Temperature Therapy

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Heat therapy

Hot packs or heating pads can sometimes be administered to reduce the severity and/or duration of a migraine. For some migraineurs, heat only worsens a migraine.[1]Heat impacts blood flow, can reduce inflammation and irritation, and can relax muscles. Heat may be more effective than cold when a physical trigger involving tense muscles are involved. [2] This is especially relevant to migraines caused by triggers such as TMJ, where the underlying cause can also be treated by heat (in the case of TMJ, a moist heat application is sometimes recommended to relieve symptoms).

Cold therapy

Combination therapy

The application of both heat and cold has had a positive effect on some migraineurs. Methods vary for application, whether alternating hot and cold packs to the same location (or hot and cold water), or simultaneously applying heat and cold therapies to different locations.[1] Just as with the individual heat and cold therapies, the combined application can be as harmful to some migraineurs as it is helpful to others.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Wong, Li Ming. "Applying Heat or Cold for Migraine Relief." StreetDirectory.com, http://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guide/109765/headaches/applying_heat_or_cold_for_migraine_relief.html June 28, 2016.
  2. Pallarito, Karen. "13 Surprising Ways to Fight Headache Pain." Health.com. http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20538298,00.html/view-all June 28, 2016.