This TikTok Hack Can Help Relieve Migraine Pain

Headaches are awful, but migraines are worse — and we only have a vague idea of what migraines even are. According to Science Daily, there is some research to suggest that migraines can occur because of inflammation of blood vessels in the brain. This swelling can be pressing on nerves, which is thought to be what's causing the pain.

Migraines can be triggered by everything from smells to barometric pressure changes, and last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours, sometimes even longer than that (via Migraine Health Information & Community). Trying to get a migraine under control can feel impossible. Remedies range everywhere from prescription medicines to at-home cures, like heating pads or cold packs. With no clear answers, it's hard not to lose hope that there will be an end to your migraine, let alone a way to lessen the pain.

Applying heat to migraines, according to Healthline, is supposed to help by relaxing your muscles and increasing blood flow to the area you're applying the heat to. This can also stimulate thermoreceptors, blocking pain signals from being sent to the brain.

Cold constricts blood vessels, reduces neurotransmitter response to pain, and reduces inflammation, according to Migraine Health Information & Community. This is why doctors often recommend putting an ice pack on your head, which constricts the blood vessels, reduces inflammation, and should "push" the migraine out of your head. Reducing the neurotransmitter response to pain is supposed to help reduce feeling pain.

However, should you use heat or cold for your migraine? One TikTok user swears by both.

Why heat and cold are better for migraines

Over-the-counter medications like sumatriptan are understood to shrink swollen blood vessels and slow down overactive nerves (via Mayo Clinic). Sound familiar? That's because the effects of using cold and heat are very similar to what sumatriptan has been reported to do (via Healthline). For some people, triptans work great! But for those of us who have to stick to at-home remedies, one TikTok user, Paige More, has gone viral with a remedy she says is the only thing that helps her relieve her migraine pain. More's secret? Using both heat and cold at the same time.

To ease her migraines, More fills a bowl or sink with hot water to soak her feet in while she puts an ice pack on the back of her neck. No ice pack? No problem. A bag of frozen food works just as great. According to Yahoo!, by using both heat and cold you're "encouraging that extra blood back down away from your brain, which can lessen the pain." Applying heat to the bottom of your body, in theory, should help draw some of the excess blood in your brain away from the migraine. Heat can, Healthline reminds us, offer general soothing and promotes muscle relaxation which can possibly help lessen a migraine's intensity.

While this won't cure your migraines, it is a free way to try and ease migraine pain. Just be sure to consult your doctor before starting any type of treatment.