Yoga for Migraines

By Editorial Staff

With medication, both over the counter and prescription, still a first-line pain-relief / treatment choice by migraine sufferers and medical doctors, any nondrug alternative to ease migraine pain should definitely be considered. According to a study in Neurology, the research journal of the American Academy of Neurology, yoga is one such alternative.

Migraine patients ages 18-50 and with a diagnosis of episodic migraine were randomly assigned to one of two groups for comparison: yoga or standard medical care. (According to the Mayo Clinic, medical treatment generally includes pain relievers and preventive medications.) Patients in the yoga group had access to medication as needed. After three months, researchers evaluated migraine status in all patients based on variables such as reduction in headache frequency and intensity.

yoga - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Yoga participants improved significantly compared to those treated with medication in four important areas:

  • Fewer headaches
  • Less-intense headaches
  • Less headache-related disability
  • Lower use of medication

So, yoga can help treat your migraines – and let's not forget about the more traditional research-supported benefits of yoga: stress relief, mental-emotional health, better sleep, improved balance, and pain relief (particularly back and yes, neck pain, the latter of which has been linked to some types of headaches). All in all, there's no reason not to give yoga a try, whether you're a migraine sufferer or just want to improve your overall health and wellness.

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