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Can Soaking Your Feet in Warm Water Relieve Migraine Symptoms? Experts Weigh In

A post on the TikTok page last September claimed that a simple treatment by soaking the feet in warm water could relieve migraine symptoms.

Some health experts say it is possible that soaking your feet in warm water can help reduce migraine symptoms, although there is not much research to support this.

“Maybe this works for some people. “I am always open to hearing patients’ opinions about what works for them,” said Medical Director of the Department of Neurology at Michigan State University Amit Sachdev, MD, as broadcast by Health, Thursday (28/12).

Different from regular headaches, migraines can cause moderate to severe throbbing pain that is usually concentrated on one side of the head. Migraine patients may also experience sensitivity to light and smells, nausea, or vomiting.

Symptoms can last up to 3 days if not treated. Therefore, patients need strategies that can successfully treat or prevent pain.

In some cases, soaking the feet in warm water may be the solution, according to pain management expert and Medical Director of the Non-Operative Program at Spine Health Center, MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center, Medhat Mikhael, MD.

Despite positive anecdotal evidence, there isn’t much data to confirm that soaking feet in warm water is actually beneficial.

A small 2016 study investigated the treatment. The researchers observed 40 chronic migraine patients and divided them into two groups.

Both groups were given conventional migraine medication, however, one group also received hydrotherapy which means participants soaked their legs and arms in hot water baths and had ice massages on their heads for 20 minutes every day.

At the end of the 45-day study, researchers found that people in the hydrotherapy group experienced less pain than the control group. The results are promising, but more research needs to be done.

Why does the treatment work?

It’s not entirely clear why soaking your feet in warm water can reduce migraine pain, however, experts have several hypotheses.

One of them, according to Mikhael, is that when someone puts their feet in warm water, it can help circulate blood to the feet and lower legs, thereby reducing migraine attacks.

But there are other possible answers as well. Nerve signals transmit pain, touch, vibration, and temperature.

By activating nearby nerves, it can sometimes reduce the total number of pain signals reaching the brain and consequently reduce the pain a patient experiences, Rajneesh said.

Warm water can also be relaxing. When a person experiences a migraine episode, he or she is stressed and anxious. Soaking your feet can help soothe and relieve some of the pain.

Additionally, soaking your feet in warm water may serve as a way to distract yourself from the migraine itself.

However, remember about the water temperature. People should use a thermometer or their finger to ensure the water temperature is tolerable.

“Don’t put your feet in very hot, boiling water. You can burn it,” said Mikhael.

Reporter: Lia Wanadriani Santosa

Editor: Bima Agustian

COPYRIGHT © ANTARA News Bangka Belitung 2023

2023-12-29 06:43:09
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