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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 Migraine.com 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: https://migraine.com/complimentary-and-alternative-therapies/heat-therapy.

For the basics on cold therapy, you can go here: https://migraine.com/complimentary-and-alternative-therapies/cold-therapy.

Interested in an ice hat? Check out this article: https://migraine.com/living-migraine/headache-hat-experience

Share your secrets for using cold or hot therapy: https://migraine.com/video/secret-cold-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 was at a farmer's market while visiting my daughter in Ohio, and they had a table. I had nothing to do that day so I tried it! It was $25. There are a few places that offer it -- this particular place is called Restore Hyper Wellness.

    2. Thank you so much for getting back to us with that information. How immersive was it? Your face? Whole body? I'm fascinated. Warmly- Holly -migraine.com team.


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

    1. That's a fool proof plan! I love myself a toasty cup. I hope you guys have been migraine-free as of late! Thank you for sharing ~ Sawyer (team member)

    2. That's interesting! I know of a friend who has migraine and she is BOTH a hot and cold person! She puts a cold compress around her neck and a hot compress at the base of her spine. She swears by it and says the success has something to do with confusing the nervous system so that it just releases the pain. I'll try anything! -Holly (migraine.com 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: https://migraine.com/video/secret-cold-hot-therapy. I myself prefer the cold every time! Warmly(and cooly!)- Holly -migraine.com team


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