“Open Space Yoga Hawaii” by Open Space Yoga Hawaii is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Migraine: Yoga May Be Useful Addition to Medical Therapy

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Holly Yancy, DO Headache medicine specialist Phoenix, AZ

Dr. Yancy

Holly Yancy, DO
Headache medicine specialist
Banner – University Medicine Neuroscience Institute
Phoenix, AZ

Dr. Yancy comments on the recent Neurology journal article on the potential impact of yoga on migraine. 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How might yoga reduce migraine intensity or frequency? 

Response: The authors of this trial have studied the benefits of yoga when added to medical management of episodic migraine. They expand on prior, smaller reports of the potential benefit of yoga and mindfulness to migraine patients with a well-designed study that shows yoga, as an adjunct to preventive medication, can lower the intensity, frequency and impact of migraines. Participants even used less abortive medication.

The authors propose multiple potential mechanisms of action, including an increase in parasympathetic / decrease in sympathetic nervous system activity, decreased muscle tension, and stress management.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

“Open Space Yoga Hawaii” by Open Space Yoga Hawaii is licensed under CC BY 2.0Response: Physicians know that migraine is one of the most disabling medical conditions and that it’s typically difficult to treat. Medications may be ineffective, unavailable, or cause troubling side effects.

Practicable treatments that allow patients to go about their days without missing activities, school, work, etc. are uncommon and needed. This study supports the use of yoga as an evidence-based and accessible tool for migraine patients that helps decrease migraine frequency and severity, abortive medication use, and disability, while also providing a behavioral management tool for stress reduction and relaxation.

No disclosures 


Effect of yoga as add-on therapy in migraine (CONTAIN)
A randomized clinical trial

Anand Kumar, Rohit Bhatia, Gautam Sharma, Dhanlika Dhanlika, Sreenivas Vishnubhatla, Rajesh Kumar Singh, Deepa Dash, Manjari Tripathi, M.V. Padma Srivastava
Neurology May 2020, 10.1212/WNL.0000000000009473; DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000009473




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Last Updated on May 11, 2020 by Marie Benz MD FAAD