Friday, June 24, 2022
HomeFactsWhat Helps A Migraine Heat Or Cold

What Helps A Migraine Heat Or Cold

Is Heat Good For A Migraine

Using Ice For a Migraine Get Rid of a Migraine Without Medicine

Heat and the summer months bring many migraine triggers, such as dehydration, bright sunlight, and allergies. For people sensitive to these triggers, hot weather and the summer season is a definite challenge. Knowing your triggers and being prepared with a migraine management toolkit can help.

Direct and targeted heat in the form of warm packs, on the other hand, can help lessen the pain of tension-type headaches. As always, experiment with new management strategies and track your response in your headache diary. Apply warmth to your neck and shoulders with:

  • A warm shower or bath
  • A heating pad on a low setting
  • A hot water bottle
  • A warm compress or towel
  • Instant hot packs

Dont go too hot, as this can trigger headaches rather than soothe them.

Swallow Some Throb Stoppers

An anti-inflammatory, ginger was traditionally used to treat headaches, and it seems to work. Grind up a half-teaspoon ginger, stir it into a glass of water, and drink this ginger juice. Or pour 1 cup hot water over 1 teaspoon freshly ground ginger, let the tea cool a bit, then drink it. Ginger is especially effective against migraines, though how it works is not well understood. Doctors do know that ginger has an effect on prostaglandins, hormone-like substances that contribute to inflammation. Ginger also helps control the nausea that so often accompanies migraines.

Try drinking a cup of rosemary tea. Some people say it helps keep a headache from getting worse. Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 teaspoon of the dried herb, steep for 10 minutes, strain, and drink.

At least one grandmother counted on strong black tea with a few bruised whole cloves added. Tea contains caffeine, and cloves have anti-inflammatory properties, so the brew might indeed help a headache.

Down a large glass of water and see if it helps. Dehydration can cause a headache.

Whats The Best Way To Use An Ice Pack To Treat A Headache Or A Migraine

Since ice packs are considered a home remedy, there are a variety of ways to use this treatment. As always, if you have questions or concerns about treating your headache at home, ask your doctor before trying any of these strategies.

Elliott says the best way to use cold therapy for a headache or a migraine is to apply the ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Where you apply the ice pack also makes a difference in how quickly you can experience relief. The 2013 study specifically recommends applying the ice in the form of a neck wrap, which can help reduce the pain and discomfort from headaches and migraines.

Also Check: Does Marijuana Help With Headaches

Headbands Can Relieve Headache Pain

Nov. 29, 2000 — Headbands that deliver heat, cold, or pressure may help relieve headache pain and shorten headache length among sufferers — without the side effects of many medications, a new study suggests.

The headband device used in the study is specially designed to produce pressure by pulling a tension strap through a slide and securing it. Heat or cold is provided via microwaved or frozen gel packs that can be inserted into zippered pockets in the headband according to preference.

When fifteen people with various types of headache were given the headbands, 87% said that the headband device was “optimally effective” at curbing headache pain. While wearing the headband, headaches lasted one to three hours among sufferers, compared with two to eight hours without the headband, according to a report in the September/October issue of the Archives of Family Medicine

“When you review most of world’s s literature, there has been considerable anecdotal and scientific evidence regarding the use of pressure, heat, and cold to relieve headache including tension, migraine, and cluster headache we weren’t surprised by the findings,” says lead researcher Stephen Landy, MD, an associate clinical professor of neurology at the University of Tennessee at Memphis and the director of Wesley Headache Clinic there.

How To Soothe Your Migraine With Hot Or Cold Therapy

Natural Remedies: Applying Heat or Cold for Migraine Relief

Migraine affects 39 million people in the United States and 1 billion worldwide. You may be suffering from migraine and not even realize it. Migraine can be misdiagnosed as another type of headache: tension, stress, sinus or allergy. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about migraine, including how a microwaveable heating pad can be used for pain relief.

