Sunday, July 3, 2022
HomeExclusiveHow To Tell Headache From Migraine

How To Tell Headache From Migraine

When To Get Medical Advice

How to tell if your headache is actually a migraine

You should see a GP if you have frequent or severe migraine symptoms.

Simple painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, can be effective for migraine.

Try not to use the maximum dosage of painkillers on a regular or frequent basis as this could make it harder to treat headaches over time.

You should also make an appointment to see a GP if you have frequent migraines , even if they can be controlled with medicines, as you may benefit from preventative treatment.

You should call 999 for an ambulance immediately if you or someone you’re with experiences:

  • paralysis or weakness in 1 or both arms or 1 side of the face
  • slurred or garbled speech
  • a sudden agonising headache resulting in a severe pain unlike anything experienced before
  • headache along with a high temperature , stiff neck, mental confusion, seizures, double vision and a rash

These symptoms may be a sign of a more serious condition, such as a stroke or meningitis, and should be assessed by a doctor as soon as possible.

What Are Some Ways I Can Prevent Migraine

The best way to prevent migraine is to find out what triggers your attacks and avoid or limit these triggers. Since migraine headaches are more common during times of stress, finding healthy ways to cut down on and cope with stress might help. Talk with your doctor about starting a fitness program or taking a class to learn relaxation skills.

Talk with your doctor if you need to take your pain-relief medicine more than twice a week. Doing so can lead to rebound headaches. If your doctor has prescribed medicine for you to help prevent migraine, take them exactly as prescribed. Ask what you should do if you miss a dose and how long you should take the medicine. Talk with your doctor if the amount of medicine you are prescribed is not helping your headaches.

Laser Pain Therapy For Headaches And Migraines

BioFlex laser therapy is highly effective in delivering the precise dosage of radiation in order to treat the painful area. It helps in resolving painful headaches and migraines.

In order to achieve proper migraine pain treatment and tension headache treatment, you need to evaluate the signs and symptoms of headaches. Consult your doctor and discuss the symptoms with your doctor in order to achieve a proper diagnosis.

Want to know about a non-invasive therapy for tension headaches that are backed by science and evidence? Click here.

Or if you suffer from migraine then book an appointment for migraine treatment through effective and non-invasive laser pain therapy, here.

Also Check: Daith Piercing Tension Headaches

Migraine Vs Headache: How To Tell The Difference Expert Explains

Experiencing headaches every now and then? Suffering from headaches can be troublesome for many, it gets in the way of day-to-day activities. When you are experiencing throbbing pain in your head, it can be difficult to judge whether it’s a typical headache or a migraine. But by understanding the difference between the two, can help you get the right treatment. spoke to Dr. Vikram Sharma, Senior Consultant Neurologist, Department of Neurology, Sunshine Hospitals, Hyderabad about migraines, symptoms, treatment, and more. Read on!

Barriers To Effective Care

How To Tell If You Have A Headache Or A Migraine

Lack of knowledge among health-care providers is the principal clinical barrier. Worldwide, on average, only 4 hours of undergraduate medical education are dedicated to instruction on headache disorders. A large number of people with headache disorders are not diagnosed and treated: worldwide only 40% of those with migraine or TTH are professionally diagnosed, and only 10% of those with MOH.

Poor awareness extends to the general public. Headache disorders are not perceived by the public as serious since they are mostly episodic, do not cause death, and are not contagious. The low consultation rates in developed countries may indicate that many affected people are unaware that effective treatments exist. Half of people with headache disorders are estimated to be self-treating.

Many governments, seeking to constrain health-care costs, do not acknowledge the substantial burden of headache on society. They might not recognize that the direct costs of treating headache are small in comparison with the huge indirect-cost savings that might be made if resources were allocated to treat headache disorders appropriately.

