Ice-Cream Headache (Brain Freeze)

Cold-stimulus headache
Cold-stimulus headache

An ice-cream headache, also known as brain freeze, cold-stimulus headache,or its given scientific name sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia (meaning “nerve pain of the sphenopalatine ganglion“), is a form of brief cranial pain or headache commonly associated with consumption (particularly quick consumption) of cold beverages or foods such as ice cream and popsicles. It is caused by having something cold touch the roof of the mouth (palate), and is believed to result from a nerve response causing rapid constriction and swelling of blood vessels or a “referring” of pain from the roof of the mouth to the head. The rate of intake for cold foods has been studied as a contributing factor.

Ice cream headaches can affect anyone. But you may be more susceptible to ice cream headaches if you’re prone to migraines. The headaches may also be more common among people with a history of head injuries.The phenomenon is common enough to have been the subject of research published in the British Medical Journal and Scientific American.  To relieve pain, some doctors suggest pressing the tongue against the roof of the mouth to warm the area.  Read More…