How to Stop a Migraine with Hot Water and an Ice Pack

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Stop a Migraine with Hot Water and an Ice Pack
Stop a Migraine with Hot Water and an Ice Pack (Image: Photo: Shayna Michaels. Image in the public domain.)

Migraine pain has been described as one of the worst pains anyone can suffer. Treating a migraine as soon as it starts is key to keeping them from escalating into a full blown painful headache.

The following steps work for many migraine suffers. It's medication free, cost effective, and simple.

While this method works extremely well for many sufferers, it does not work for all. However, it is worth a try; you may be one of the lucky ones that can head off a full blown migraine attack with just water.

Things You'll Need

  • Hot water
  • Ice pack

Fill the bathtub or a bucket with water as hot as you can stand. Sit on the edge of the tub, or on a chair if you're using a bucket. Submerge your bare feet in the hot water.

Lean forward and place an ice pack on the back of your neck. Stay like this for 15-20 minutes. Keep the room as dark as possible if you're bothered by bright lights.

If you're not in a place where you can put your feet in hot water, you can use the ice pack on the back of your neck. Sit in a dark, quiet room and apply the ice for 20 minutes.

If you don't have an ice pack, you can use an ice cold can of soda. Try a can of caffeinated cola. Many migraine medications contain caffeine and after the chill is off the soda, you can drink it. Some migraine sufferers find that colas can also calm a nauseous stomach.

Tips & Warnings

  • Migraines are caused by the expansion of blood vessels in the head, causing pressure on nerves, usually in the temple area. Submerging your feet in hot water expands the vessels in the lower extremities, while placing an ice pack on the back of the neck, or the temple, helps constrict those vessels. The combination helps blood move from the painfully expanded vessels in the head to the feet.
  • Use caution in the temperature of the water if you suffer from diabetes or any condition that causes you to have lose of sensation in your feet.

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