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Difference Between Migraine And Tension Headache

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Key Points About Tension Headaches

Tension Headache vs. Migraine
  • Tension headaches are the most common type of headache.
  • Tension headaches typically do not cause nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light.
  • Tension headaches affect both sides of the head, come on slowly, and are described as a tight band or vice around the head.
  • Lifestyle changes including regular sleep, exercise, and meal schedules can reduce or prevent headaches.
  • Discuss medicines to treat or prevent tension headaches with your healthcare provider.

Gm Change And Allostatic Load

The mechanism of GM volume change is beyond the scope of this study. However, the present findings of GM change in TTH and migraine and the GM difference between both types of headaches mostly involved brain regions of the pain processing network, which suggested these plastic changes may reflect the allostatic load in response to headache pain . It is posited that the pain processing network may present an adaptive volume increase to mild-to-moderate TTH pain, whereas a maladaptive volume decrease to the moderate-to-severe migraine pain. Notably, a pain severity-dependent plastic change in GM volume has been reported in chronic migraine and phantom limb pain . Earlier evoked potential studies that showed a deficient habituation in migraine in contrast with a relatively intact habituation in TTH also suggest a greater allostatic load in migraine , hence a maladaptive brain response .

Intensity Severity And Occurrence Of Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are significantly more painful than tension headaches. They can have been described as having a burning or even a piercing quality. These headaches come on very quickly with the pain becoming worse as time goes on. They often interrupt the flow of day-to-day activities, so it is important to seek a healthcare professional for treatment. However, they are not linked to underlying brain conditions .

As earlier stated, these headaches occur in clusters during one period of time. The sufferer, during that period of time, will have episodes multiple times a day for the duration. The headaches can last anywhere from half an hour up to three full hours. These episodes of cluster headaches can go through remission, but they tend to come back during the same season every year.

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Medication Overuse Headache Symptoms

In MOH cases, medications taken to treat headaches and other symptoms actually make the pain worse. They tend to arise if youre taking drugs for more long-term headache problems. You may have this condition if:

  • Headache attacks become more frequent
  • You have headaches on more days than not
  • Your headaches are worse in the morning

The Difference Between Tension Headaches And Migraines


We have all experienced headaches, but that doesnt mean all experiences are the same. Some headaches are more severe than others, and some are located in different areas of the head.

In addition, some can be effectively treated with an over the counter pain reliever while others cant.

Dont just take ibuprofen or acetaminophen and hope for the best if you suffer from frequent headaches. Learn the differences between migraines and tension headaches so you know the best course of treatment.

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Experiencing Chronic Pain Dispatchhealth Is Here For You

If you believe that your headache has reached an extreme or if you experience chronic symptoms from a cluster headache or migraine, DispatchHealth is prepared to offer you the prompt, at-home medical care that you need. As one of the most dependable house call services for acute medical conditions, we are dedicated to providing the advanced medical care that you need when making a trip to the ER just wont cut it. Arriving at your place of need with most of the equipment and technologies found at an ER, we will help you find ways to manage your pain and can even prescribe medications.

Reach out today to learn more requesting care is as easy as contacting us via phone, mobile app, or through our website.

Headache Caused By A Medication Or Illness

Some headaches are actually symptoms of another health problem. Many non-life-threatening medical conditions, such as a head cold, the flu, or a sinus infection, can cause headache. Some less common but serious causes include bleeding, infection, or a tumor. A headache can also be the only warning signal of high blood pressure . In addition, certain medications, such as nitroglycerin and female hormones are notorious causes of headache.

Because the following symptoms could indicate a significant medical problem, seek medical care promptly if you experience:

  • a sudden headache that feels like a blow to the head
  • headache with fever
  • persistent headache following a blow to the head
  • confusion or loss of consciousness
  • headache along with pain in the eye or ear
  • relentless headache when you were previously headache-free
  • headache that interferes with routine activities.

Always take children who have recurring headaches to the doctor, especially when the pain occurs at night or is present when the child wakes in the morning.

Common types of headaches

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What Is A Headache

Headaches are unpleasant pains in your head that can cause pressure and aching. They usually occur on both sides of your head, and the pain can range from mild to severe. Some specific areas where headaches can occur include the:

  • back of the neck

A typical headache usually lasts between 30 minutes and a few hours. Some migraine episodes can last for days or even longer.

According to the National Institutes of Health, the most common headache type is a tension headache. Triggers for this headache type include:

Tension headaches arent the only type of headache.

Other headache types include:

Cluster Headaches Are No Joking Matter

What is the difference between “sinus headaches” and migraine?

Excruciating pain in, behind, or around one eye?

Cluster headaches are some of the most painful, occurring in clustered periods around one side of your face and radiating out towards the rest of the face, neck, and back. The pattern of cluster headaches can last weeks or months and is typically followed by a remission period with lingering symptoms that can last for years. Here are some symptoms of cluster headaches that can help you spot the differences between what could be a migraine or moderate tension headache:

  • Excessive tearing
  • Swelling the affected eye

The biggest difference between migraines and cluster headaches is the restlessness, where a person experiencing a cluster headache is likely to pace back and forth or rock.

