Le Pilate, sport doux, soulage-t-il la migraine ? Mon expérience.

Gentle sport: a solution to relieve migraine? I tried Pilates

Jun 17, 2021

Hello everyone, Having suffered from migraine for 25 years, I have had time to test many solutions and today, I want to talk with you about my experience with migraine and gentle sport. To begin, we must define what we mean by gentle sport. A gentle sport is a physical activity in which the effort is measured and controlled. There we find in particular the practice of the Pilates method, yoga, Nordic walking , and even aquagym . You work with your body, at your own pace, without forcing.

Physical health for overall well-being

To be healthy, practicing regular physical activity is essential. It improves sleep , reduces anxiety, promotes well-being in life and even releases dopamine in the brain , the hormone that makes you happy. Today, we all know the benefits of sport on daily life. But is it possible to practice sport when you suffer from migraine?

Sport and migraine, love story?

However, when you share your brain with headaches, sport is no longer much of a priority. The pain prevents you from falling asleep and as a result, the energy level for practicing sport quickly falls into the negative. Certainly, but for several years now, I have chosen to practice a gentle sporting activity on a regular basis, on the one hand to maintain my muscles and on the other hand to take my mind off things. I must admit, for my part, that practicing a sport helped reduce the intensity of migraines.

While doing some research, I read, in the Headache magazine dating from 1991 (yes it's a bit dated, but it's still relevant) that there is "a consensus on the fact that physical exercise allows you to reduce the frequency, intensity and/or duration of migraine attacks. » ( source: Headache the Journal of Headand Face Pain ) This is already a good starting point, I think. Doing sport is easy, and it can avoid taking more medication or, worse yet, finding yourself still bedridden and unable to live normally, which is positive for everyone.

Not just any sport though!

My comments regarding the activity of a sport even while having a migraine, must nevertheless be qualified. Indeed, not all sports can provide relief. Brutal and violent efforts on the body are among the list of migraine triggers in some people. You must therefore choose your sport carefully so that it fits your lifestyle, your pace, and above all that it does you good.

If you haven't practiced sport for a while, as was my case, you need to start again slowly. Start by making an appointment with your doctor to discuss it with him. He will give you very good advice and can guide you towards the sport that suits you.

For my part, I started with half an hour of dancing to increase the heart rate without straining. I did it alone, in my living room, with music that I loved. I felt my little heart beating faster. I did it twice a week. When I realized that the time had come to increase the duration of dancing, I decided to change sports. I then became interested in several sports...

Pilates classes

The Pilates method has many benefits, in addition to providing you with regular sporting activity. It is a global approach to the body intended to develop the physique in a harmonious way . Joseph Pilates has created a whole series of exercises using pulleys, elastics, springs, and even support systems for the injured. Strength training exercises are complemented by a resistance method. The results obtained are very encouraging and give birth to the Pilates Method. The goal is to facilitate natural and easy bodybuilding.

When you have migraine , you look for natural and easy-to-do activities . The Pilates method is one of them. By testing this sport, I was able to experiment with numerous exercises to strengthen my muscles but also to relax . But I know that relaxation helps relieve migraines. The exercises have the advantage of adapting to the pace of the person doing them and the difficulty increases gradually. Especially since there are no contraindications to practicing Pilates when you have a migraine, so I went for it! The migraines were less frequent but no less painful, however, this was a great benefit for me.

Woman doing pilates on a mat

Swimming pool lessons

My list contains swimming, unfortunately for me when the water is wet it's complicated. In addition to the migraine, I suffer from swimsuit syndrome... you understand... anyway, I kept it in my list, but at the bottom. I didn't see myself, under the gaze of the other people in the pool, swimming for lengths and lengths. And then, I discovered aquagym. This was my swimsuit revolution. I practiced it for a full year. Yet the water is wet you might say?! Eh yes. But the classes were fun, and I didn't feel like I was trying so hard. It was a mistake... the aches were there to remind me of it every week. But I loved it. Then I stopped simply because the reception slot changed and no longer fit my schedule. During that year, my migraines were still as painful, but less lasting. Instead of lasting 5 days, they only lasted 3 or 4... It's always a day saved!

Walking/Nordic walking

I don't deny it, I'm far from being a great sportswoman. You'll never see me running around the lake near my house for an hour. Anyway, gravity prevents me! So, I opted for walking. So I move forward at a steady pace, forcing my heart to increase its activity and thus produce the desired effect. I can now walk for an hour without feeling any difficulty. A real joy. I took the opportunity to visit the lake near my home and let the brave runners pass me! The beneficial effects of this activity were quickly felt. Going out, getting some fresh air and walking do a lot of good, and above all regularity helps relieve migraines. Indeed, in my case, walking regularly (about once or twice a week for a maximum of an hour) forces the body to adapt. Physical activity now allows me to reduce the intensity of the pain, but not the duration.

Play sports, do what you love to relieve migraine

Consult your doctor before starting any sport. Medical advice will reassure you and save you from disappointments. When you have found the sport that you like and suits you, go for it and motivate yourself every day to practice it. You know your body and how it works so take your time. Avoid brutal efforts that can trigger a migraine. At the 2001 IHS congress in New York, the results of a Portuguese study conducted on 21 women with migraine who underwent the Wingate test were presented. The Wingate test is an exercise test in which intensity is rapidly increased to the point where participants can no longer exert themselves. The women reached their limits in 30 seconds. Among the women who had never had a migraine, none had a migraine after the stress test, but of the 21 women with a history of migraine, 11 had an attack. The other 10 headache-prone women who did not experience post-exercise migraines may not have gotten enough exercise; their blood samples had lower levels of lactic acid, a chemical waste created in muscles by strenuous exercise 1 . Treat yourself and do sports to relieve your migraines... 1. Ira DREYFUSS - Migraine Study Implicates Exercise - Aug. 5, 2001

Plus d'articles

Retours au blog

Vous avez encore plein d'articles à découvrir !