Difference between Migraine and Headache

Difference between Migraine and Headache


“A Migraine is more than just a bad Headache.”

When you feel pain or pressure in your head, it can be difficult for you to make sure that you are experiencing a typical headache or a migraine. Some people who don’t have any experience with migraine, they may confuse with a headache. It can also help prevent future headaches from happening in the first place. Today we are trying to understand you the difference between a migraine and headache in a better way which one means faster relief through better treatments. Try and understand how different they are from each other and how we can identify them.

Difference between Migraine and Headache

Or, How to differentiate between migraine and headache?

Or, Migraine vs. Headache

You will understand the difference between migraine and headache with complete details. Here we have provided the complete details. Let’s start!

Migraine vs. Headache

What is a Headache?

Headaches are unpleasant pains in your head that can cause pressure and throbbing. A normal headache usually make an affect on both sides of your head and leads to mild to severe pain. Some specific areas of head where headaches can happen include the forehead, head top, and behind the neck. A headache can last from 30 minutes to 1 week.

There are some few factors that cause to increase headache such as excessive stress, muscle pain or anxiety. Headache gives no warnings before it happens. But, you may experience the following symptoms that includes:

  • Affects both sides of the head.
  • Mild to moderate pain.
  • Pain that feels pressing or tightening, but not pulsating.
  • Tenderness on scalp, neck and shoulder muscles.

Headache is not just a type of headache, it also includes the following headache types.

  1. Cluster headaches

Cluster headaches are severely painful headaches that make an affect on one side of the head and come in clusters (groups). This means that you know-how the cycles of headache attacks, followed by headache-free periods.

  1. Sinus headaches

It is frequently confused with migraines, sinus headaches co-occur with the symptoms of sinus infection like fever, stuffy nose, cough, congestion, and facial pressure.

  1. Chiari headaches

A Chiari headache is caused by a birth defect known as a Chiari malformation, which causes the skull to push against parts of the brain which often causes pain behind the head.

  1. Thunderclap headaches

A “thunderclap” headache is an extremely serious headache that develops in 60 seconds or less. This can be a symptom of a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a serious medical condition which needs an instant medical attention. It may also be affected by an aneurysm, stroke, or other injury. Immediately, if you feel like this type of headache you can consult the doctor.

What is migraine?

On the other hand migraine is a complex neurological condition which can affect the whole body and can result in many symptoms. A migraine is an extreme type of headache that can cause creates sensation in the intensity of a part of your head, and usually a moderate or severe pain felt as a throbbing or aching pain on one side of the head. The pain of migraine is so high that the person is incapable to make perform his daily tasks easily. A migraine can last from 4 to 72 hours. During the migraine headache, you may experience the following symptoms that includes:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Sensitivity to sound or light
  • Acute pain in the upper part of the head
  • Sudden short sight of temporary loss of vision
  • Pain in the ear or eye
  • Spot or flashing light

Some migraine sufferers may have symptoms of one or two days before the actual migraine happens which is known as the “Prodrome” phase of a migraine. These subtler signs can include:

  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Repeated consternation
  • Irritability
  • Stiffness on neck
  • Abnormal food cravings
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Fatigue

There are two types of migraine which includes:

  1. Migraine with Aura, also known as a common migraine where there are specific warning signs just before the migraine begins, such as seeing stars, zigzag lines, flashing lights or experiencing a temporary blind spot 30 minutes before the headache starts.


  1. Migraine without Aura, also known as classic migraines where the migraine occurs without the specific warning signs. Sufferers may experience craving for sweets, thirst, sleepiness or depression in the period before the headaches starts.

Migraine vs. Headache

Some of the following difference between migraine and headache are:

  • Headaches rarely start during sleep whereas Migraines can often start during sleep.
  • Headaches affect more than 70% of some populations whereas Migraines affect about 14.7% of the world’s population – approximately 1 in 7 people.
  • Headaches are two types that can be either episodic (lasting a few hours) or chronic (lasting for days). Migraines can also be usually last for a few hours or up to a few days.

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