Exercise for low flow AVMs?

Hi. I’m new here. I thought I’d sign up as a means of having a support group. Anyways, I was wondering if anyone knows of any exercises I could do that wouldn’t cause swelling. I’m trying to get in shape. Also, to improve my mental health. I have facial AVMs and one behind my left eye that are low flow and aren’t at high risk of rupture. Anytime I try exercise, however, they swell and hurt the next day. If anyone has suggestions for an exercise you can do without the consequences of swelling later, I would really appreciate a reply!


Hi there Georgia,

Welcome to this site! People here are honstly wonderful and a great support, a great place to look through relevent posts too!

I have a brain AVM so I know its a little differant but for me when I tried going to the gym for a jog I kept getting a migraine or flashing lights afterwards. My neurosurgeon has recommended light excersize and no heavy weights. I have put on a fair bit of weight due to too many days in with migraines or exhaustion (from womans UK size 8 to size 10/12) and I too want to excersize to help lose weight to regain some confidence and improve general fitness.

When I am feeling up to it, I make a point to spend the day out and about with lots of walking involved and try to make this part of my social time too. Even if walking isnt the most impressive excersize, it helps boost mood and does help health!

I have been struggling with a dip in energy levels recently, but I will be taking up gym again and I informed the gym staff of my AVM and they said they are happy for me to join the less intense classes with adaptations made (so if people are doing an excersize for 2 minutes I can do 1 minute) - flexi stretch class, body conditioning, zumba ect.

Taking up yoga and pilates could be a good bet too? Obviously again telling your instructer about your AVM so they can keep an eye on you and let you take it easier :slight_smile:

Also even if you cant do loads of excersize, one thing you can control is your diet, having lots of fresh veggies and fruits and water can help you feel better and be healthier aswell. I am not really to talk though, struggling with resisting comfort food when I have super low energy level days in. So far switched to no-fat milk, sweetener instead of sugar and cutting down meal portion sizes - now got to resist inbetween snacks :woman_facepalming:

Best wishes, Corrine :smiley:

Thank you! I have been thinking of taking up yoga. Sounds less stressful than anything! I would take my dog for walks more often but she gets so excited, our walks turn into sprinting matches! I totally understand having migraines, too. I don’t have any in my brain (lucky, there) but the one behind my eye can lead to debilitating pain. I also have something called chiari malformation and it can cause headaches if I so much as move my head the wrong way!:confounded:

1 Like

Try to experiment with differant classes and see what works well for you! Yoga is definenetly great for both physical and mental well-being, if you tell your teacher in advance, they can help you try to avoid excersizes/poses that give you headaches. Might take some “trial and error” but you’ll find excersizes that dont trigger pain from your AVMs or Chiari malformation that you look forward to and enjoy :slight_smile:

I will keep you posted once I get round to joining some classes and let you know how I find them. Had my first migraine in weeks today, no more flashing lights and pains subsided now thankfully just a sore neck - so looks like today isnt the day to start but hopefully soon.

I’d say walking is a good start. Yoga would be good too. Discuss the level of exercise that is safe for you to do with your doc.

I’ve just started back into the gym and I’ve been sticking to cardiovascular work for a 60-year-old!! (I’m just over 50). Better safe than sorry.