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Is Ice Good For Migraines

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Q: I had to share my own experience of getting rid of a migraine by putting freezing cold on the roof of the mouth. I woke up with a migraine. Normally, I take sumatriptan and the pain goes away within an hour or so.

My blood pressure was already high, so I thought Id try a small ice cube held on the roof of my mouth. Sumatriptan does raise my blood pressure.

Within about three minutes, the migraine was noticeably less intense. Within five minutes, I could not detect it anymore.

Since I do home monitoring of my blood pressure, I can document that my systolic and diastolic blood pressure also went down significantly within about half an hour. I dont know if that was a side effect of getting rid of the migraine, but I sure am grateful.

A: We have heard from many readers that inducing brain freeze at the start of a migraine often can stop the headache. This can be accomplished with ice cream, a milkshake, a slush drink or an iced-coffee concoction like a frappuccino.

There is some science to support this remedy. A few years ago, researchers from Harvard and NUI Galway reported that drinking ice water through a straw altered blood flow in the brain, creating a brain-freeze headache. The bodys response was to dilate blood vessels to rewarm the palate.

Q: I have restless leg syndrome and minor neuropathy in my left foot. I was taking ropinirole to treat it.

A lady in my church group suggested soap. I am a Doubting Thomasina, so I was skeptical.

How To Safely Apply Ice And Heat

You can apply ice and heat in lots of ways. Our experts generally recommend up to 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off:

  • Ice packs: Frozen peas or corn, ice cubes in a baggie or frozen gel pack. You can ice beyond 48 hours, until swelling, tenderness or inflammation are gone.
  • Ice massage: Freeze water in a Dixie cup, peel back the top, and massage the tender area until its numb. .
  • Cold masks: Place a cold mask, available at drugstores, over your eyes or lay a towel soaked in cold water over your forehead and temples.
  • Moist heat: Enjoy a bath, shower, hot tub or whirlpool using warm, not hot, water .
  • Heat wraps: Drape a heat wrap, available at drugstores, around your neck like a scarf .
  • Heating pads: To avoid burns, remove heating pads if the area becomes uncomfortably warm.

What Are Ice Pick Headaches

Ice pick headaches, known officially as primary stabbing headaches, are painful, severe headaches that come on suddenly.

Theyre often described as feeling like a stabbing blow, or a series of stabs, from an ice pick. They give no warning before striking and can be excruciating and debilitating. Theyre also brief, typically lasting only a few seconds.

Ice pick headaches can occur at any time during sleeping or waking hours. They may also happen multiple times within a day and affect different parts of your head.

Ice pick headaches are also called:

  • primary stabbing headaches

Ice pick headaches are sometimes associated with cluster or migraine headaches, but they vary from these types. Their symptoms dont include any involuntary signs like:

  • facial flushing
  • tearing

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History Of Cold Therapy

Cold therapy for migraine seems to have a longer history and broader scientific support than heat therapy. The first documented use of cold therapy for headache was in 1849. A 2013 research article in the Hawai’i Journal of Medicine and Public Health noted that cold therapy has long been the number one self-care treatment employed for migraine without aura and the second most common for migraine with aura.

A number of studies have examined the effectiveness of cold therapy in decreasing migraine pain. A 2006 study in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine asked migraine patients to don cold gel caps during two migraine attacks. Approximately 50 to 60% of patients reported increased comfort 25 minutes after putting on the cap. Eight to 11% of patients reported complete relief 42 to 50% needed pain medication to help their headaches because cold therapy alone was not enough to sufficiently diminish their pain.

Interestingly, 77% of patients who had a good response to cold therapy during their first trial of the gel cap also experienced relief the second time they used the cold gel cap to treat migraine. About 60% of the patients who did not experience relief the first time around did not find cold therapy helpful the second time either. These results suggest that cold therapy may be a helpful treatment for some people with migraines but not for others.

Why Is Ice So Effective For Migraines Or Headaches

HOT OR COLD FOR PAIN: Should You Use Ice Or Heat For Pain

Ice is often the go-to treatment for pain and inflammation, so it makes logical sense to be applied when your head hurts.

Dr. Tania Elliott

Chief medical officer at EHE

numbing the neurotransmission of pain to the brain.Thus reducing the feeling of pain. significantly decreased pain from headaches25 minutes using ice gel caps63.3% more reduction in pain levelstension-type headachehot therapy

Warm temperatures can increase blood flow to the area. Helping relax the tense muscles in the head. Easing any pain that is caused by the tension.

Dr. Anne Csere, D.O.

Assistant professor in the department of neurology, pain and headache medicine at the University of South Florida.

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Ice Pack Relief For Migraine

Thats why I started having an instant ice pack on hand. It easily fits in a bag or even in the car and you just activate it when you need it. This can be most helpful if you get a migraine while at work and can take a minute in a breakroom with the ice pack or if youre traveling and can take a few moments of deep breathing and cool relief.

Do ice packs bring you migraine releif?

