Ice Pack for Headaches (and other Cold Therapies)

Ice Pack for Migraines

Using an ice pack for headaches can relieve pain and suffering for many migraine sufferers. If you suffer from migraines and other types of headaches the chances are good that you’ve tried applying an ice pack to relieve your suffering. Using cold treatments to relieve pain and reduce inflammation is not new. Cold therapies have been recommended for centuries. While ice and cold ease pain for some individuals it doesn’t work for everyone, and some types of migraines are not affected by ice packs.

Ice pack for headaches work, but how?

There are several theories about why applying ice packs for headaches work to relieve pain. When you use an ice pack, the blood vessels in the area that you placed the cold pack constricts. Cold reduces pain and swelling. Applying ice numbs nerves and hence pain. Activity in the cold cells slows down when ice is used. All of these actions can result in headache relief.  Another way to use cold therapy for your migraines is to look at the various cold stone therapy for migraines.

Using cold therapy to treat migraines effectively

Apply an ice pack or cold compress to your head or back of your neck at the first sign of a headache or migraine. If possible, lie down in a quiet, dark place at the same time. Most experts recommend keeping the compress on for about 20 minutes.

Some people like to keep a moist cloth in a zippered bag in the freezer so that it can be obtained at the first sign of a headache. Water saturated cold fabric is more comfortable than a traditional ice pack. Tucking a bag of frozen peas or corn into a pillowcase makes a fine ice pack. It conforms nicely to your head, neck, or face. Cooling gel compresses that fit over the eye area are inexpensive and readily available.

Tips for Safe use of cold packs

  • Do not apply an ice pack directly to your skin. Always separate the pack from the skin with a piece of cloth.
  • Don’t leave ice packs on for more than 20 minutes at a time or frostbite may occur.
  • Use cold packs instead of ice packs on children the elderly and people who have diminished sense of feeling in their skin.
  • Check with your doctor before using ice packs if you have, cardiovascular illness, are pregnant, have diabetes, or other medical concerns.
  • Use herbs when making ice packs to relieve headaches
  • Herbs and essential oils ease migraine headaches. Lavender and peppermint are beneficial herbs to use.

Make a cup of herb tea …

  • Place one teaspoon of the dried herb of your choice in a cup. Use one tablespoon per cup if using fresh herbs.
  • Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the herbs.
  • Cover the cup.
  • Wait 20 minutes.
  • Strain the liquid from the cup. Compost the herbs.
  • You may make ice cubes with the herb tea, or you may saturate a soft washcloth with the infusion. If using a washcloth, fold it and place the wet cloth in a zippered bag.
  • Label the ice cubes or cold compress so that you know what herbs were used to make them.
  • Store the ice cubes or the cloth in the freezer.

The next time that you get a headache apply the cubes or cloth to the affected area. The herbs contain properties which relieve headaches. You may obtain better, faster, or more lasting relief than if you just use plain ice.

Ice pack for Headaches: The Bottom Line

Ice packs are inexpensive, readily available, and safe options to reach for when a migraine strikes. Plan so that you have cold treatment on hand whenever you get a headache. This time-tested pain relieving method is reliable and accessible to all.


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