The Difference Between Headaches and Migraines..


Headaches and migraines affect about one fourth of the United States population.

At some point about all humans will have a headache during their lifespan. The simple reason is with around three hundred causes or triggers that can cause migraines and headaches we will encounter one sooner or later.

Headaches or migraine attacks may be occasional with moderate pain for some while others may have severe pain with everyday attacks.

For relief of migraines and headaches the first line of treatment in our book is education, because ultimately you may be your best doctor. The more learned about headaches and their sub-types prepares one for the correct treatment. 

List of migraines and headaches that sufferers have are:

Several years ago headaches weren't classified. The International Headache Society stepped forward and gave names to headaches, which helped in the appropriate treatment to be administered to certain ones that respond to somewhat different treatments. Keep in mind that several types of headaches are treated with the same medicines. 

The most common headache is the tension headache 

It's believed that the most common cause of tension headaches are caused by:

  • Stress from chemical, emotional, or physical factors.

It's thought that all headaches come from something bothering an underlying emotional, structural, or metabolic imbalance. I remember reading that headaches that don't turn into migraines are because the threshold point hasn't been exceeded.

Headaches and migraines comparison would be:

  • A tension type headache has a dull like pain that feels like a vice squeezing around the head. 
  • The pain is usually from an hour to all day, and the neck may feel tense up.
  • Stress, bad posture, anxiety, depression, reading or writing to long, and even oversleeping may start the tension headache. 
  • Treatment is different than migraines. 
  • Over the counter pain medicine, plus rest, relaxation, and taking a warm or cold shower may relieve this headache.

Migraine vs headache


Unlike tension headaches, migraines, and cluster headaches are vascular because of the constriction, and expansion of the arteries of the head. Migraine headaches are:

  • Throbbing, intense pain that generally starts on one side of the head and an spreads to both sides. 
  • Nausea and vomiting are common with light and sound increasing the pain.
  • Numbness and tingling are common in some migraine sub types.  
  • Unlike tension headaches migraines may last from several hours to days.
  • Classic migraines have visual disturbances

Even trips to the EM at a hospital aren't uncommon.

Triggers or causes for migraines are somewhat different than tension because migraines can be:

  • Inhered from a parent 
  • Caused by foods, and alcohol abuse 
  • Stress, and sleep patterns 
  • Some chemicals and scents 
  • Menstrual for women  
  • Even weather changes

Treatment for migraines would have to be accordingly  with intense and frequent migraines treated more aggressively than occasional and moderate migraines. 

Headaches and migraines are different because headaches are caused by a disturbance of the pain-sensitive structures in the head. Several areas of the head, and neck have these pain sensitive structures. 

They are divided  within the cranium blood vessels, meninges, and the cranial nerves, and outside the cranium which is the muscles, nerves, arteries and veins, subcutaneous tissues, eyes, ears, sinuses, and mucous membranes. Often times tension type headaches that abrupt from the neck may be helped with pillows designed for the neck.

Headaches and migraines are quite common but should be treated as soon as possible to avoid frequent repeats. Don't self treat unless you've set down and read several books about headaches. Headaches or migraines can turn into frequent and intense if treated to often with just pain medicine. Keep a diary (print) search for what's causing the attack, get rest, keep the sleep pattern the same, take supplements such as herbs, vitamins, and mineral

Thanks for reading.

Our last page is on a rare type of migraine that is seldom diagnosed called a dysphrenic migraine, and our next page covers info about migraine sufferers. Home page from headaches and migraines. Web site with more info about migraines.

New! Comments

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For our Migrane sufferers that may want to seek additional help other than information, there's many products to choose from on Amazon to relieve that headache. You'll be surprised as to how many products are designed for headache relief, from medicine to pillows and so forth. 

Look at the products below and read the reviews. They are all sold on Amazon for  

Even pillows for migraines help tremendously when the pain originates from the neck area. Herbs and Vitamins such as the ones mentioned above are helpful for some sufferers. Most are very inexpensive, and you may find something that will work for your type of headache. All can be found by searching Amazons many headache products. 

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