There is a lot of misinformation regarding headaches and migraines and it can often be confusing to know which one you are suffering from. So what is the difference between a headache and a migraine? What does this mean for you? And what can you do to help treat them?

The term headache means to have a pain in ones head. They typically last anywhere from several hours to 7+ days, can be present on one side of the head or both and the quality of pain is described as an ache or a pressure/squeezing sensation. Headaches can range in intensity from mild to severe and can be very debilitating. The pain is most commonly experienced in the forehead, temples, around the side of the head, base of the skull and crown of the head.

Migraines on the other hand, typically last between 4-72 hours, are commonly present on one side of the head but can be on both sides and present as a throbbing pain. Although migraines can have many different presentations e.g. silent, vestibular, classic etc, the symptoms will often present as moderate to severe in intensity. As well as pain, migraines must also have one or more associated features including nausea, vomiting, light/sound/smell sensitivity. An aura and dizziness may also be associated with a migraine. The pain is most commonly experienced behind the eye, into the forehead, up and over the top of the head and the base of the skull.

So why does it matter whether you have a headache or a migraine? As a society we should be better informed as to what ails us, but further than that, it also aids our treatment direction.

The neck is the leading cause of over 80% of headaches and migraines and depending on which one you are suffering and exactly how it presents will depend on the direction treatment takes because each headache and migraine sufferer is unique and should be treated as such in order to get the long term results they are after.

Therefore, hopefully now you know exactly whether you are suffering from a headache, migraine or both. To finally start to see those long term changes, come in and see one of our practitioners who have dedicated themselves to the field of headaches and migraines where they will perform a personalised assessment and treatment for you so that you can begin a new journey to a life without headaches or migraines.