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Workout Your Headache

Migraine sufferers...head for the gym! According to a new study in Headache (2002;42:845-54) exercise and relaxation therapies are more effective than traditional migraine remedies. Migraine disorder is highly prevalent in the U.S. and is characterized by severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Discovering adequate and affordable treatment is imperative when considering there is an estimated 30 million sufferers in this country and the significant disability associated with migraines.

Conventional treatment has often been problematic for individuals with cardiovascular disease. Some medications are designed to restrict blood flow to the head which may have a detrimental effect on blood vessels. Many of the prescription and non prescription drug therapies create dependency and are contraindicated for pregnant and breast feeding woman. Unfortunately, some individuals experience "medication overuse headaches" due to frequent and long term use, therefore hindering them from seeking further medical care for this disorder.

Participants in the current study were either given conventional treatment which included medications, referrals to other providers, or no treatment at all, or they were prescribed comprehensive treatment that included drug therapies as needed, exercise, two massage sessions and a lecture on diet. At the end of the six week study period, participants were evaluated for pain and impairment, quality of life, and medication usage. The results are in...The group receiving the comprehensive treatment showed marked decrease in pain frequency, intensity, and duration. The other group reported a slight increase in these same areas. Likewise, quality of life and ability to function was improved over 35% with those engaged in the comprehensive program, while their counterparts experienced a reduction in these areas.

A review of the research conducted over the past thirty years indicates that behavioral therapies are effective treatment for migraine disorder. Additionally, they reveal that drug therapy alone is not the answer. This current study shows that comprehensive measures are a preferred approach for migraine treatment. Perhaps the most astounding finding in this study...participants claimed that the most effective component of their treatment was exercise!


Top Ten Exercises for Toning the Upper Arms

When training the arms, it is important to take into consideration the anatomy of the upper arms. The upper arm is divided into two muscle groups, the biceps and the triceps. The biceps is the muscle group, which from an anatomical perspective, is the muscle anterior, or to the front of, the upper arm. The triceps is the muscle group in the back of the arm, or posterior anatomically. The term biceps indicates that the muscle has two muscular heads as opposed to the tricep which has three muscular heads. As a result, the triceps makes up the majority of the upper arm. So what are the top ten exercises to tone the upper arms???

TRICEPS 1.) Tricep Pressdown-the tricep pressdown is a great exercise to tone the triceps. Targets most of the tricep with an increased emphasis on the long tricep head. 2.) Lying tricep extensions (e.z. bar)-great for targeting most of the tricep, especially the medial head of the tricep. 3) Dumbell kickbacks-when performed correctly really isolates the triceps well. 4.) Close grip bench press-great exercise to increase overall strength of the tricep. 5.) Overhead tricep extension-really targets the long head, and helps to tone the tricep.

BICEPS 1.) Standing barbell curls-the king of bicep exercises. Great for overall strength and excellent for creating an overload on the biceps. 2.) Incline dumbell curls-great for isolating the biceps and the incline angle allows for an increase in the overload on the biceps. 3.) Concentration curls-excellent isolation exercise that allows for a great controlled contraction of the biceps. 4.) Preacher curls-helps to improve the length and the definition of the bicep. 5.) Hammer curls-works to improve the length of the bicep, and helps strengthen the forearms. Ask your trainer about these great exercises for the upper arms....


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