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Gm Difference Between Tth And Migraine

The dorsal striatum and precuneus also differed between patients with TTH and migraine in GM volume. The dorsal striatum is part of the pain processing network, and its activation may encode pain intensity . The difference in striatal volume between TTH and migraine may be explained by a GM increase in patients with TTH and a tendency for migraine to reduce GM in this region . The precuneus is a pivotal region of the default mode network, which was particularly sensitive to the cognitive states in self-referential tasks . The functional connectivity of the default mode network was changed in various pain conditions , and the connectivity of the network with insula has been reported to encode pain intensity . The relative GM decrease in migraine is thus explicable by the extent to which migraine interferes with information processing and intrinsic variation in brain activity. We are not sure why the lateral occipital cortex is increased in GM in episodic migraine and in TTH . However, this brain region, in addition to its well-known involvement in visual processing, is associated with cognitive evaluation of pain , and has been linked to abnormal emotional processing and self-focused attention . An earlier MRI study on episodic migraine also showed increased cortical thickness and gyrification index in this region .

Additional File : Figure S1

Altered gray matter volume in episodic and chronic TTH. In the subgroup analysis, gray matter volume was unaltered in the episodic and chronic migraine groups, but was increased in specific brain regions in patients with episodic and chronic TTH. CTTH: chronic tension-type headache ETTH: episodic tension-type headache HC: healthy controls L: left R: right.

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Differences Between Headaches And Migraines

Have you ever gotten a headache and wondered if you were experiencing a migraine? Do you have trouble telling the difference between a headache and a migraine? You arent alone. In fact, 50-75% of all adults ages 18-65 reported experiencing headache pain in 2015-2016.

Follow along to learn how to tell the difference between a migraine and a headache and when to seek treatment.

Symptoms Of A Migraine

Headache or Migraine? How You Know the Difference

Migraines involve a severe, throbbing pain that is often debilitating. It can come on unexpectedly, although it sometimes occurs after a migraine aura. Pain is often localized to one side of the head.

Unlike tension headaches, migraines are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light.

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What Are The Differences Between A Migraine And A Tension Headache

by Paul Winner | Oct 25, 2018 | Migraines

Migraine and tension headaches are often painful, but there are notable differences between them that many people are unaware of. It is important to know what these differences are, as they can be pivotal in deciding to seek out a proper diagnosis and treatment. While migraine is less common than a tension headache, it is typically more disabling and can interfere with a persons ability to function in virtually all areas of life, such as work, school, with family, and in social settings. Lets first discuss what the symptoms of a migraine are, followed by how it differs from a tension headache.

The duration of a migraine attack is typically between 4 and 72 hours in adults, and may be shorter in children an adolescent, although it can vary significantly in any individual person. Some people experience severe migraine symptoms on a daily basis, while others get them sporadically. Those who have migraine symptoms for 15 or more days a month, for at least 3 months, have what is known as chronic migraine. Others with migraine who have it less frequently have episodic migraine .

To learn some facts and statistics about migraines, please . If you would like to find out more about common migraine triggers, a previous article we published may be of interest to you. Stay tuned for future articles covering the latest developments in the field of migraines.


Statistical Analysis Of Neuroimaging Data

Voxel-wise statistical analyses and region of interest analyses were conducted using the generalized linear model Flex toolbox ” rel=”nofollow”> and SPSS software respectively. For all voxel-wise statistical analyses, the results revealed significant effects at the cluster-level family-wise-error corrected P value of < 0.05, with a cluster forming threshold of a voxel-level P value of < 0.005, and 271 voxel extents. This statistical criterion was determined based on the empirical results of a Monte Carlo simulation using 3dClustSim . In addition to the thresholded results reported as the major findings in this manuscript, we have also uploaded all the un-thresholded statistical maps to the NeuroVault website, available through the following permanent link: . In this study, preprocessed whole-brain GM tissue segments and the mean GM volumes of specific ROIs were used to address the following three research questions:

Question 1: Is the GM volume differed in patients with TTH and migraine and linked to headache profiles?

Question 2: Is the GM volume different between TTH and migraine and modulated by headache frequency?

Question 3: Is GM difference predictive of the headache type?

The threshold for statistical significance was a P value of < 0.05 throughout the study.

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The Light It Burns: Life With Migraines

Contrary to popular belief, light sensitivity is just one small blip in the universe of triggers and symptoms for migraineurs . More serious than tension headaches, a migraine is a neurological condition with serious and debilitating symptoms that can, at best, be described as an intense headache. While some symptoms are similar to tension headachesa steady ache or pain on one sides of the headspecific symptoms include:

  • Nausea, with or without vomiting
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Sensitivity to light, sound, or both
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Moderate to severe head pain
  • Pounding or throbbing head

The causes of migraines are just as varied as the symptoms, from mild to extreme. However, hormones and food are some of the most common triggers for migraines, particularly in women. Understanding and trying to pinpoint these stressors is one of the best ways to find a solution for your pain, but its not without its tests and trials.

