, the Netherlands.
7
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium. willem.dehertogh@uantwerpen.be.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In patients with frequent migraine, prophylactic treatments are used. Patients often request non-pharmacological alternatives. One treatment option can be aerobic exercise. The value of aerobic exercise as prophylactic treatment however needs to be determined.

METHODS:

A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed to investigate the result of aerobic exercise on the number of migraine days, duration and pain intensity in patients with migraine. After screening three online databases, PubMed, Cochrane library and Web of Science, using predefined in- and exclusion criteria, six studies were retained. Pooling of data was performed when possible.

RESULTS:

Significant reductions in the number of migraine days after aerobic exercise treatment were found with a mean reduction of 0.6 ± 0.3 migraine days/month. Other outcomes were too variable to pool due to heterogeneity of outcome measurements. Unpooled data revealed small to moderate reductions in attack duration (20-27%) and pain intensity (20-54%) after aerobic exercise intervention. Various exercise intensities are applied.

CONCLUSION:

There is moderate quality evidence that in patients with migraine aerobic exercise therapy can decrease the number of migraine days. No conclusion for pain intensity or duration of attacks can be drawn. Effect sizes are small due to a lack of uniformity. For future studies, we recommend standardized outcome measures and sufficiently intense training programs.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

CRD42018091178 .

KEYWORDS:

Exercise; Headache; Headache characteristics; Migraine; Physical therapy; Treatment

PMID:
30764753
DOI:
10.1186/s10194-019-0961-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for BioMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center