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Abstract Details

Exercised Brain in Pain: Quantification of Exercise in Migraine Patients Seen at a Large Tertiary Headache Center
Headache Posters (7:00 AM-5:00 PM)

Scientific evidence has shown that exercise can be an effective migraine prophylaxis in some patients. This study aims to quantify the number of patients referred to our headache clinic who achieved the minimum recommended amount of exercise per week, evaluate if low levels of exercise was associated with an increased risk of chronification and assess exercise in migraine patients as it relates to other common comorbidities.

Quantify the amount of exercise in patients diagnosed with migraine in a tertiary headache clinic at the University of Washington.  Analyze migraine characteristics and comorbidities as they relate to exercise.

All new patients referred to our headache clinic complete a detailed patient intake questionnaire.  This questionnaire asks about amount of exercise per week, headache characteristics, sleep, depression, anxiety, and stress. Data are analyzed by headache providers who diagnose patients using the ICHD-3 criteria.  

In our analysis, n=4879 unique patients were diagnosed with migraine. 74.7% (n=3644) with chronic, and 25.3% (n=1235) with episodic migraine.  Exercise related questions were completed by 95% (n=4647) of patients. 27% (n=1270) of those who exercised reported achieving 150+ minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise weekly, the minimum level recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Our analysis suggest that exercise level below the recommended level by WHO is correlated with an increased rate of depression, anxiety, and sleep problems.

We identified that most patients with a migraine diagnosis don't get the minimum level of exercise recommended by the WHO. For patients achieving 150 minutes or more of moderate exercise per week, rates of depression, anxiety, and sleep problems are lower. We recommend raising awareness that exercise can have a significant impact on the headache itself, and on associated migraine comorbidities. Counseling patients with migraine on recommended exercise levels should be considered by any medical provider.



Mason Daniel Dyess, DO (Ochsner Medical Center- Kenner)
Dr. Dyess has nothing to disclose.
Ami Zarrillo Cuneo, MD (University of Washington) Dr. Cuneo has nothing to disclose.
Arnav Narula An immediate family member of Arnav Narula has received personal compensation for serving as an employee of MAQ Software.
Gabriella O'Fallon Ms. O'Fallon has nothing to disclose.
Helen C. Haley Miss Haley has nothing to disclose.
Daniel Krashin, MD (Seattle VA) Dr. Krashin has nothing to disclose.
Sau Mui Chan-Goh Sau Mui Chan-Goh has nothing to disclose.
Marcel Budica Marcel Budica has nothing to disclose.
Silvie Belaskova Silvie Belaskova has nothing to disclose.
Natalia Murinova, MD, FAAN (University Of Washington) Dr. Murinova has nothing to disclose.