You May Like: Strong Migraine Medication

What Is A Migraine Headache

A migraine is a severe headache. The pain can be so severe that it interferes with your daily activities. A migraine can last a few hours up to several days. The exact cause of migraines is not known. A family history of migraines increases your risk. Your risk is also higher if you are a woman or take medicines such as estrogen or a vasodilator.

Sit In A Cool Room With The Lights Off Or Using A Narrow

If you feel the early signs of a heat-related headache, go to a quiet spot where you can sit or lie down and relax. Turn the lights off, pull the shades, and take a nap or meditate if you have the time. If you are at work or are unable to sleep, try using a narrow-band green light such as the portable Allay Lamp, to continue your work or read. Compared to everyday light, this unique band has been shown to create smaller electrical signals that help calm your brain – even during a migraine.

Also Check: Confusional Migraine Symptoms

Who Gets Migraines What Are The Risk Factors

Its difficult to predict who may get a migraine and who may not, but there are risk factors that may make you more vulnerable. These risk factors include:

  • Genetics: Up to 80% of people who get migraine headaches have a first-degree relative with the disease.
  • Gender. Migraine headaches happen to women more than men, especially women between the ages of 15 and 55. Its likely more common in women because of the influence of hormones.
  • Stress level. You may get migraines more often if youre high-stress. Stress can trigger a migraine.
  • Smoking.

When Not To Use Heat

How To Get Rid of A Headache or Migraine With Cold Therapy

Heat is not suitable for all injury types. Any injury that is already hot will not benefit from further warming. These include infections, burns, or fresh injuries.

Heat should not be used if:

  • the skin is hot, red or inflamed
  • the person has dermatitis or an open wound
  • the area is numb
  • the person may be insensitive to heat due to peripheral neuropathy or a similar condition

Ask a doctor first about using heat or cold on a person who hashigh blood pressure or heart disease.

Excessive heat must be avoided.

When cold is applied to the body, the blood vessels contract, vasoconstriction occurs. This means that circulation is reduced, and pain decreases.

Removing the cold causes vasodilation, as the veins expand to overcompensate.

As the blood vessels expand, circulation improves, and the incoming flow of blood brings nutrients to help the injured tissues heal.

Alternating heat and cold can be useful for:

  • osteoarthritis
  • exercise-induced injury or DOMS

Contrast water therapy uses both heat and cold to treat pain. Studies show that it is more effective at reducing EIMD and preventing DOMS than doing nothing.

A review of studies has suggested that, for elite athletes, CWT is better at reducing muscle pain after exercise compared with doing nothing or resting.

However, the researchers point out that it may not better than other strategies, such as heat treatment, cold treatment, stretching, or compression. They say that more evidence is necessary.

Also Check: What Piercing Stops Migraines

What Are The Symptoms Of Migraines

The primary symptom of migraine is a headache. Pain is sometimes described as pounding or throbbing. It can begin as a dull ache that develops into pulsing pain that is mild, moderate or severe. If left untreated, your headache pain will become moderate to severe. Pain can shift from one side of your head to the other, or it can affect the front of your head, the back of your head or feel like its affecting your whole head. Some people feel pain around their eye or temple, and sometimes in their face, sinuses, jaw or neck.

Other symptoms of migraine headaches include:

  • Sensitivity to light, noise and odors.
  • Nausea and vomiting, upset stomach and abdominal pain.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Feeling very warm or cold .
  • Pale skin color .
  • Euphoric mood.

The Power Of Prevention

If you grind your teeth or clench your jaw-either when youre awake or asleep-take steps to prevent the problem. You might need to wear a mouth guard at night.

Eat at regular intervals. Theres evidence that a drop in blood sugar-the result of going too long without eating-can set the stage for headaches.

At least three days a week, spend 30 minutes walking, cycling, swimming, or doing some other form of aerobic exercise. These exercises are great stress-relievers.

