A doctor in America recommends indoor cycling for migraine sufferers, while a Swedish study shows it improves their quality of life

There is currently no cure for migraines, but the millions of people who suffer from them could find some relief through indoor cycling, according to new research.

Dr Carolyn Bernstein, from Beth Isreal-Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, says the low impact nature of cycling indoors is a great way to alleviate the symptoms of migraines.

Dr Bernstein, a migraine sufferer herself, told Fox21 that exercise in general can help relief, but it is not a complete cure.

“There’s not one thing we can do to end the migraines for all time at this point, but there are a lot of different options that we can offer,” she said. “We can hopefully and most likely get you to a better place than where you are now.”

“When we exercise, a lot of the time we feel better afterwards. We get all kinds of neurotransmitters going in our brain that can decrease pain levels.”

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A 2008 study in Sweden put 26 migraine sufferers through a 12-week cycling regime to see how effective the exercise was.

The study monitored how the participants’ VO2 max levels improved throughout the course, as well as their quality of life.

It claimed that people who suffer from regular migraines are typically less active than those who don’t and may even avoid exercise because they feel it triggers the symptoms.

  • Tony Z

    Hot fit with the people before starting this study? They improved Vo2 in 12 weeks, were they sedentary before?

    As someone who gets migraines frequently, and also cycles 4-6 times a week, I find no difference. Would be interesting to see a study see if turbo training reduces the effect of the migraine at the time of the migraine (I haven’t experienced that yet)

  • Jono_M

    I imagine for many with migraines, issues like photosensitivity make it so outdoor rides are just not possible. At least with indoor riding on a trainer, you can do things like adjust lights and create an environment less likely to trigger other symptoms.

  • TG

    I think I am getting a head ache just thinking about going on the turbo trainer now.