Cool Treatment for Migraine Sufferers

August 23, 2013

Looking for some arctic relief from your migraines and the heat in Houston, Dallas,  or Phoenix? An Alaskan cruise would be delightful!

Or perhaps, you could just settle for having a blast of frigid liquid shot up your nose? According to a news story in the Daily Mail, doctors in England are actually researching this concept as a migraine treatment and therapy for cluster headaches. Cluster headaches are characterized by extreme pain occurring on one side of the head.

Researchers from the Penrith Hospital, Cumbria are designing a study to evaluate the effectiveness of the migraine treatment based on the same mechanism that is triggered when you get brain freeze while eating ice cream. When a special device shoots ice cold liquid into the nasal cavity for about 20 minutes, it is supposed to shrink enlarged blood vessels that are involved with migraines and cluster headaches.

According to the article, anecdotal evidence suggests that headache suffers sometimes experience pain relief after eating ice cream or applying ice packs to their head.

The battery-operated apparatus has been used until now, to prevent brain damage during heart attacks and strokes. Harmful compounds are released during these events, preventing vital oxygen from reaching the brain. Injecting the cold liquid into the nasal cavity cools the brain, which seems to prevent this sequence of events. The drop in brain temperature during the procedure is greater than that which is achieved during the migraine treatment procedure.

Until the researchers perform their studies, and the medical community validates this technology, you may want to rely on alternative migraine treatments, like lifestyle modification, preventative and pain medication and even migraine surgery. However, if curiosity is just getting the better of you, and you are melting from the heat and migraines in Houston, you could try giving yourself a little ice cream brain freeze for a headache treat!

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