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New Message Board Archives >> 2005 Cluster Headache Specific Posts >> Excercise as an abortive
(Message started by: MAugust on Dec 5th, 2005, 9:16am)

Title: Excercise as an abortive
Post by MAugust on Dec 5th, 2005, 9:16am
I have been a cluster patient for over 20 years now.  I get attacks every 20-24 months for about 6-8 weeks.  I used to take a variety of painkillers, none of which did anything for the headaches.

Back during my 2001 attack, I read that for some people, strenuous physical excercise can abort attacks.  I tried it and it worked.  In fact, it works every time, without fail.  I have not taken painkillers for clusters since.

What happens is that when I feel an attack coming on, I go outside and run/jog for about 0.25 mile and then start walking.  The pain subsides within about 15 minutes or less in most cases.  Sometimes during a particularly severe attack, it may take longer, but that usually only happens once or twice during the 6-8 week period.

I realize that this may not work for everyone, but I am curious to hear from those for whom this does work.  Certainly, I can't be the only one!

So, if you are able to abort your cluster attacks using this method, please let me hear from you.

Title: Re: Excercise as an abortive
Post by BobG on Dec 5th, 2005, 9:30am
I have never tried that method but like you said there have been others here that have had success with it.

Glad to hear that it works for you and you don't need to load up on meds.

Title: Re: Excercise as an abortive
Post by maffumatt on Dec 5th, 2005, 2:14pm
It does the opposite for me, the harder I work the worse the pain is.

Title: Re: Excercise as an abortive
Post by Bob P on Dec 5th, 2005, 3:54pm
Works for me.  I do squats till my legs burn then sit down and breath deeply.  Attack gone within 10 minutes.

Title: Re: Excercise as an abortive
Post by seasonalboomer on Dec 5th, 2005, 4:13pm

on 12/05/05 at 09:16:06, MAugust wrote:
.....I used to take a variety of painkillers, none of which did anything for the headaches.....

Back during my 2001 attack, I read that for some people, strenuous physical excercise can abort attacks. I tried it and it worked. In fact, it works every time, without fail. I have not taken painkillers for clusters since.


Several people have success with cardio exercise. I'm another opposite -- exercise for me, when in cycle, isn't good at all.

What you will find to be more significant is that just about everyone here will tell you that conventioal painkillers do nothing for their headaches.

If you like exercise, you might really love O2. All the benefits without the work.... And it is a little more flexible for middle of the night hits when going out for a jog in some areas isn't so safe.

Scott

Title: Re: Excercise as an abortive
Post by zwibbs/Scott on Dec 5th, 2005, 4:58pm
Two years ago I was on a strenuous exercise program, and the Cycle I was in went away almost immediately. I had a real bell-ringer this past friday night and made myself very busy on saturday AND the results were great. Keeping my fingers crossed, but always fearful the end is not quite here yet. Just have to think positive--at all times.

Title: Re: Excercise as an abortive
Post by marlinsfan on Dec 5th, 2005, 5:20pm
Excercise is a trigger for me when in cycle... We are all different. If it works for you, feel good in knowing you found something to abort with which also improves your health!

Title: Re: Excercise as an abortive
Post by Jasmyn on Dec 5th, 2005, 6:54pm
I used to be a dancer and had my own dance studio but when I were in cycle I couldn't even teach because as soon as I got my heart rate up, I got hit.

Like most have said here, it works for some and for others not but I'm glad you found a solution that works for you.

Now that makes me wonder if blood pressure plays a role about who gets hit during exercise and who doesn't?

Ueli, this question will need some professional expert answer, please.

Title: Re: Excercise as an abortive
Post by unsolved1 on Dec 5th, 2005, 7:05pm
I couldn't image trying to run down the road with a KIP 8 ! Thank god Imitrex works within 15 minutes  ;)



Glad it works for some of you

PF WIshes
UNsolved

Title: Re: Excercise as an abortive
Post by MJ on Dec 5th, 2005, 7:46pm

Excersise is my first line of defense at the onset of an attack.
Pushups are my thing. At the start of a cycle I may be able to do 30 or so. By the end of a cycle I am up to 3 and 400 per hit. Its the only benefit of CH I ever found.

