Migraine vs. Headache: How To Tell The Difference Between Both

Migraine vs. Headache: How To Tell The Difference Between Both

Typically, people presume throbbing pain in your head as a headache. However, that might not always be the case. The cause behind pressure or pain in your head could be due to migraine as well. Moreover, some people unknowingly use both terms interchangeably.  But there is a significant difference between the two. And, it is essential to learn the difference to take the proper treatment.  What’s the difference? Let’s find out! 

What Is A Headache? 


Headache is generally an unpleasant pain in your head that ranges from mild to severe. It usually occurs on BOTH sides of the head. Other areas include the temples, back of the neck, and forehead. According to studies, a common headache can last from 30 minutes to a week. Plus, there are different types of headaches such as tension headaches, sinus, cluster, Chiari, thunderclap, and others. The most common type is tension headaches caused by stress, anxiety, and muscle strain. 


Besides the pain, there are several other symptoms that are associated with the headaches, such as: 

  • Vomiting
  • Stiff neck
  • Any fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion

If you experience any of these symptoms, you must seek immediate medical care. 


Fortunately, headaches can be treated easily. You can either take over-the-counter medications to get instant relief. Or, you can also try relaxation techniques such as: 

  • Meditation
  • Heat therapy
  • Head massage
  • Neck stretching 

What Is A Migraine? 

Migraine is actually a type of headache where you experience intense pain or pulsing mainly on the ONE side of your head. The migraine pain could be very severe, and the patient might also need to seek care at an emergency room. The pain is so intense that it can make it challenging to perform everyday activities. Migraine is also divided into two categories, i.e., migraine with and without aura. Here, aura refers to the sensation you experience before a migraine attack. This sensation can occur anywhere near 10 to 30 minutes before the attack. 



Other symptoms related to the migraine include: 

  • Pain behind one eye or ear
  • Seeing a spot or flashing lights
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Pain in temples
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Temporary vision loss. 

Apart from this, some people might also experience the “Prodrome” phase. This means experiencing symptoms before the attack. These symptoms include: 

  • Neck stiffness
  • Irritability
  • Constipation 
  • Depression 
  • Frequent yawning 
  • Unusual food cravings 


The treatment of migraine includes preventive measures such as making changes in your diet, exercising, reducing stress, and making positive changes in your lifestyle.  In addition to this, it is recommended to visit your doctor and describe your pain. They can provide you medications accordingly that’ll help reduce the pain.  Nevertheless, keep in mind that migraine pain is generally reoccurring. So, you must make lifestyle changes to stay healthy. 

Key Takeaway!

A girl with Headache/Migraine.

When the matter is about your health, it is essential to learn about the right cause and symptoms of the illness. This will ensure that you take the right treatment and get well soon. Otherwise, negligence can further affect your health. Hopefully, this article helped you understand the difference between commonly mistaken sickness, i.e., Migraine and Headache.