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Ice vs. Heat: Which team are you on?

Hi everyone!

I'm a little curious about something, and I was wondering if you'd help me out. Some people swear by their ice hats that they wrap themselves in before escaping to their migraine cave, while others enjoy hot packs, warm showers, and heat wraps.

Do you find ice, heat, or both helpful when coping with your migraines? Why do you think it helps, and do you use it during a certain phase of your migraine?

Here on we also have resources related to cold and heat therapy. I will include them below for anyone who is interested.

For the basics on heat therapy, you can go to this link:

For the basics on cold therapy, you can go here:

Interested in an ice hat? Check out this article:

Review on using an Ice Beanie -

Share your secrets for using cold or hot therapy:

Thank you in advance to anyone who is willing to share their experience with cold and heat therapy. Our community thrives with your willingness to be open and vulnerable about such a difficult illness. I appreciate you all, and I'm so glad that you're here! - Cody (Team Member)

  1. Hi Cody! I am on team ice -- I find that cold is very soothing and I always have an ice pack in the freezer, ready to go. My husband, who also gets migraines, actually puts heat on his head. I know he's not feeling well when I see him putting his hot coffee cup up to his forehead. Which I find so bizarre, but it helps him! Recently I tried cryogenic therapy (2.5 minutes in a -160 degree F chamber) and it felt amazing to me. Cold brings down inflammation so to me, that makes sense. Curious to hear others' replies.

    1. I also remember reading something here on the site where someone puts one elbow in hot water and one elbow in ice water. Something about the contrast can be really helpful for some. The body is such a strange thing. -Melissa, team

    2. hi there!! I am with your husband. Lol. Team heat. It is just something about cold on my face that I cannot stand. I use heat everywhere on my body. I know that cold helps stop/slow down inflammation, but I don't think it is for me. Now, after surgeries, I have used in while in therapy. But, at home, no. I was thinking about the cryogenic therapy though. I do not know if I would like it, but thought about giving it a shot. I am glad that you enjoyed it so much. Hope today is finding you well. (Tonya, contributor).

  2. Team Heat!!! I can't seem to tolerate any cold, anywhere!! Great topic, thanks for starting it.
    Nancy Harris Bonk, Patient Leader/Moderator Team

    1. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have these practitioners in our back pocket? I often wish I knew a massage therapist who was looking for some training hours from which I would greatly benefit! Glad your attacks are less often and less severe. That's wonderful to hear. To what do you attribute this change? Also, on the subject of holistic type practitioners- I really relate to the experience of feeling better in the moment, but things return upon standing or activity. I can't seem to find anything (massage, acupuncture, craniosacral therapy) that serves as a preventative. Warmly- Holly team

    2. the 1/2 cup frozen strawberry therapy is new to me! I love the sound of this and can actually picture it helping to break up pain due to the way the mouth connects to our ouchy brains. I'm going to have to try this! Thank you so much for sharing! Warmly- Holly team

  3. I'm also a heat guy! I always keep a heating pad around to null out the pain. My migraine (mygraines) often feeling like I'm getting brain freeze anyway, so naturally, I wanna blast myself with heat! It feels sooo nice and I couldn't recommend it enough. Hope you're having a great and symptom-free day! ~ Sawyer (team member)

    1. Ooo, I wish that it had an automatic shut off function. That would be awesome. Unfortunately, mine doesn't! - Cody (Team Member)

    2. Oh no! I hope it doesn't scorch you!!!! ~ Sawyer (team member)

  4. and all: You might find this video interesting about a call we did for hot and cold therapeutic ideas recently. Some really great ideas were given in the comment section that followed it: I myself prefer the cold every time! Warmly(and cooly!)- Holly team

    1. Thanks for sharing Holly! Hope you are well, Nancy Harris Bonk, Patient Leader/Moderator Team

    2. Thanks for sharing this, Holly. That article is another great addition to this thread, and I added it to the top of this post. I'm a hot and cold person myself as well, depending on my symptoms. I think I am most often using heat for prevention and cold for symptom/pain management. Hot showers and warm compress helps relieve muscle tension for me. - Cody (Team Member)

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