Diving reduces headache

Diving reduces headache by 30 percent

Italian scientists prove that diving can reduce headache by 30 percent

Despite speculation that water pressure and other factors related to scuba diving may cause a headache. Professional divers, however, have a lower headache level than the average non-diver. Prominent Italian scientists confirmed the fact that scuba diving reduces headaches.

They published their study in the magazine “Headache“. The study was conducted between 201 professional divers of all types and a control group of healthy non-divers. 

The result showed that divers were 30 percent less prone to headache compared to the control group. Although divers sometimes experienced headaches, they had it less than others on a monthly average. 

Study about headache and scuba divers

The study was conducted on a relatively small number of respondents. But the study’s lead author, Dr. Roberto Di Fabio, a neurologist, believes it may help everyone to understand how professional diving affects human health. Check our story about how scuba diving affects human health here

Di Fabio, like many others, confirms the fact that divers are otherwise healthy, and thus have less headache. But according to his words, diving offers some additional protection from everyone’s unwanted headaches. “Exercise is useful because it makes our brain less sensitive to stress. And thus avoids stimulus to trigger a migraine. Therefore, diving, like other aerobic sports, should in principle help mitigate migraine attacks, ‚ÄĚsays Di Fabio.

Can scuba diving reduce headaches?

Doctors were wondering if physical and mental stress during the dive could trigger headaches. Or increase the incidence of pain attacks in people with migraines. Di Fabi’s crew had 201 divers from the Italian Fire and Rescue Service. On the other hand, were healthy men of the same age who never dived. Both groups underwent neurological tests. After that, a one-year follow-up of their migraines began and all details of their migraines experience were recorded. During that time, 22 percent of the control group had headaches. While in a divers group the figure was 16 percent. As for migraines, 8.5 percent had it in the control group. And the diving group had 4.5 percent. 10% of divers and 23.5% of the control group people had intense headaches during that period.

Headache and recreational divers

Di Fabio claims that diving reduces headache but he also said that these results cannot be generalized to the wider population. Which also includes recreational divers. “Recreational divers are harder to test because their number of dives is harder to record,” the doctor said. Also, recreational divers could have some other variables that may affect the results. 

“Emotional stress associated with diving is more common in recreational divers than in professionals,” said Dr. Herbert Newton. He is a professor of neurology and neurosurgery at Ohio State University Medical Center. Who is also a medical diving consultant.

Diving reduces headache

What to do if you feel a headache while diving?

Regardless of the level of experience, Newton says divers who feel a headache in the water should immediately stop the dive. “If you are underwater and have symptoms of headache or migraines. It would be safer to break the dive and try to resolve those symptoms on board or on land,” Newton says.

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