Brain freezes may provide insight into migraine headaches

Brain freezes may provide insight into migraine headaches

A researcher at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina says ice-cream headaches can give us valuable insight into other forms of headaches, particularly migraines.

Neuroscientist Dwayne Godwin explains that a brain freeze occurs  when cold food or drink spend too much time cooling the area at the back of the palette where the interior carotid artery and the anterior cerebral artery pass close to the surface of the skin. Blood travels from here directly to the brain, so cooling it down too much can lead to a stream of blood to act as a coolant for the brain.

What this means is that, and the blood is released onto the brain, it will constrict the vascular tissue it finds there. Specifically, it will cause the meninges to contract, the tissue between the brain and skull that acts as a protective layer. This shrinking of the brain’s overcoat causes the pain we associate with brain freeze, since it’s here that the sensory neurons actually exist. In the brain itself, there are no sensory neurons, and thus no way to feel this temperature-based torture.

Godwin has said that “one thing the brain doesn’t like is for things to change, and brain freeze is a mechanism to prevent you from doing that.”

According to the article, the best method for relieving the pain of a too-cold brain is pretty logical: just warm it up. Pressing your tongue against the back roof of the mouth will work, but the best solution is drink hot liquids.

To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and migraine headaches download our complimentary e-book NATURAL AND DRUG-FREE WAYS TO END YOUR MIGRAINES by clicking the image below.

Free Migraine Headache Relief eBook

Brain freeze is useful in headache research both because they seem to share many of the same mechanisms, including changes in blood flow.  Many of the classical symptoms of a migraine (vision problems, throbbing pain, etc.) may come from similar sources. So if you’ve never had a migraine, you might just be able to sympathize by imagining a 4-hour ice cream headache.

The best solution for a migraine, just like the brain freeze, is to get the cause of the problem.  For many people migraines began after a head or neck trauma, such as a car crash, fall or other accident. Traumas like these can cause misalignments in the upper neck. Misalignments in the upper neck have been shown to lead to changes in blood and cerebrospinal fluid flow from the brain to the body and the body to the brain. These changes in fluid exchange in the brain have been linked to many conditions, including migraine headaches.

The best way to correct a misalignment in the upper neck is by utilizing the upper cervical system.  upper cervical doctors perform a postural examination in order to determine body imbalance and then take precise 3 dimensional upper neck x-rays in order to mathematically calculate how the misalignment needs to be corrected. After the initial correction, follow-up 3 dimensional x-rays are taken in order to ensure that the misalignment is being corrected properly.

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Sherwood call 425-227-0111 or just click the button below:

scheduleanappointment (1)

If you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at

To hear from more people like you, check out our patient reviews here.
Dr. Kurt Sherwood, D.C. is an Upper Cervical Specialist and Renton Chiropractor who has helped many people to find natural relief over the past 20 plus years. He is trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association and his Renton Chiropractic clinic specializes in correcting problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems including migraine headaches, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease, and vertigo. More information can be found on his website at

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Latest News

Finding an Effective, Long-Lasting Way to Care for Migraines

Finding an Effective, Long-Lasting Way to Care for Migraines

It may be surprising to realize how many people throughout the world have some type of headache condition – as much as 46% of people! Headaches and migraines can be persistent and downright annoying. To date, the exact reason for migraines and headaches remains unknown. This makes alleviating migraines nearly impossible in most cases. ManyContinue Reading

Learning to Control Migraine Pain in Renton, WA

Learning to Control Migraine Pain in Renton, WA

It is unclear to those in the medical community and researchers exactly why migraines occur. However, a connection has been seen between migraines and a misalignment in the upper bones of the neck – the C1 and C2 vertebrae. A misalignment here creates a problem with the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and blood flow toContinue Reading

Vertigo Alleviated by Means of Proper Spinal Care

Vertigo Alleviated by Means of Proper Spinal Care

The term vertigo is often used when a person is referring to feeling dizzy. However, there is much more to it than that. When the cause is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, it is known for the following symptoms: A feeling that the person or his environment is spinning Nausea and vomiting Feeling lightheaded Feeling unbalanced BlurryContinue Reading

Request Consultation

Or leave a message with the the doctor.

Sherwood Spinal Care | 16810 108th Ave SE Renton, WA 98055 | Ph: 425-227-0111

We welcome residents from the surrounding areas of Kent and Maple Valley to drive out and give us a try.