Hot & Cold Therapies

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Where should I place the ice pack when treating a migraine with cold therapy?

Since migraine pain is usually unilateral I rarely have trouble finding just the right spot. Place the ice pack over the most painful spot. I use a velcro wrap and a reusable pack that stays soft enough when frozen to mold to my head. I often have the worst pain at the bridge of my nose/inside corner of one eye. A tight wrap molded across the side of my face over one eye and across the forehead is perfect.

The only time that ice does not seem to work as well is for the ones that start at the nape of the neck. It is kind of hit or miss there.

Sometimes it is a little more painful when I first put it on. If I have waited too long and am especially sensitive it takes a few minutes for the initial pain to calm down and then a few minutes more for it to start numbing out the pain.

I have had migraines since I was a child and life long use of over the counter analgesics has reduced my kidney function. They cause rebound headaches anyway. Since I stopped using them I am limited to sumatriptan, phenergan and ice. The ice is by far the most effective. I hope it works as well for you.


How effective is cold laser therapy?

From a cursory examination of the literature, it seems to be pretty reliable for short-term treatment rheumatoid arthritis, neck pain, elbow tendonopathy, and certain joint disorders. Long-term treatment success appears to vary somewhat, so the jury's still out on that--neck pain can be relieved up to 22 weeks, but this kind of longevity hasn't been reproducible across all conditions, and given that no one seems to have a definitive answer as to why this therapy works.