Cold therapy has long been the number one self-care treatment employed for migraine without aura and the second most common for migraine with aura, yet its mechanism remains elusive. In this study, a mechanism by which this time-tested therapy works is proposed (by cooling the blood passing through intracranial vessels) in an attempt to further elucidate its beneficial effects. The study is designed as a randomized, controlled, crossover clinical trial utilizing an adjustable wrap containing two freezable ice packs targeting the carotid arteries at the neck, where they come close to the skin surface. Fifty-five participants successfully completed the study. Pain at onset, as recorded on a visual analog scale, was similar between the two treatment arms. Maximum pain reduction was observed at the 30 minute time point with a 31.8% ± 15.2% decrease in pain in the treatment arm compared to a 31.5% ± 20.0% increase in pain at the same time interval in the control arm. These findings confirm the application of a frozen neck wrap at onset of migraine headache targeting the carotid arteries at the neck significantly reduced recorded pain in participants with migraine headaches
The information contained on this page is an abstract of a much more in-depth study of the affects of cold therapy for migraine relief. Please click below to read the complete study.