Who Gets Brain Freeze

Not everyone who suffers from migraine headaches also experiences ice-induced headaches, but brain freeze does appear to be more common among migraine sufferers than among people without headaches . A recent study showed that ice water produced a more intense cold-induced headache than plain ice cubes .

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Heat Compression Therapy For Headaches

While ice quick relief from headache symptoms due to its numbing effect, heat therapy works to increase circulation by gentle dilating the blood vessels. In other words, it increases the flow of fresh blood and oxygen to organs which can cure headaches within minutes.

The best part about this method is that you dont have to rely on a cold or hot compress if you dont prefer one over another! There are several at-home remedies that you can try which will not only relieve your symptoms but also help heal your body faster.

However, while using cold & hot compression therapy at home may be a relatively cheaper option compared to paying for regular visits from a physiotherapist or medical practitioner, finding the right equipment is easier said than done. Especially when it comes to cooling products like ice packs, cold wraps and ice spoons which do not last long enough to provide you with adequate treatment.

This is why TheraICE, a popular brand in the market today, has designed a unique head pain relief product that will help you get rid of your headaches within a few minutes, The TheraICE Headache Relief Hat!

Theraice Headache Relief Hat Review: Hoax Or Legit

What Causes Ice Cream Headaches?

Lately, I was suffering from throbbing headaches, the extent of it was so bad that I couldnt even focus on my work, so I had to take the rest of the day off. This went on for a few days until I decided to find an effective remedy for it.

I tried almost everything to get rid of it, but nothing was working out. I tried essential oils, took medications, attempted breathing exercises, went for acupuncture treatment, but it was all in vain. I was just about to give up until my friend introduced me to a magic solution that changed my life.

When I first learned about the TheraICE Headache Relief Hat, I was a little confused about its mechanism & performance. But my friend told me to keep an open mind about it & just give it a try. To my surprise, this wasnt any ordinary headache relief hat, with some amazing features & benefits. In this article, I will talk about my experience with TheraICE Headache Relief Hat.

The TheraICE Headache Relief works by hot & cold compression mechanism which has been clinically proved to be effective for any type of headaches. Its designed as a hat to provide maximum coverage for your head, which makes it pretty easy to use too. Overall, Im very happy with the product and would recommend it to headache suffers who are looking for an alternative treatment method.


  • TheraICE Headache Relief Hat Review: Final Words
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    How Long Should You Keep An Ice Pack On Your Head

    If you’re applying ice for headache or pain relief, then press the ice to the afflicted area for no longer than 15 minutes at a time.

    We recommend placing ice cubes into a bag first, then wrapping the bag in a cloth or towel before applying them to your head.

    Applying extremely cold ice packs to exposed skin can cause ice burn, which isn’t pleasant. After 15 minutes, allow your skin to return to its normal temperature before reapplying the ice pack if pain or swelling persists.

    You should try to only apply ice packs for 15 minutes once every hour. If pain persists after 24 hours, seek further medical assistance!

    Myth : Its Okay To Use Hot And Cold Therapy For My Children

    While were not ones to hand out parenting advice, we dont recommend using hot and cold therapy for an injury on children under two. However, thermotherapy and cryotherapy can be great treatments for stomach discomfort, fevers, and growing pains in children over the age of two. Remember, when using heat or ice on a child, always be present to monitor the application.

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    Should You Be Worried About Ice Pick Headaches

    It is true that most mild headaches experienced by the majority of the population dont require a visit to the doctor. These are referred to as primary headaches and make up more than 90 percent of all headache complaints. If a headache is severe enough to interfere with your daily life, such as causing you to miss days of work, it is time to see a doctor to get an expert opinion.

    When a headache is sudden and severe, beings when you are 50 or older, or the result of a head injury, it is termed a secondary headache. Essentially this means that your headache has an underlying cause and needs to be treated right away.

    Do I Apply Ice Or Heat For The Relief Of My Headaches/migraines

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    When you are suffering from a headache or a migraine you will do just about anything to try to ease them. The most common thing that people will reach for after a pain killer will be an ice pack or a heat bag. So which is more effective to help relieve a headache/migraine?

    Interestingly the answer is.neither.

    The most common cause of headaches and migraines are dysfunctions in the upper 3 joints of the neck. Due to the chronic nature of these conditions, ice and/or heat will not help to alleviate these joints. However, one of the biggest things that is important during a headache/migraine attack is comfort! Therefore if you feel as though ice or heat is comforting or soothing, it certainly will not make the pain worse and by making yourself feel more at ease, this will in fact help your headache/migraine pass quicker.

    The most important thing when applying an ice pack or heat bag is to never place them on the front of your neck. You have a lot of important structures in through the front of the neck that should not be affected by either ice or heat. Also, due to the top 3 joints because the cause of most headaches/migraines, if you place an ice pack or heat bag on the back of your neck, often it will cause your head to poke forwards, further encouraging these headache/migraine inducing dysfunctions. Therefore when applying ice/heat, applying it to the lower neck/shoulder area for maximum benefit and comfort.

