Migraines affect millions of individuals and the treatment in most cases is not satisfactory. Even drugs that work, suddenly stop working after prolonged use. People with migraine spend millions of dollars on a wide range of over the counter pain medications. In addition, these individuals spend billions more on prescription migraine medications that have side effects and often do not work. Now there is some evidence that perhaps something a lot cheaper without a prescription may provide transient relief from migraine.
There are a variety of migraine “Be-Kool” pads or patches available. The user is asked to stick the patch or pad to the forehead as soon as the symptoms of migraine start. Depending on what type of ‘Kool’ pad you buy, there is a sensation of coolness, which is further enhanced by menthol. Asian practitioners have been using similar “Tiger Menthol Balms” for centuries and they do work well for pain relief. The cooling affect with the patches appears to last from 6-8 hours.
Migraine Kool pads cost anywhere from $1-$ 4. There are many varieties of such patches available. The Thera-med band is like an ice pack and can be re-used. It is stored in the freezer and has Velcro straps. The side that sticks also has a soft fabric so that the ice pack will not stick like glue to your skin. The thera med band costs less than $8 and can be reused.
There are also variety of Menthol containing balms from herbal stores which mimic the cooling effect. The “tiger balm” is reputed to be the best and contains a high concentration of menthol.
So the question is do these gimmicks work?
As far as clinical studies are concerned, there are none. All the data on ice pads and packs are anecdotal reports. You either believe these reports or you don’t. Remember, manufacturers of these products are also in the business of making money and like pharmaceutical companies tend to exaggerate the benefits.
From internet reports and reviews, it appears that ice packs appear to help at least 50-70 percent of individuals with migraine. The pain relief is significant but not long lasting.
First, it should be understood that ice pads are not a cure for migraine but they do provide acute pain relief. In most cases, the pain relief is immediate.
Second, the medications for migraines are not always reliable, have many side effects and are prohibitively expensive. Therefore, a cheaper alternative like an ice pad surely cannot be a bad option even if it works only for a few hours.
For those who are not sure of these gimmicks, simple take a bag of frozen peas next time you have migraine and apply it. If it works, then go ahead and buy the ice pack. Cooling is not a new remedy in medicine; it was one of the first therapies for pain way before drugs were manufactured.
There really is no downside to applying a cooling pad to the forehead when you have a headache. It may cause you to feel a wee bit cold but at least the headache will be gone. This is a lot better than forking out a few hundred dollars for an emergency room visit, getting a prescription for pills that may not work and which have many side effects.
Read customer reviews about Be Cool here.