Ice Cream Headaches

What causes them, exactly?

Last night my boyfriend and I were enjoying margaritas. I took a big long sip of mine, and was promptly smacked with a very long, very painful “ice cream” headache. It was more piercing than usual, and actually made my eyes water. I asked my boyfriend how he thinks they happen, and then we both preceded to experiment–taking long gulps of icy drinks to observe the painful process.

Both of us noticed the pain started first on the roof of our mouth before shooting up to behind the right eye. Curiously, for both of us, the pain was only on the right side. I said perhaps it was because we favored that side when swallowing; he thought it was just anatomical.

His theory: the ice cools an artery in the area of the roof of the mouth, slowing blood flow suddenly and thus causing the sudden pain. My theory: the ice cools a bundle of nerves located in the same area, with the same effect. Of course, we have no idea if either of us is even close.

Anyone actually know the reason for these annoying things?

Teaching: The ultimate birth control method.

Laura’s Stuff and Things

I think it’s bcause the extreme cold causes sudden vasoconstriction of the blood vessels in the brain. Seems like I heard that somewhere.

“There are more things you don’t know than there are things that I do know. I despair of the imbalance.” – Dr. Morgenes, The Dragonbone Chair

This hasn’t been studied much, but what is known is explained here…,2283,1312,00.html

Strangely…it seems you were both right!

In history they will not fill their heads with battles, nor in geography with fortresses, for it becomes them just as little to reek of
gunpowder as it does the males to reek of musk.

                     - Immanuel Kant

Neat! Only difference is he thought the chill constricted the blood vessels. Weirdly enough, it dilates them.

Great link–thanks!

Teaching: The ultimate birth control method.

Laura’s Stuff and Things

While the Pathfinder site contains the correct answer, no reasonable person could possibly accept an answer as authoritative until Cecil has weighed in, which he did nine years ago.

What causes “ice cream headache”?

Livin’ on Tums, vitamin E and Rogaine

When I was reading up on childbirth in preparation for my upcoming child they mentioned how women that have C-sections often have shoulder pain. It explained that it was because the nerve that tells you something is wrong in your abdomen also connects to the nerve in your shoulder. Since the pain is really pretty bad in the abdomen (having surgery and all) your brain can’t handle it and attributes some of the pain to the shoulder. (BTW, my father had this same phenomenon after his pancreatic cancer surgery and I was able to help him understand it.)

What does this have to do with brain-freeze? They said that it is the similar to an “ice cream headache”. I assumed that meant that the mechanics were the same: same nerve branches off to both places.

Manhatten–thank you for the link. :slight_smile: You know, I did search the archives first, using “headache AND ice cream” as the search words–to no avail! I thought it would be obvious enough. Ah, well. Thanks!