What Are The Most Common Types Of Headaches

Types of Headaches | Primary vs. Secondary | Migraine, Cluster, Tension Headaches

The most common type of headache is considered by the International Headache Society to be a tension headache . There are over 22 types of headaches that have been described. Many are common . However, this article will be limited to migraine, tension, cluster, sinus, and hormonal headaches as these are common types.

  • Tension headaches: A tension headache is characterized by mild to moderate chronic headache pain, often with a band-like tightness discomfort or pain on both sides of the head.
  • Cluster headaches: A cluster headache produces pain on only one side of the head . The pain is excruciating with stabbing pain in the head and eye. It has been described as feeling as if the eyes are being pushed out. Cluster headaches are not preceded by an aura, and usually do not have symptoms of nausea, vomiting or aversion to light and sound.
  • Sinus headaches: A sinus headache is a type of headache usually is caused by an infection of the facial sinuses and/or sinus congestion. A sinus headache is mild to moderate head pain, and has symptoms of throbbing head pain, and/or pain produced around the facial sinuses, eyes, cheeks, and forehead, usually occurring with an infection of a facial sinus and/or sinus congestion.
  • Hormonal headaches: Hormonal headaches are headaches that can resemble either migraines or tension headaches, but occur during hormonal changes in women during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and/or menopause.
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    Symptoms Of A Tension Headache

    Tension-type headaches are the most common type of headache. Symptoms of tension headaches include:

    • Constant pressure or pain across the whole head
    • Feeling like there is a band around the head
    • Neck or shoulder tension

    There are different types of migraines.

    Some people may experience more than one kind of migraine.

    • Acute migraine: This is the type of migraine that people think of when they hear the term migraine attack. Also called an episodic migraine, this may happen infrequently or up to 14 times per month.
    • Chronic migraine: This type of migraine has the same presentation as an acute migraine but occurs more frequently. People who experience chronic migraine usually have 15 or more migraine episodes per month.
    • Hemiplegic migraine: This rare type of migraine is sometimes called a complex migraine. It does not have all the typical migraine symptoms and may cause stroke-like symptoms. Seek emergency medical care if you notice weakness or numbness on one side of the body or have trouble speaking. It is important that you not assume you have this type of migraine unless diagnosed by a healthcare professional.
    • Ocular migraines: This less-common type of migraine includes typical migraine symptoms along with changes to vision, which may include the loss of vision in one eye. If you experience signs of ocular migraine , seek emergency medical care to rule out a more serious underlying cause.

    What Signs And Symptoms Only Occur In Migraines

    Usually, but not always, migraine headaches are preceded by an aura that most commonly is a visual band with a shimmering or glittering border that precedes the head pain, and lasts about 5 to 60 minutes. However, migraine auras may consist of many different perceptions and vary from person to person. These signs and symptoms usually are present in migraine headaches:

    • Moderate to intense pain that is throbbing and/or pulsating on one side of the head and/or neck, and are often accompanied by nausea and/or vomiting
    • Physical activity may worsen headache pain

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    The Difference Between Cluster Tension And Migraine Headaches

    To most of us, headaches are just momentary nuisance. We all get them, so well take an OTC pain medication and a nap, and its gone by the time we wake up. Not all of us have the pleasure of such an easy recovery, though, and because minor headaches are so common, many arent aware of the differences between headache types and the best ways to treat each.

    Tension, cluster, and migraine headaches all have different symptoms, triggers, and even pain locations. Additionally, there are several different treatment options depending on the type of headache you experience. Some might even be indicators of something more insidious.

    Ways To Prevent Migraines

    Migraine and Tension Headaches, The Difference El Paso, Texas

    Migraine prevention is often multifaceted, involving several strategies including:

    • Medications:Preventative medications include beta-blockers, such as Tenormin , Inderal LA , or Toprol XL tricyclic antidepressants like Elavil or Pamelor CGRP inhibitors like Aimovig and Ajovy and anti-epileptic drugs like Depakote and Topamax , among others.
    • Relaxation:Since tension and stress are triggers, figuring out ways to promote relaxation can reduce attacks. Yoga, meditation, regular exercise, and taking part in relaxing activities can all help.
    • Getting good sleep: Sleep disruptions or disorders are closely associated with migraines. This is why you should ensure youre getting an adequate amount of sleep and are going to bed and getting up at consistent times every day.
    • Exercise:A regular fitness routine can help with migraines in two ways: It can help manage obesity, a common risk factor, and it can improve the quality of sleep.
    • Keeping a migraine diary:Record when your headaches are happening, what they feel like, and how they last. Keep track of your triggers so that you can work to avoid them, and make note of how medications are working.
    • Other therapies:Acupuncture, a traditional Chinese modality that employs needle sticks to stimulate nerves, may also help reduce the frequency and severity of attacks. For some, Botox injections once every three months can help.

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