senior man outside exercising with a groupResearch suggests that getting regular, moderate exercise can reduce the frequency of migraines. The only problem is that for many people exercise also serves as a migraine trigger. But it doesn’t have to. If you approach exercise in the right way, you can eliminate most of the factors that serve to trigger your migraines and related types of headaches.

How to Reduce Your Risk of Exercise Headaches

If you approach your routine properly, you can reduce the risk of exercise-related headaches, including migraines. Here are a few ways to make sure you’re getting the benefits out of exercise, without putting yourself at too much risk for a headache.

  • Warm up: Except for our dedicated exercise time, many of us lead a pretty inactive life. If you jump suddenly into a high level of activity, this could lead to a headache, including a migraine.
  • Hydrate: Dehydration is a common cause of headaches, including migraines. If you want to avoid headaches, always make sure you’re hydrating in a way appropriate to your exercise level and environment.
  • Eat right: Many people looking to lose weight will start a diet and exercise program at the same time. This can be hard on your body. Make sure you’re feeding your exercise needs so you don’t end up with low blood sugar, which can lead to headaches.
  • Be a regular: Exertional headaches and migraines are more common if you’re not exercising according to a strict schedule. Set up a regular routine and stick to it.
  • Know your limits: If you push yourself too hard, you’re going to get an exertional headache. This can also act as a migraine trigger.
    These tips will help reduce the risk that you will develop headaches because of exercising.

TMJ and Exercise Headaches

If you’re still developing headaches as a result of exercise, there may be another cause: TMJ. During exercise, your jaw plays an important role. It may seem crazy, but whenever you’re trying to keep your balance or maximize your strength, your jaw closes to anchor important muscles in the head and neck.

If your jaw doesn’t come together properly, these muscles may have to work harder than they should, which can lead to tension headaches. Other times, your jaw may suffer repeated concussive force because it doesn’t fit together securely. These repeated impacts can trigger headaches. Other times, your jaw may put pressure on a branch of the trigeminal nerve, which plays an important role in starting migraines.

Fortunately, TMJ treatment can help reduce or eliminate exercise headaches. To learn more, please call (803) 781-9090 for an appointment with a Columbia, SC TMJ dentist at Smile Columbia Dentistry.