Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Ice cream headache

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 10 May 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1364

Rapid Response:

Re: Ice cream BACKACHE!

I have gotten ice cream backaches my whole life and never understood
the concept of a "brain freeze."

I got a lot of goofy looks when I wold wiggle and squirm to try to
get rid of the backache I'll tell you, and as a kid that has something
happen to them that happens to no one else, you can guess that it was a
source of ridicule.

I'm not the only one I know that gets backaches, but the other two
are my mother and sister, and at that, my sister alternates between a
headache and a backache.

My brother gets headaches, though. Maybe it's a latent trait of some
variety. If it were simply a vaso-constriction in the brain or cold
traveling through your blood stream, the response would be 100%. However,
it wasn't 100% even in the migraine group. My thought, based on my
experience with my immediate family having the problem, is that there is a
chromosome that triggers the effect of the Ice Cream Headache, and another
to show where it is.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

27 April 2008
Thomas L Strizek
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