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    Reviews For Neck Ice Wrap

    Got the box of new stuff the day after my wife cracked her collar bone and a rib on her bicycle. Nice timing! They are wonderful on the injuries, and it’s great to have the varieties to choose from. The head of my left gastrocnemius is receiving therapy in a few minutes. Thank you for providing the world with this wonderful product! Now if I can just stop giving them away!A big fan.

    GeraldHershey, PA

    Cold Compression Therapy For Headaches

    Ice packs work by numbing the inflamed blood vessels and reducing swelling around the head which often contributes to headaches. This relieves pressure that is put on the nerves that run through your neck and scalp, therefore reducing or completely eliminating headaches. Its especially useful in cases where the pain originates from sinuses and jaw muscles, but can also help with migraines and cluster-type headaches.

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    What Cures A Headache Fast

    TheraICE is one of the few products that can help you get rid of a headache in minutes. Other than TheraICE, I found the best way to cure a headache fast is by practicing Acupressure because it only takes 30 seconds to relieve your pain! All you need to do is going find an acupressure point on your body and press it for 30 seconds.

    Ice Pick Headaches Vs Migraine Attacks

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    Migraine attacks are intense, debilitating headaches. They last longer than ice pick headaches, sometimes lingering for hours or days.

    Migraine pain usually occurs only on one side of the head and may be preceded by a wide range of symptoms, including:

    • facial tingling
    • flashes of light, known as a visual aura

    Migraine episodes are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and heightened sensitivity to light or sound.

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    Treatment And Management Options

    Ice pick headaches are so brief in duration that they often dont provide a window of opportunity to take medication.

    However, if youre prone to frequent attacks, prophylactic use of pain-reducing medication may make sense for you. Prophylactic medications are medications you can take to prevent headaches.

    You can speak with your doctor to find out which type of medication will be best for you.

    You and your doctor can consider the following drugs:

    • Indomethacin. An oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug , indomethacin blocks inflammation, reducing pain. Its a prescription medication often used to treat headaches, including ice pick headaches and migraine headaches. About 35 percent of people with ice pick headaches dont respond to this medication.
    • Melatonin . The hormone melatonin is available without a prescription. Its used to reduce insomnia, as well as headaches.
    • Gabapentin.Gabapentin is a prescription medication used primarily as an anticonvulsant and to treat nerve pain.

    It may help to keep a diary, outlining your daily activities, emotions, food intake, and ice pick headache occurrence. Some apps may also help you keep track. If youre able to identify a specific trigger, avoiding it may help.

    Myth : Using An Ice Pack For A Concussion Wont Help

    Although theres no effective medical treatment that can lessen the severity of a concussion or brain injury, using an ice pack on the affected area as soon as the injury occurs can aid in instant pain relief. Using an ice pack can be useful for a concussion as it can absorb the heat from the head and reduce swelling in the area, which can possibly result in faster recovery time.

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    Diagnosis Of Ice Pick Headaches

    When seeing your doctor for episodes of ice pick headaches, they will ask you to tell them a brief history of when you started to experience these symptoms. This will include obtaining a full medical history of any previous disorder to help with making an accurate diagnosis. Next will come the physical exam, which involves visual and physical inspection of the area of pain.

    If your doctors feel it is necessary, a detailed imaging scan can be done. This often comes in the form of magnetic resonance imaging , as it is sensitive enough to view any pathology within the brain.However, the diagnosis of headaches is typically a clinical one based on the doctors observations and the presenting symptoms.

    The Wellpatch Cooling Headache Pads Are Easy To Use And Medication

    Ice Pack on a Migraine

    Need cooling therapy but don’t have access to an ice pack? WellPatch Cooling Headache Pads are an excellent substitute. These pads are flexible, soft, and can be applied directly to your forehead for cooling relief.

    Because they are drug-free, you can safely use them in conjunction with medication. The pads are small enough to slip into a purse or keep in your desk, and they’re ideal for use while you’re traveling.

    These pads have been a saving grace during road trips and long commutes home from work. In situations where you can’t hold an ice pack to your head, these pads are an ideal alternative. They get to work quickly, and I can feel a cooling effect within about 20 seconds of application that only gets stronger. They do have a light menthol smell, but it’s not overpowering at all. The cooling effect lasts for hours, and I often find myself removing the pad before the cooling has stopped.

    WellPatch Cooling Headache Pads have a 4.2 out of 5-star Amazon rating, based on nearly 250 reviews.

    One buyer wrote, “These patches are the best thing for my migraines other than actual medication from a visit to the ER. They calm and keep me cool.”

    Another reviewer appreciates how these pads help with headaches: “These will help you while you are suffering in bed. They mask the pain of the migraine enough to let you fall asleep. I can even wear them around my house trying to take care of my kids while dealing with a migraine and it takes me from a 10 in pain to a 6.”

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