The excersise occasionally but seldom actually aborts a hit  It is more of a meditative concentration thing. I do think it makes it easier when the pain is extreme. I continue the regimen untill the pain peaks or my arms give out. Then I pace just like you walk. Its how I keep control I guess.

Title: Re: Excercise as an abortive
Post by Spike_Inmyeye on Dec 6th, 2005, 1:50am
You must look like Schwartznegger by now!

Title: Re: Excercise as an abortive
Post by MAugust on Dec 6th, 2005, 7:51am
[quote If you like exercise, you might really love O2. All the benefits without the work.... And it is a little more flexible for middle of the night hits when going out for a jog in some areas isn't so safe.

Scott
[/quote]

I hear you Scott, but isn't the 02 expensive?  Even if it isn't, running is free.  I am fortunate enough to live on 8 acres and my driveway is about 1/10th of a mile long, so running space is abundant.  Besides, I've been told that this method is more about adrenaline and/or endorphin production than 02 ingestion.

A couple of weeks ago when I was out running in the south field, I saw a meteor explode.  To me, that was like a reward for putting up with the Beast.  I wouldn't get to see all the beautiful stars and planets if I didn't run.

Title: Re: Excercise as an abortive
Post by sandie99 on Dec 6th, 2005, 8:15am
Excercise doesn't work with me, either. Unfourtunately. I do stretch, do pilates daily and yoga sometimes.

Sanna

Title: Re: Excercise as an abortive
Post by lionsound on Dec 6th, 2005, 2:09pm
I USED to abort by sprinting on the treadmill in the winter. Cold air/freah air/ cardio/ better than crying and pacing.

Now at nine mos preggo that would surely be a sight to see....LOL!!! ....not to mention physically impossible.

Maybe I'll switch to shooting hoops. ;)

Title: Re: Excercise as an abortive
Post by Dave on Dec 7th, 2005, 12:20pm
Exercise always works as an abortive for me.  It is the only 100% reliable method.  

The problem is that depending upon the severity of the attack, it could come back.  For me, sometimes it goes away for the night, but sometimes it could be back an hour or two later.

I've had a few nights where I would abort with exercise, but it would come right back every half hour.  Might as well just fall asleep on the weight bench at that point!

For these situations, oral triptans are useful, but the headache would come back when the triptan wears off.

Title: Re: Excercise as an abortive
Post by MAugust on Dec 7th, 2005, 1:03pm
Yes, they do come back.  During the peak of activity, the attacks will come back every two hours, beginning about one hour after I fall asleep.  I just keep getting up and running, then go back to bed for two hours.  the advantage of this over meds is that you can keep doing it whereas the meds are not supposed to be repeated inside of a two-hour time frame.

Title: Re: Excercise as an abortive
Post by Dave on Dec 20th, 2005, 9:01pm
An oral triptan like Zomig should hold off the headaches for a good 8-12 hours.  The down side is that it takes a half hour to work... but that's where the abortive exercise comes in... a one, two punch.

The frequency at which the headaches come back after exercise can vary depending on the cycle and the night.  Coming back every two hours like you say may be typical, but on a bad night they can come back every half hour, and on a good night, a few bench presses may knock it out for the night.

Good luck.

Title: Re: Excercise as an abortive
Post by MAugust on Dec 21st, 2005, 7:27am
Thanks to everyone for the replies.  It's good to know others are able to use excercise instead of meds.

I am pretty much out of cycle now.  I have only had two mild attacks in the last week.  This is the first cycle where I have gone completely without meds.

It's nice to be able to enjoy Christmas beers for the holidays without the fear of triggering an attack.

See you all in a couple of years!

Title: Re: Excercise as an abortive
Post by Wendy on Dec 21st, 2005, 10:40am
Excerise is an abortive for me ONLY with hard shadows or mild hits, same with cold air. But when in a bad cycle it makes it worse.  

Title: Re: Excercise as an abortive
Post by seasonalboomer on Dec 21st, 2005, 11:02am

on 12/21/05 at 07:27:37, MAugust wrote:
Thanks to everyone for the replies. It's good to know others are able to use excercise instead of meds.

