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Intense Exercise as a treatment?

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#1 Mon, 14/06/2021 - 19:41
Last seen: 7 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 14/06/2021 - 18:17

Intense Exercise as a treatment?

I've been a sufferer of cluster headaches for about 30 years now, and during that time I've tried many ways of trying to deal with them -hiding away in a dark room curled in a ball in my bed, rocking back and forth, deperately massaging my head, trying to flatten the bulging vein in my temple with my fingers, ice, even drinking my way through it (before I worked out that alcohol was a trigger...doh!).

Then around 15 years ago, I discovered that exercise seemed to help alleviate them...this was an absolute game-changer for me.

These days, when I feel a headache coming on, or even if I'm fully in the midst of one, I can usually get rid of it within 10 mins or so, by performing intense physical exercise.
Usually, I'll do things like burpies, squat jumps, pushups, or if I'm able to go outside then maybe shuttle runs (sprinting back and forth).
I imagine though, that the important bit is to get your heart rate up, and they type of exercise that suits will probably depend on your level of fitness.

Is this something that works for anyone else?

I know triggers and effective treatments are different for different people, but maybe it's worth trying for some of you out there?

I'd love to know if this helps anyone out there, or if there's been any research in this area?

Thu, 05/01/2023 - 17:03
Last seen: 3 weeks 6 days ago
Joined: 05/01/2023 - 16:51

Hi Mark,

as it happens I do exactly the same. My heads start in dec/jan and last 6-7 weeks. I'll get 2-3 heads per night starting at 2am. Been tracking them for the past  18year and tried everything under the sun to help.

by chance I jumped on the rowing machine to help regulate my breathing a few years ago and found it help reduce the  pain/impact. So now much like you I do HIIT in the middle of the night whilst they happen.

im a bit of data nerd so I track body temp/heart rates/O2 levels and found that my O2 rockets and the only conclusion I have it's that it's similar to those using O2 to help manage the symptoms.

happy to swap note of you want to connect.


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