caret icon Back to all discussions

Intensive exercise as a trigger


I've suffered from migraines for nearly 40 years and whenever I participate in intensive exercise which can be weight training, boxercise, tennis etc 90% of the time I will get a migraine during or shortly after the exercise.

This is really irritating as I'm aware of the risk and to prevent it I often take it easy and go at 50% pace and effort which is hard as I am naturally competitive..

Does anyone else have the same trigger? How do you manage/prevent migraines from happening during or after training hard? All I try to do is make sure I'm hydrated before and during the exercise and make sure I've eaten enough prior as well. This does not seem to work though so any advice much appreciated!


  1. Hi - hoping you are doing fairly well today, and exercise hasn't kicked in a migraine. Here is a link with articles and personal experiences relating to exercise-induced migraines from working out. Hope it helps. Best of health and wellness ~ Rebecca (CCM & Advc)

    1. This must be so frustrating especially when you do have a competitive nature. Please know you are not alone in this! I can personally relate in that exercise is a huge trigger for me as well. I would love to be able to do more, but I know what the consequences will likely be. Sometimes even a simple power walk can increase the severity of pain and other related symptoms for me. It's tough because I like exercising and high intensity type training like you. Unfortunately, I am in the same boat as you in that I haven't found a way to combat this from happening. At this point the only thing I really can do is to not do this type of exercise which is quite discouraging. I wish I had some good advice for you but I'm still searching for answers myself! I hope that you do find a way to prevent/manage migraine attacks from happening after exercise. I am sending positive and healing vibes your way.
      In Solidarity
      -Kim (Team Member)

      1. I have the same trigger. Only when I do a lot of cardio and when I workout legs, I get migraines with Aura. The Aura comes first for 20 minutes approximately and then the debilitating pain. Light, smell, and noise sensitivity. I went to a Neurologist and she gave me a diet with basically no processed food and no preservatives. No soy sauce, no sweeteners, no chocolate, no tomato. It worked for a while, but it is very hard to avoid all this food. She also prescribed Naproxen and Sumatripan. If I take both right after I start seeing the aura, sometimes I avoid the pain and the sensitivity. Definitely consult with your doctor before changing your diet or starting any medication. These episodes are annoying and scary. They are also very hard to explain to people that didn't experience them. But we can relate to the fear every time we start working out. Hope this helps and all the best!

        1. This is most helpful and we are grateful to you for sharing your well-earned wisdom so that we may learn from you. You're right to point out that these kinds of diet changes, while most times a good idea, are easier said than done! We must give ourselves some grace when adjusting to them. Glad you've found a combination of medications that are working to offset the major attacks that are triggered by working out. And yes, very tricky to help others - especially those who have never experienced migraine- understand this complex neurological disease is not just a headache! Again, great post! Thanks for taking the time! Warmly- Holly team.

      or create an account to reply.