Is This TikTok Hack For Treating Migraines Worth The Hype?

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, migraines may affect more than 12% of U.S. adults. Women experience migraines three times more than men, and some migraine headaches may be genetic. No known cure-all works for every symptom or for everyone (per National Health Service), but some people swear by various remedies that can relieve the most severe symptoms. TikTok influencer Paige More combines two standard migraine therapies in a video explainer, demonstrating their pain-relieving hack — but is this TikTok trick for treating migraines worth the hype?

WebMD recommends some common self-care techniques for migraines, like lying in a dark room, wearing ear plugs to mute noise, and using aromatherapy to block offensive odors. While these measures don't necessarily relieve symptoms, they may prevent them from worsening. WebMD also suggests symptom-reducing home remedies that may work (to varying degrees). You can try taking caffeine, drinking lots of hydrating fluids, getting a massage, or sipping ginger tea for an upset stomach. However, More's migraine-relief technique involves an approach endorsed by the Mayo Clinic — temperature therapy.

Could this TikTok hack offer migraine relief?

Temperature therapy involves applying hot or cold compresses or taking a warm bath or shower. More's migraine hack advises applying a cold compress to the back of the neck (More used a bag of frozen fruit) to reduce inflammation in the brain, thereby relieving migraine pain. At the same time, More places both feet into a sink filled with warm water to encourage blood flow away from the head and toward the legs and feet. If you need more relief, More explains you can also put your fingers in the warm water to attract circulation to the arms and hands.

But does More's TikTok hack actually work? It depends, and the comments attached to the video vary. Some users exclaim that it worked for them, while others lament More's hack had no effect. While science hasn't yet pinpointed the cause behind migraines or developed a consistent cure (via National Health Service), one theory describes why temperature therapy sometimes (but not always) works.

Scientific American explains that nerve pathways may fail to constrict arteries leading to the brain, allowing too much blood to flow around the brain. Healthgrades says applying cold packs can signal blood vessels to contract and may inhibit nerves from sending pain signals. Most migraine sufferers prefer cold therapy to ease the pain. However, if you find heat comforting, you can soak your feet (like More does) or relax in a warm bath. In short, this hack is worth a shot.