You May Like: Amlodipine Migraine

How Are Headaches Treated

Provided one of the serious conditions noted above is not present, relatively simple treatment options can be considered. To treat symptoms and prevent the frequency and severity of headaches, physicians may try to identify headache “triggers,” such as stress or certain foods, and recommend treatment options including:

  • preventive medications and treatments.
  • lifestyle changes, including stress management and relaxation techniques.
  • pain-relieving medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Children and adolescents should avoid taking aspirin. In rare cases, aspirin can cause Reye Syndrome, a serious and potentially fatal condition.

If your headache is the result of an underlying medical condition or injury, your physician will discuss treatment options with you.

How Do You Know If You’re Having A Migraine Or A Headache

Blog post | 11 Mar 2019

Headaches are, unfortunately, a part of life. They can be triggered by many things, from hot dogs and ice cream to swimming goggles. Nine out of 10 people have had a headache.

While they are are less common, it’s estimated that almost 5 million Australians experience migraines. Due to hormonal factors, migraines are believed to affect more women than men, and migraines typically run in families.

Don’t Miss: Can I Take Naproxen With Excedrin

Social And Economic Burden Of Headache

Headache disorders are a public-health concern given the associated disability and financial costs to society. As headache disorders are most troublesome in the productive years , estimates of their financial cost to society principally from lost working hours and reduced productivity are massive. In the United Kingdom, for example, some 25 million working- or school-days are lost every year because of migraine alone this financial cost may be matched by TTH and MOH combined. Headache is high among causes of consulting medical practitioners: one-third of all neurological consultations were for headache, in one survey.

Yet, many of those troubled by headache do not receive effective care. For example, in the United States of America and the United Kingdom, only half of those identified with migraine had seen a doctor for headache-related reasons in the previous 12 months, and only two-thirds had been correctly diagnosed. Most were solely reliant on over-the-counter medications.

You Can Deal With Debilitating Migraines

Headache Treatments : How to Tell if You Have a Sinus Headache

You can deal with migraines by knowing your triggers and managing them. As Williams reminded me, everyone’s triggers are different, but the generalized triggers are as follows: change in stress, hunger and dehydration, lack of sleep, too much sleep, direct pressure to the head , rigorous physical activity, and diet have been associated with migraines.

Also, keep a headache diary so that you and your doctor can monitor the symptoms, intensity, and what brings them on. Lastly, don’t be afraid to seek professional help.

You May Like: Migraine Tylenol Or Advil

Migraines Do Not Respond To Over

For me, taking a Tylenol or Advil or Excedrin was akin to popping a placebo. It did nothing more than upset my stomach if I took multiple pills.

Dr. Murray Grossan noted that a migraine does not respond to Tylenol or Motrin but does respond to Imitrex or other tryptophans. I can attest that once I started taking prescribed Imitrex, my headaches would go away. Prior to Imitrex entering my life and my bloodstream, I had to wait it out for days at a time, leading to decreased productivity and lots of wasted time.

What Do Sinus Headaches And Migraine Headaches Have In Common

Despite what OTC sinus product makers tout, âtrueâ sinus headaches are actually quite rare. Migraine and sinus headaches are associated with pain over the forehead and/or cheekbones. They both often are associated with swelling of the nasal membranes. That is why patients may confuse the two. However, there are many differences between sinus and migraine headaches.

Read Also: Painless Migraine Dizziness

How To Spot The Difference Between Migraines & Sinus Headaches

If you have a runny nose, watery eyes and your head hurts, you might assume that you have a sinus headache. But studies show that about 90% of self-diagnosed sinus headaches are actually migraine.

Theres a belief that sinus headache is a common illness. The marketing of over-the-counter medications designed to treat these symptoms reinforce this belief.. However, a sinus headache is not as common as you might think.

How can you tell if you have migraine or sinus headache and get the treatment you need? Lets start by defining migraine and sinus headache.

