Ice pack or heat pack??

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Ice pack or heat pack??

Post  Guest on Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:14 am

I've used both. Is one better or worse for use with migraine?

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Re: Ice pack or heat pack??

Post  Paradox on Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:58 am

For me I use whichever gives me comfort that day. Usually it's an ice pick, but sometimes a heating pad wrapped around my head feels so much better.

Charlotte
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Re: Ice pack or heat pack??

Post  estre004 on Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:00 am

I've had an ice pack on my head and a heating pad wrapped around my neck at the same time Smile

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Re: Ice pack or heat pack??

Post  theresae on Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:16 am

Always an ice pack for me.
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Re: Ice pack or heat pack??

Post  Guest on Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:37 am

paradox wrote:For me I use whichever gives me comfort that day. Usually it's an ice pick, but sometimes a heating pad wrapped around my head feels so much better.

Charlotte
An ice "pick". I know that was just a slip on words. But it certainly made me laugh as it's so true!

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Re: Ice pack or heat pack??

Post  jeselle on Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:41 am

I use the blue gel ice pack on the back of my neck and on my head and will use heat on my hands and feet to increase the circulation to both. But today, my neck is out of wack-triggered a migraine, and I used a neck warmer that you microwave, to try to loosen my neck muscles. I also have a lidocaine patch for neck pain that I have on too.
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Re: Ice pack or heat pack??

Post  tecky on Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:53 am

I use ice packs on my head and neck and a heating pad on my shoulders and upper back (often at the same time). However, if the heating pad gets too close to my neck or back of head it worsens the migraine.

Becky
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Re: Ice pack or heat pack??

Post  xmom on Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:07 am

Neither is better or worse... it's just what works for you.

I always use ice... even the thought of heat makes me feel sicker. I like to keep my room freezing cold as well when I'm sick.

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Re: Ice pack or heat pack??

Post  Jewishmother on Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:37 am

I also use both.......sometimes I crave the heat and sometimes the cold..........a frozen bag of edamame is my favorite though!
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Re: Ice pack or heat pack??

Post  moominamy on Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:06 am

Cold always makes my head throb more intensely, so I always use heat. Us heat lovers seem to be in the minority every time this comes up though!

Some people like to use heat on their necks to dilate the blood vessels into the head and cold on their foreheads to constrict blood vessels in the head. I guess you just have to experiment and see what works for you.

Amy

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Re: Ice pack or heat pack??

Post  meihee on Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:53 am

ice for sure, though it sure does feel like I have an ice pick going through my head....

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Re: Ice pack or heat pack??

Post  Kate on Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:14 am

Neither really works for me. A hot shower hitting my head feels better temporarly. A cold ice pack made mine worse.

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Re: Ice pack or heat pack??

Post  Ivy on Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:35 am

Icy!
If I put warm stuff on my head during migraine, I go straight to the ER....
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Re: Ice pack or heat pack??

Post  tecky on Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:23 am

Maybe a little off the subject.......but still related to ice.....a migraine friend gave me a wonderful tip on the easiest ice packs.

Put a damp (most of the water wrung out of it) washcloth folded into a zipped zip-lock sandwich bag and freeze ( usually fold them in fourths, try to make sure all the air is out of the bag). I keep four of them in the freezer all the time and rotate among them. The coldness usually lasts about 2 hours. If they're too cold at first, I wrap the frozen square with an old terry hand towel until it's thawed a little. When they thaw there is no dripping or mess--just put them back into the freezer again.

I've got a couple commercial ice packs, but nothing has worked as well as these frozen washclothes.

Hopefully this will help others of you too.

Becky I love you flower
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Re: Ice pack or heat pack??

Post  pen on Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:24 am

Ice for my head, but sometimes heat on my neck.

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Re: Ice pack or heat pack??

Post  estre004 on Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:25 am

tecky - thanks for the tip. I will do that!!

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Re: Ice pack or heat pack??

Post  Rachel328 on Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:55 pm

Ice pack.... never heat pack.

