A study in Neurology suggests that yoga could reduce frequency, duration, and pain from migraine.
It supports past research trusted source showing that yoga are often effective in alleviating migraine.
apart from stress reduction, there might be other effects from doing yoga that alleviate migraine symptoms.

Spending time on a yoga mat could do wonders for people with migraine. those that added yoga to their routine found it provided better relief than medication alone.

A study in Neurology suggests that yoga could reduce frequency, duration, and pain from migraine. It supports past research trusted source showing that yoga are often effective in alleviating migraine.

Only about half the people that take medication for migraine experience relief, noted Dr. Rohit Bhatia, lead author from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

Evaluating yoga as a migraine treatment

Bhatia evaluated 114 people between the ages of 18 and 50. all of them had episodic migraine, which is defined as having 4 to 14 headaches per month. The people were randomly assigned into two groups: those only on medication and people on medication who also practiced yoga.

Both groups got appropriate medications and counseling on lifestyle changes like getting enough sleep, exercise, and eating well.

The yoga group underwent a 1-hour yoga practice 3 days every week for 1 month. The practice included breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga postures. After the primary month, they practiced yoga reception 5 days every week for a further 2 months.

Participants wrote down all migraine information, including the duration of the episode, severity, and drugs taken.

While everyone saw improvements, the benefit was higher in those that added yoga. That group began with a mean of 9.1 headaches per month and ended the 3-month study period with 4.7 headaches per month — a 48 percent reduction. The medication-only group began the study reporting 7.7 headaches per month and reported 6.8 per month at the top of the study period. They saw a 12 percent decrease.

After 3 months, the typical number of pills taken by those within the yoga group went down 47 percent. the typical amount of pills taken within the medication-only group decreased by about 12 percent during an equivalent time.

“Our results show that yoga can reduce not just the pain, but also the treatment cost of migraines,” Bhatia said during a statement. “That are often a true game-changer, especially for people that struggle to afford their medication. Medications are usually prescribed first, and a few are often expensive.”

Study limitations

Bhatia said during a statement that more research is required to ascertain if the advantages of doing yoga would last for a extended period. Also, the knowledge was self-reported, and data might not be consistent, Bhatia added. He couldn’t be reached for comment.

It is difficult to draw much of a conclusion from a study designed this manner , noted Dr. Amy Gelfand, director of pediatric headache at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.

“Just like pharmacologic treatments must have a placebo-control for comparison, behavioral studies got to have an attention-control group for comparison,” she said. for instance , the group that didn’t receive yoga instruction should have had an interaction with a provider for an equivalent duration.

“Without such an impact group, it’s difficult to conclude whether the observed effect was actually from yoga, or from the nonspecific advantage of interacting with a caring and attentive person during those hours,” she said.

Dr. Teshamae S. Monteith, chief of the headache division at the University of Miami Miller School of drugs , said that well-designed studies are lacking when it involves exploring yoga’s effects on patients with migraine.

“We also don’t know what medications were used both acutely or preventively. Ideally, preventive medications should be stable for two months before the randomization,” she added.

Yoga as medicine

Though there are questions on its efficacy, there’s some evidence for relaxation therapy as a nonpharmacological treatment for migraine, Monteith told Healthline. She referenced a 2007 studyTrusted Source in Headache that found positive benefits of yoga to treat migraine without aura.

Aside from stress reduction, there might be other effects from doing yoga that alleviate migraine symptoms.

“Yoga may alter the autonomic systema nervosum and thus the interconnections with the trigeminal system ,” Monteith explained. “Imaging studies have also shown a positive effect of yoga on the visceral brain , pain matrix, and therefore the brain networks including the default mode network. Yoga could also be also helpful for variety of things that are related to migraine, like sleep, physical function, and quality of life.”

Although this is often alittle and preliminary study, a behavioral interventional program including relaxation techniques, yoga, and deep breathing are often considered for patients with migraine, Monteith said. It’s not yet known, however, if severe migraine attacks or a history of multiple preventive medications may enjoy yoga.

Taking migraine to the mat

Dr. Mia Minen, a headache specialist at NYU Langone Health and professor of neurology and population health at NYU Grossman School of drugs , told Healthline that she’d wish to see people in Western countries studied. That’s where yoga isn’t a standard practice.

“This would further the generalizability of the results,” she added.

Doctors looking to recommend yoga should confirm that patients practice breathing, meditation, and postures.

Patients with migraine who used mindfulness-based stress reduction during a 2014 study trusted source also experienced relief from migraine symptoms. The therapy integrates mindfulness meditation and yoga.

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