Headaches vs. migraines

After a busy day of socializing, studying, and scrambling to get to classes, you might get a headache for a few hours. A good night’s sleep often does the trick.

But what about when your headache lasts for days with other serious symptoms? If that’s the case, you might be experiencing a migraine. The two are different in its symptoms and how long they last.

Knowing the difference is important in understanding why they occur, what you can do to prevent them, and how to help yourself feel better.

Tension headaches

Did you know that there are different types of headaches?

The most common one is a tension headache, in which you feel a dull and achy pain. They are also referred to as stress headaches because that is often what causes them. Lack of sleep and hunger can also be causes.

Because the origins of tension headaches vary, keeping your body in good physical and mental health is important in preventing them. Sometimes an ice pack can help in easing pain, as well as a warm shower.

Some people prefer massages or to just lay down and relax until the headache passes. Figuring out the cause can help create a solution. Just played a sports game? You may be dehydrated, and drinking water will help.

If it is severe, you can take the directed amount of ibuprofen to relieve the pain. Don’t let the headache stress you out though – take deep breaths and know it will be over soon!


However, migraines are not as easy to deal with. They cause a throbbing feeling in your head, as opposed to a dull pain that a headache causes. Migraines can cause sensitivity to light and sound, and nausea.

Two good ways to determine a migraine from a headache is that migraines usually occur on one side of the head and can prevent you from performing your daily activities. They can last up to 72 hours.

Because of the severity of symptoms, it is important to rule out other neurological symptoms that could be causing similar effects. Migraines, like headaches, can be caused by stress, drastic temperature changes and hormonal changes.

Your doctor may be able to prescribe medication so that your symptoms are not as harsh. It is important to act fast when you feel it coming on, to make it as painless as possible. Many people think bed rest is the best solution, with low lighting and no noise.


If you’re not sure what is causing your pain or if you get headaches often, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor. He/she can ask you questions to diagnose your symptoms to help you recover.

There are many physical and mental stressors that can cause a person to feel unwell, so do your best to keep your body healthy and happy.

Featured Image: Depositphotos


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