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Re: Ice pack or heat pack??

Post  Stillhurtin on Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:35 pm

paradox wrote:For me I use whichever gives me comfort that day. Usually it's an ice pick, but sometimes a heating pad wrapped around my head feels so much better.

Charlotte

please don't take an ice pick to your head!!!! Call me...I'll talk ya down.. Lol Smile
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Re: Ice pack or heat pack??

Post  Guest on Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:08 pm

Meds, hot shower and a nap in a darkened room sometimes works pretty good. If it's a really nasty episode and I'm desperate for some temporary relief, I'll climb into a hot bath and use an ice pack on forehead, eyes and back of neck. I found that a frozen plastic water bottle is just the right size for putting under your neck in the tub or even in eye sockets for a short time...wrap it with something if too cold. I've also tried alternately using a hot washcloth then an icepack on my forehead and eyes, it seems to help with the sinus symtoms.

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Re: Ice pack or heat pack??

Post  Brent on Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:29 pm

Heat will aggravate inflammation. It allows for more extracellular fluid build up. Yes it feels good at the moment but within 24 hrs it will most likely be worse. Picture a rash on your skin. applying heat will make it worse since a rash is an inflammation of the skin.

The proper application of ice will trick your brain into thinking frostbite is starting. It will flood the area with blood and then excrete natural steroids to protect the cells from rupturing. But it has to be a gelled ice pack, insulated only with a single thickness paper towel and left on for 25 minutes.

Most people don't ice correctly and not get the benefits. They just end up with a cold spot.
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Dear Brent:

Post  Guest on Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:55 pm

Dear Brent: Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou. My concern was that heat could make it worse. But I wasn't sure of the explanation. (I'd been using heat recently, but instincts were telling me this might not be the thing to do) Switched back to ice. But, thanks to your explanation, now know I was covering the ice pack incorrectly. I will switch to paper towels. I really appreciate your help. BTW My headache book says use either. Whichever feels best to you. But that somehow didn't 'feel' right to me. Hence, the post. Thanks again: Gail

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Re: Ice pack or heat pack??

Post  Brent on Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:15 pm

That is why kids that fall through ice and hit very cold water have a much better chance of surviving and without any brain damage. Their heads are much bigger in proportion to adults so the mamilian divers reflex kicks in better and faster.

And whales that have mammal organs can dive under water for up to two hours without brain damage. They dive and hit very cold water which stimulates natural steroids to protect from brain swelling.

The ice therapy research on humans showed a spike in blood steroid levels at an average of 23 minutes. Since that is an average I do it for 25 mins to be sure. Ice also neutralizes most of the inflammatory chemicals that come from cell injury.

Gelled ice packs get colder and stay cold longer then any water ice packs do. But you have to be careful not to fall asleep since they can give you frostbite. I've done it twice but it's just like a minor sunburn and will peel in about a week. Most of us only see it with black fingers toes that are ready to fall off.
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Re: Ice pack or heat pack??

Post  Guest on Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:28 pm

Thanks for all this great/useful information. It makes complete sense. I wonder if you happen to know if ice 'compresses' are gelled? The white ones. I've checked for the ingredients but they are not listed anywhere to be found on the product. I, of course, know the blue ones. I am hoping the white ones are gel as well. Are you a long time sufferer of migraines? Do you find that the icing makes them less freguent? Or does it simply help with the ones in progress.? G.

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Re: Ice pack or heat pack??

Post  Brent on Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:53 pm

Hard to tell, if you let it thaw and it feels gel like then it probably is. I don't use ice for migs but have had great results with it when my low back goes out. And some of the people I treat I use ice also. If I had a nickle for every person that came to me after using heat with the situation made much worse I could retire.
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Usually ice

Post  TheBookworm411 on Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:24 pm

Ice pack helps me on top of my head over my migraine and heat wraps help around the tight muscles around my neck. If deciding on one or the other always ice. Heat sometimes makes migraine worse.
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