Recommended Reading: Migraine Killer Piercing

What Is Ice Useful For

Cold treatment can help in cases of:

  • osteoarthritis
  • strains
  • tendinitis, or irritation in the tendons following activity

A cold mask or wrap around the forehead may help reduce the pain of a migraine.

For osteoarthritis, patients are advised to use an ice massage or apply a cold pad 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off.

Causes Of Migraine Headache

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

The cause of migraine is thought to be from one or more of several different health conditions. This might include underlying central nervous disorders, brain blood vessel system irregularities, brain or nerve abnormalities, or genetic predisposition.

Several things may trigger a migraine headache:

  • Changes in the chemical composition of the brain
  • Extreme weather or barometric pressure
  • Dehydration or skipping meals
  • Lack of sleep
  • Sun glare or bright lights

There are certain risk factors involved in the cause of migraine: age, gender, and family history. Many people report that their first migraine likely appeared in adolescence. 85% of chronic migraine sufferers are women. More than half of all migraine sufferers are never diagnosed. If you have family members that suffer from migraine, your chances of struggling with migraine increase. About 90% of migraine sufferers have a family member with migraine.

Read Also: Can Migraines Cause Fever And Chills

When To See A Doctor

Heat or cold compresses are generally safe to use for a headache. In some cases, the therapy might not work, and it might worsen the pain in the head.

The Amazing Benefits of Doing Reverse Crunches

In such cases, it is advisable to see a professional healthcare expert or doctor to find out the exact cause. Also, a persistent headache might also be a symptom of some underlying severe conditions, and you should immediately seek medical help in such cases.

Headache is common but can be unbearable at times. Using painkillers might seem an easy way out, but it might result in long-term problems. So seeking home remedies might be your second option.

A cold and hot compress can be used easily with little precautionary measures for headaches. Also, in case of severe headaches, consult a doctor or healthcare experts. Using cold therapy in case of some problems in the circulatory system is also recommended.

The Versatile Bed Buddy Hot/cold Pack Can Be Wrapped Or Draped Around Your Body For Targeted Hot Or Cold Therapy

While ice is often a go-to option for migraines, heat can also help to relax tense neck and shoulder muscles, so you don’t want to restrict yourself to products that can only be used for ice therapy. The Bed Buddy Hot/Cold Pack offers the solution. This pack can be used when cold, or you can heat it up for moist heat that will help to soothe muscle aches.

This pack is filled with natural grains, herbs, and flowers, and it easily conforms to your body. The unique shape means that you can wrap it around your shoulders, press it against your head, or use it in countless other configurations.

I enjoy the fact that I can wrap or fold this pack to target the hot or cold therapy to the exact area that needs it. When cooled, I like to drape this over my eyes during a migraine. However, I also find that heating it and draping it over my shoulders is useful is relieving neck tension.

The Bed Buddy Hot/Cold Pack has a 4.6 out of 5-star rating on Bed Bath & Beyond, based on more than 100 reviews. One shopperwrote, “The Bed Buddy is so portable I can take it anywhere. There are no cords to plug in and it is easy to use cold or hot. It is also reasonably priced.”

Another buyer wrote, “I have used this product for 20 years! They are awesome and last a really long time. Just replaced mine after over 20 years of use. Great for shoulder pain in hard to reach areas because of the great handles.”

Pros: Heats quickly in the microwave or can be frozen, conforms to your body

Read Also: Does Tylenol Make A Migraine Medicine

Preventative Medication And Therapies

If you experience frequent migraines, your GP might discuss preventative medication options with you.

It is important to note that preventatives for migraines are not pain medication, but help to reduce the number of migraines. They take time to work, so the minimum time period required may be three to six months. Contact your GP or specialist for further information. All of these treatments have their advantages and disadvantages and some of the medications might not be suitable for everybody.

You might find that this medication reduces the frequency and severity of your attacks but does not stop them completely. You will need to continue your other migraine treatments when you experience an attack.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends that GPs and specialists should consider the following drugs and therapies if they think you might benefit from preventative treatment:

Beta blocking drugs

These drugs are traditionally used to treat angina and high blood pressure. It has been found that certain beta-blockers prevent migraine attacks. Beta-blockers are unsuitable for people with certain conditions.


