Cycling Helps Migraine Sufferers Cope

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An estimated 36 million Americans suffer from migraines, but one doctor has discovered exercise is helping people cope with the pain.

Medications can alleviate migraine symptoms, but there is no cure.

“There’s not one thing we can do to end the migraines for all time at this point, but there are a lot of different options that we can offer,” said Dr. Carolyn Bernstein from Beth Isreal-Deaconess Medical Center. “We can hopefully and most likely get you to a better place than where you are now.”

Dr. Bernstein runs the headache center at Boston’s Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center.

A migraine sufferer herself, Bernstein is exploring alternative ways to manage the disease.

One thing she’s come up with is indoor cycling.

It’s a form of exercise ideal for migraine sufferers because it’s low-impact, there’s no pounding, and it’s possible cycling could have a beneficial effect on headaches.

“When we exercise, a lot of the time we feel better afterwards,” she said. “We get all kinds of neurotransmitters going in our brain that can decrease pain levels.”