What Are The Treatments For Migraine Headaches

Migraine vs Headache: How To Know The Difference

It’s important to find out what your triggers are and avoid them. It may help to keep a headache diary so you can track possible triggers like:

  • What you eat and drink
  • How much you slept
  • Activities you do
  • Weather changes

You may be able to stop a migraine with headache drugs called “abortive medications.” You take these as soon as you feel a migraine coming on. Drugstores carry over-the-counter ibuprofen medications specifically for migraine headaches. If they aren’t enough to help, your doctor may prescribe stronger meds.

If other treatments don’t work and you have more than four migraine headache days a month, your doctor may suggest preventive medicines. You can take these regularly to make your headaches less frequent or severe. These meds include seizure medicines, blood pressure medicines , and some antidepressants.

CGRP inhibitors are a new class of preventive medicine that your doctor may recommend if other medicines don’t help.

Your doctor might also prescribe a medical device to help you feel better. These three devices may help prevent or treat migraines:

Cefaly. This headband-like device stimulates a nerve on the forehead that’s linked to migraines.

GammaCore. This is a handheld gadget that you can place on the vagus nerve in your neck. It interrupts nerve signals linked to migraines.

SpringTMS . You hold this device against the back of your head, and it gives off a pulse of magnetic energy into part of the brain.

  • Self-relaxation techniques
  • Exercise

Also Check: Do Daith Piercings Help With Migraines

What Are The Four Stages Or Phases Of A Migraine Whats The Timeline

The four stages in chronological order are the prodrome , aura, headache and postdrome. About 30% of people experience symptoms before their headache starts.

The phases are:

  • Prodrome: The first stage lasts a few hours, or it can last days. You may or may not experience it as it may not happen every time. Some know it as the preheadache or premonitory phase.
  • Aura: The aura phase can last as long as 60 minutes or as little as five. Most people dont experience an aura, and some have both the aura and the headache at the same time.
  • Headache: About four hours to 72 hours is how long the headache lasts. The word ache doesnt do the pain justice because sometimes its mild, but usually, its described as drilling, throbbing or you may feel the sensation of an icepick in your head. Typically it starts on one side of your head and then spreads to the other side.
  • Postdrome: The postdrome stage goes on for a day or two. Its often called a migraine hangover and 80% of those who have migraines experience it.
  • It can take about eight to 72 hours to go through the four stages.

    Treatment For Sinus Headaches

    Your urgent care doctor will recommend you take a short course of a decongestant and/or an over-the-counter nasal spray to help reduce nasal membrane swelling. You may take a hot shower to loosen up the secretions and can hydrate with warm liquids. If the symptoms persist for a longer time, consult your walk-in doctor who will prescribe antibiotics.

    Also Check: Migraine Left Side Numb

    Sinus Headache Vs Migraine

    Pain with a runny or stuffy nose is the typical symptom of a sinus headache. But did you know that a migraine can also cause these symptoms? The difference is in the color of your mucus:

    • If your mucus is clear and runny, it could be a migraine.
    • Sinus headaches can be a sign of a sinus infection that causes your mucus to thicken and sometimes turn a yellowish color.

    Are The Causes Of Headache Vs Migraine The Same

    Headaches: How to tell the difference between a Headache, a Cervicogenic Headache and a Migraine.

    Researchers have suggested that the cause of migraines has a strong genetic component since approximately 70% of people with this type of headache have a relative with the history of migraines. Some researchers suggest that migraines are related to or caused, or partially caused by blood flow changes in the brain.

    Although some doctors suggest that tension in muscles cause other types of headaches, most now think that the specific cause of headaches is unknown, and likely due to several factors, for example:

    • Muscle tension in the scalp and/or neck
    • Infection and/or sinus congestion
    • Other undefined factors
    • Some headaches, for example, headaches caused by hormones, are likely related to changes in hormonal levels.

    Read Also: Sumatriptan And Pregnancy

    Location Of Headache Pain Vs Migraine Pain

    Migraines and headaches can also have different areas where the pain is centralized.

    If you have a headache, you’ll likely feel pain and pressure in the forehead and scalp, and sometimes even toward the area where the spine and skull connect.

