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Differentiate Migraines from Headaches — A Guide

Park Ridge chiropractor

Can’t tell if it’s a migraine or a headache you’re dealing with? People often interchange these two things. Although they have many similarities, they also have crucial differences. Knowing which one you have before seeking a Park Ridge chiropractor is essential. This article will help you identify migraines from headaches accurately and present a natural way to achieve relief from both conditions.


Note The Similarities 

Although there are many factors to look into, we can focus on these four common points:

Discomfort area

Migraines and headaches have a stake in the head, their pain center. The aches usually start in the temple then spread across the forehead.


Stress and trauma can induce both migraines and headaches. High stress is a known culprit when it comes to head-related discomfort. Muscle tension accompanies stress, and that tightening feeling often leads to pain in the head.

Head blows due to an accident or sports activity can also cause agony. The afflicted area might be the pain center, but the ache can quickly spread to the other head sections.

Post-episode experience

Both migraines and headaches are energy-guzzlers. They can make the afflicted feel weary and spent. 


Anyone can be the unlucky recipient of a migraine episode or a headache. Unfortunately, these two conditions do not choose their marks based on predetermined criteria. The best thing is that Park Ridge offers numerous options for headaches and migraine relief to both young and old.

To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and migraines and other headaches, download our complimentary e-book by clicking the image below.

Prodrome, migraine relief in Park Ridge, NJ

Spot the Differences

These four aspects should help you determine which condition you have:


Headaches don't last long. They can go away after a few minutes to a few hours—migraines, on the other hand, like to keep the afflicted company. Unfortunately, episodes can recur frequently and can last for a few months.

Intensity level

Both can be painful. However, migraines are bound to escalate the more it lingers. On the other hand, headaches usually operate on consistent levels. 

Accompanying symptoms

When a headache sets in, you usually do not need to worry about anything else. Sadly, that is not the case for migraines. Equilibrium issues like vertigo may come on the heels of an onslaught. Nausea and vomiting also happen to most of those diagnosed with this condition.

Warning signs

When a headache is on its way, head pain is all there is. However, if a person displays sensitivity towards light and sound, then it is time to prepare because a migraine is undoubtedly coming.

Now that you know the four ways to identify a migraine or a headache, let us talk a little more about these common conditions. Remember that these two are not rare conditions. They happen to us and can happen to anybody in our circle. Knowing the correct information can help you once you consult with a Park Ridge chiropractor.


Familiarize Yourself with the Kinds of Headaches

Tension headaches

As the name implies, your forehead feels tight as if wrapped in a bag, and someone is pulling the ties closer by the minute. The muscles around your neck feel so tense. 

Cluster headaches

The type that causes intense, piercing aches and can arise you from sleep is a cluster headache. The discomfort is typically one-sided and often starts in the eye before radiating to the other head sections. Cluster headaches can attack instantly, which can catch people off-guard. They can be intermittent and recurring. Cluster headaches are quite common during spring or fall

Sinus headaches

Sinusitis or any flu-like conditions can trigger sinus headaches. Although the pain center is in the T-zone, the agony can be intense and may radiate to the other parts of the head. Taking care of the underlying condition removes this ache. 

Cervicogenic headaches (CH) 

Some people get CH when they hold their heads in a particular position for a long time. Think of hairstylists, surgeons, and art models. The neck can feel strained and stiff by maintaining a specific stance. Shifting to a new position can trigger cervicogenic headaches. A person can also get CH by leaning forward too often. The strains on the neck can induce a headache.


Recognize the Types of Migraines

Migraine without aura

This means that those diagnosed do not experience environmental sensitivity leading to an episode. 

Migraine with aura

Migraineurs get warnings of an impending phase through visual disturbances. Those diagnosed might see wavy lines. Some experience blurring visions before an actual migraine attack.

Hemiplegic Migraine

When a person loses the sensation of one part of the body along with a migraine, then hemiplegic migraine has set in. The experience can last for several hours to a few days. Some liken this to a mild stroke. 

Chronic Migraine

When an episode lasts longer than 15 days, medical experts label the condition as chronic migraines. It can be pervasive. The pain is overwhelming and debilitating. Most of those diagnosed with this condition cannot perform necessary activities because the pain gets in the way. This type has a significant economic impact when the migraineur misses work for extended periods.


Whatever Condition You Have, See a Trusted Park Ridge Chiropractor 

If you want to be free of your pain, you might consider seeking chiropractic care here at Optimal Health Family Chiropractic in Park Ridge, NJ 07656.  Dr. Andrew O'Neill helps migraineurs find relief by completing spinal realignments. By easing any tension brought about by spinal alignment issues, he helps restore the body's natural pathways. Achieving symmetry helps the brain, the nerves, and the rest of the body complete their functions correctly. One of the potential benefits is the reduced occurrence of headaches and migraines.

Dr. Andrew approaches every situation differently from the rest as he comes up with customized approaches that address every patient’s needs. Now is the best time to find out how specific chiropractic care helps ease head agony.

Come and schedule an appointment with Dr. Alvin by booking your consultation now. Specific chiropractic care is a viable option for headache and migraine relief.


To schedule a consultation with Optimal Health Family Chiropractic, call (201) 505 - 8984, or just click the button below.

We strive to get to the root cause of your health concerns rather than masking the symptoms. This unique approach will provide you the opportunity to gain optimal health and help prevent future health issues from arising.

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