There are many proven benefits to icing your head and neck to manage pain and aid in recovery. You can read more specific details about studies in the areas of selective brain cooling and neck cooling on our research pages.
A Summary of What We Know Today About Icing Your Head:
- Core and brain temperature are naturally elevated after exertion or injury and normalizing that temperature is an important aspect of recovery. External cooling applied to the head and neck can be effective at lowering brain temperature by small amounts and these reductions in temperature may have a positive impact on healing.
- Using ice on your head and neck to reduce migraine pain has been a commonly accepted practice for decades and many people respond very well to cold therapy for migraines and other headache disorders.
- There is no proven cure yet for mild traumatic brain injuries (concussions). People who suffer an injury have to “wait it out” and gradually return to their normal life as their symptoms subside. Management of these symptoms (such as headache and disrupted sleep patterns) helps to promote a positive outlook on recovery and general mental state.
- Researchers in the U.S. and New Zealand are currently investigating potential benefits of head cooling after a concussion.
- An accumulation of small head impacts over time can have similar negative effects on brain health to one large impact and preliminary studies show that cooling can help to minimize these effects.
- Hospitals utilize selective hypothermia to minimize brain damage after cardiac arrest, stroke, and severe head trauma.
Why Not Ice Your Head?
- Research to date on icing your head and neck shows positive effects with no known negative consequences.
- Ice is commonly used to treat many forms of injuries to the rest of your body.
- Psychologically, you just feel better when you cool your head and neck in hot conditions and there are proven benefits to athletic performance from icing in between hard efforts in the heat.
- We believe that all sports teams and athletic trainers should have a method of applying cooling to the head and neck on hand, such as the Cryohelmet, for treatment of minor head injuries and heat illnesses.
Keep in mind, icing your head is not a substitute for seeking proper medical attention for a head injury. It is important that you talk to a medical professional after any blow to the head or in any case of a potential concussion.
This is an interview with Kevin Jackson, former University of Illinois football player and Senior Researcher at the Beckman Institute. Kevin discusses his work as a concussion spotter for the University’s football team and his research on head and neck cooling to combat brain injuries. Kevin can be seen modeling the Catalyst Cryohelmet during the video.
Hear professional baseball catcher Rene Rivera talk about why he and his family ice their heads using the Cryohelmet.
*Disclaimer: The Catalyst Cryohelmet is not guaranteed to prevent or cure any or all head trauma. This website is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine, nursing or other professional health care services, including the giving of medical advice, and no doctor/patient relationship is formed. The use of information on this website or materials linked from it is at the user’s own risk. The content of this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should not disregard, or delay in obtaining, medical advice for any medical condition they may have, and should seek the assistance of their health care professionals for any such conditions.