    If you have a migraine, you’ll likely feel pain on only one side of your head. You may occasionally feel pain on both sides of the head when you have a migraine, but the pain will likely feel more intense on one side.

    If you can clearly identify that the pain is on one side of your head instead of across your forehead or across your entire head, you’re likely dealing with a migraine. Each case is different, though, so make sure you monitor for other symptoms.

    Do Normal Pain Killers Work

    Tension headaches can often be relieved by over-the-counter pain medications. Migraines dont budge with these treatments. Once a migraine is in full force, the sufferer generally must ride it out. If a headache reacts well to a couple of non-prescription pain killers, its most likely a tension headache.

    The majority of individuals will unfortunately deal with a headache at one point in their lives. Its important to note that tension headaches are much more common than migraines, but that doesnt rule out the possibility of the headache being a migraine.

    The answers to the above questions combined together give insight as to the type of headache occurring, and how best to proactively handle the treatment. No matter the type of headache, if the pain is severe, or begins after a head injury, seek medical treatment immediately.

    Also make an appointment with your local chiropractor. Chiropractic is a wonderful option to pursue when dealing with either a migraine or tension headache. One of the main reasons is because chiropractic treats the cause of the problem not just the symptoms.

    If you dont have a local chiropractor and are looking for lasting relief from headaches, we encourage you to call today. Our Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Tripp Stover, specializes in helping people just like you overcome headaches.

    Don’t Miss: Can Tylenol Cause Headaches

    Headache Or Migraine How To Tell The Difference

    Head pain can be intense, it can come on quickly, make it difficult to work and function and it can completely ruin your day. If youre experiencing chronic head pain, possibly along with other symptoms, its important to know if youre dealing with a headache or an acute migraine. Understanding the difference can help you figure out whats causing your symptoms so you can prevent or at least minimize your discomfort. Read on to learn more.


    A headache is an aching pain or tightness on both sides of the head, sometimes extending into the neck and shoulder muscles. Headaches can cause enough discomfort to slow you down and interfere with daily life, but typically do not impact the ability to function.

    Seek immediate medical attention if you have any of the following symptoms with a headache or circumstances, as they could indicate a more serious medical problem:

    • Numbness or weakness in any part of the body
    • Speech difficulties or struggling to understand what other people are saying
    • Confusion
    • Bright lights, loud noises and strong odours


    Migraines are significantly under-diagnosed and under-treated, so sufferers usually need to do some of their own investigation to get the right relief. If youre experiencing a migraine, record the date, time and what you were doing when your symptoms started as well as what you ate and drank in the last 24 hours. This will help you and your doctor identify triggers and hopefully decrease how often you get migraines.

    Both Migraine And Cluster Headache Can Get Better With Age

    6 Headaches types: how to identify who are dangerous ...

    Puberty is often the time when girls first have migraine attacks, and theyre most common between ages 18 and 44, according to Migraine Research Foundation.

    About 2 out of 3 women with migraine will have significant improvement in their migraine attack frequency when they go through natural menopause, especially for women who have migraine with aura, according to American Migraine Foundation.

    The average age of onset of cluster headache is between 20 and 40, according to American Migraine Foundation. People may not age out of cluster headaches entirely, but the amount of time between bouts of cluster headaches usually increases, leading to fewer headaches, according to the Migraine Trust.

    Read Also: Migraine Goes Away After Vomiting

    Migraine Vs Headache: How To Tell The Difference

    Migraine is often confused with an ordinary headache. Severe headaches are commonly termed by the layman as migraines but this is not correct.

    There are certain differences between a headache and a migraine. The triggering factors of each are different along with the symptoms. Tension headaches and migraines are chronic as well as episodic.

    Tension headaches are prevalent amongst 70-80% of Pakistans population while migraines are commonly seen among 14-15% population within Pakistan.

    To identify the difference lets have a look at tension headaches and migraines in detail.


    Popular Articles