This drug is typically prescribed for the treatment of epilepsy but has also been found to help reduce the frequency of migraines. Again, it is not suitable for everyone. In particular, women who are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant should be advised of the associated side effects.



Botulinum toxin type A

Try The Caffeine Cure

Migraine sufferers urged to keep eye on weather forecast

Have a cup of strong coffee. Caffeine reduces blood-vessel swelling, and thus can help relieve a headache. This is why caffeine is an ingredient in some extra-strength painkillers like Excedrin. However, if you are already a heavy coffee drinker, skip this. Caffeine withdrawal can cause headaches, creating a vicious cycle.

Read Also: Can Migraine Cause Numbness

Does Cold Compress Help Migraine

Elliott says the cold can constrict blood vessels and help reduce the neurotransmission of pain to the brain. Instead of registering pain, it registers oh, thats cold. A 2013 study found that applying a frozen neck wrap at the onset of a migraine significantly reduced pain in participants with migraine headaches.

How To Treat A Migraine Headache

Sometimes your migraine may come even if you are doing everything that you can to prevent it. Maybe you have a bad day and forget to keep up with your routine. It happens to all of us, after all, we’re only human. When you find yourself facing another migraine, you need to treat it as soon as possible.

Don’t Miss: Barbiturate For Migraine

Acute Treatment For Migraine

Acute treatment is when youre trying to stop a migraine in progress . Acute treatments vary, as every migraine sufferer is different, but may include over-the-counter drugs or prescription ones.

Regardless of the type of drug, your doctor may recommend that acute treatment be taken right away, when symptoms first begin. In fact, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Qualitys guidelines for primary care of headaches advises that patients take medication early in a migraine attack to improve effectiveness. 2

Be sure to work with your doctor to find the right treatment for your migraines.

What Is A Migraine

Popular Benefits Of Using Heat Or Cold For Headache

Migraine is a neurological condition that impacts nerve pathways and brain chemicals. The frequency and intensity of migraine can vary greatly. Migraine can last for as little as 4 hours or can become chronic and relentless. Migraine is the 3rd most prevalent illness in the world. In addition to a debilitating headache other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, extensive sensitivity to sound, light, smell and touch and dizziness. Migraine can also cause visual disturbances called auras.

You May Like: What Helps Migraine Nausea

Who Should Not Use Heat Therapy For Migraine

Before starting any type of therapy, you should consult your doctor, particularly if you are pregnant or nursing.

Also check with your doctor if you have heart disease, diabetes, skin problems or any circulatory problems. People with these conditions should avoid hot tubs, whirlpools, saunas and spas.

Stop the heat therapy immediately if you experience severe numbness in the area youre applying the heat and see your doctor.

People with open wounds, decreased sensation in the skin and bleeding disorders should avoid heat therapy.

What Are The Four Stages Or Phases Of A Migraine Whats The Timeline

The four stages in chronological order are the prodrome , aura, headache and postdrome. About 30% of people experience symptoms before their headache starts.

The phases are:

  • Prodrome: The first stage lasts a few hours, or it can last days. You may or may not experience it as it may not happen every time. Some know it as the preheadache or premonitory phase.
  • Aura: The aura phase can last as long as 60 minutes or as little as five. Most people dont experience an aura, and some have both the aura and the headache at the same time.
  • Headache: About four hours to 72 hours is how long the headache lasts. The word ache doesnt do the pain justice because sometimes its mild, but usually, its described as drilling, throbbing or you may feel the sensation of an icepick in your head. Typically it starts on one side of your head and then spreads to the other side.
  • Postdrome: The postdrome stage goes on for a day or two. Its often called a migraine hangover and 80% of those who have migraines experience it.
  • It can take about eight to 72 hours to go through the four stages.

    You May Like: Tragus And Migraines


    Popular Articles