I am pretty much out of cycle now. I have only had two mild attacks in the last week. This is the first cycle where I have gone completely without meds.

It's nice to be able to enjoy Christmas beers for the holidays without the fear of triggering an attack.

See you all in a couple of years!



See you all in a couple of years? I hope you mean that you're hoping to not get "hit" again for a couple years but will stop in every once in awhile to share any successes you feel you've achieved in treating and avoiding CH's. If you found the feedback you got when you visited here to at all supportive I can only request that you try to offer similar support to others that may be arriving daily.

Scott

Title: Re: Excercise as an abortive
Post by MAugust on Dec 21st, 2005, 12:14pm
No Scott, that's not what I meant.

What I meant was that I won't have any CH's until or around Nov., 2007.  That being the case, I won't have any experiences to share for two years.  I also meant that since I, and people like me who don't use drugs to battle CH's, are in the minority, I don't feel like there is anything for me to contribute to the discussion, other than what I have already done.  I feel that by asking for replies from others who use exercise to abort CH attacks, I have highlighted this method and hopefully others will give it a try if they haven't already.

Title: Re: Excercise as an abortive
Post by seasonalboomer on Dec 21st, 2005, 12:51pm

on 12/21/05 at 12:14:28, MAugust wrote:
No Scott, that's not what I meant.

What I meant was that I won't have any CH's until or around Nov., 2007. That being the case, I won't have any experiences to share for two years. I also meant that since I, and people like me who don't use drugs to battle CH's, are in the minority, I don't feel like there is anything for me to contribute to the discussion, other than what I have already done. I feel that by asking for replies from others who use exercise to abort CH attacks, I have highlighted this method and hopefully others will give it a try if they haven't already.


Your contributions can be as important as you want them to be. There are many people like you that prefer to find methods other than pharmaceuticals to control their CH. They come here asking for help. Your contribution can be helpful to these souls seeking help and understanding. So, come when you can and help where you see those in need. Your method, while not universally applicable seems to work for many people, and you might just help someone who falls into the "exercise works" category.

scott

Title: Re: Excercise as an abortive
Post by Dave on Dec 21st, 2005, 8:23pm
Exercise really does work wonders sometimes for a lot of people.  Especially because there are so many skeptics out there, we need to keep bringing this up as a topic so that anyone who might benefit gives it a shot.

My personal technique is using weight lifting.  And it doesn't matter what muscle group or type of lift.  I do ten lifts, the ten deep breaths, then ten more lifts, ten deep breaths, and so on.  I can feel the effect in 3-5 minutes.

Title: Re: Excercise as an abortive
Post by cazman on Dec 22nd, 2005, 10:39pm
ok heres a thought if heat and lack of movment cause attackes as ive read then running naked in the winter or on a cool night might be the answer ? yes? no?

Title: Re: Excercise as an abortive
Post by Bob P on Dec 23rd, 2005, 7:03am
MAugust,

Since you made it through this cycle unmedicated, do you think it made a difference in the length of the cycle?  Some have said in the past that they think the cycles are shorter unmedicated.

Title: Re: Excercise as an abortive
Post by chewy on Dec 23rd, 2005, 1:29pm

Quote:
I couldn't image trying to run down the road with a KIP 8 !


Not without stopping to barehandedly demolish a 10 wheel dump trunk along the way.

Title: Re: Excercise as an abortive
Post by MAugust on Dec 29th, 2005, 7:36am

on 12/23/05 at 07:03:52, Bob P wrote:
MAugust,

Since you made it through this cycle unmedicated, do you think it made a difference in the length of the cycle? Some have said in the past that they think the cycles are shorter unmedicated.


That's an interesting question Bob.  I never thought about it until you menioned it, but it just so happens that this was one of the shortest cycles I have had in recent memory.  The cycle usually goes for six to eight weeks, but this one was pretty much done in four or five weeks.  I suppose it could be that the absence of meds shortened the cycle.

By the way, I had some shadow pain over the Xmas weekend, but only once or twice.  Still no full blown attacks for about three weeks now.



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