What is the difference between a headache and a migraine? Most of the time we tend to use a migraine to describe a particularly painful headache, and while they do share a number of characteristics they can present themselves in quite different ways. Both can vary between mild/moderate/severe pain and affect either one side or the whole of the head. Sometimes they may pass quickly and other times they can last for days.
The key difference is that tension headaches tend to present just a tight sharp pain, while migraines project more constant throbbing qualities and include other symptoms that are more ‘flu-like’. It is common for migraines to be accompanied by light sensitivity, nausea, and a lack of energy. Exertion – even very light exercise such as climbing stairs – can make migraines suddenly become far worse, while headaches tend to stay quite constant and stable.
Before we look further into this topic it is worth mentioning that anyone who has suddenly developed extreme head pain ought to consider seeing a medical doctor or physiotherapist very quickly, especially if it is accompanied by lightheadedness, confusion, and dizziness.