caret icon Back to all discussions

Exertional Migraines

I have had chronic migraines for the past 12 years. I am now 42 and before 30 years old did not suffer from any migraines. I now take Aimovig, which has reduced the amount of migraines per month extensively. The biggest trigger/issue I still have is exertion leading to migraines. Every time I work out too hard or long (connected to my heart rate I believe) I get "over-heated" and a migraine ensues. This of course makes staying in shape difficult. Exertion is the only trigger I have that is completely black and white....meaning exertion leads to migraine....every time. I'm curious if others have thoughts, stories or medications that might be working for them specifically for exertion migraines. Relief would bring so much benefit to my daily life and of course would be good for staying healthy too. Thank you all!

  1. ,
    Thank you for sharing your journey with us. You're not alone in experiencing this. Having said that, it must be very frustrating. I'm sure others will be along shortly to share their stories. In the meantime let me share this information with you I hope helps; https://migraine.com/search?s=exercise%20induced.
    Will you let me know what you think? Wishing you a low pain day, Nancy Harris Bonk, Patient Leader/Moderator Migraine.com Team

    1. Unfortunately I do not have a clean solution. I am still experimenting with Sumatriptan, Aimovig, Nurtec, etc. Just sharing - if I have the footings of a migraine lurking and I go on my run, it typically kicks in to a full migraine within an hour or two. Additionally, when I go to Colorado to ski, I pretty much have a migraine every day that I have to knock back with Sumatriptan. I assuming it is the change in blood flow during intense exercise that kicks it in as it does not happen if I go light in my run or bike. And I am also assuming, at least in my case, the change in altitude when I ski CO also kicks it in. I have not examined the physiology of that, but I'm sure there is an obvious reason. Changes in barometric pressure seem to also have causal links, but not especially apparent for me. My advice would be very, very systematically and very, very gradually increase your exercise regiment with the hope that your body will adjust over time.

      or create an account to reply.