When there is pain in your head, it can be difficult to tell whether you are experiencing a headache or a migraine. Therefore it is important to work out which one it is. Faster diagnosis of a headache or migraine means faster relief through better treatments. So, how can you tell the difference between a headache and a migraine?

What is a headache?

Headaches are unpleasant pains in your head. They cause pressure and aching. It can feel like your neck it tight and stiff. It can feel like the muscles in your scalp and face are tight.

What is a migraine?

Migraine headaches are intense or severe. In addition to head pain, they often have other symptoms. Symptoms associated with a migraine headache include:

Migraine headaches can come with an “aura”. An “aura” refers to sensations a person experiences before they get a migraine. The sensations typically occur anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes before an attack. These can include:

  • Feeling less mentally alert
  • Having trouble thinking
  • Seeing flashing lights or unusual lines
  • Feeling tingling or numbness in the face or hands
  • Having an unusual sense of smell, taste, or touch
  • Unusual food cravings

Treating headaches

  • Over-the-counter treatments (paracetamol/aspirin/anti-inflammatories). Speak with your Pharmacist. They can provide further help about what they think is best for you.
  • Physiotherapy treatment is effective for reducing amount and severity of headaches. Book online at barefootphysiotherapy.com.au
  • Relaxation techniques such as meditation or guided muscle relaxation.

Treating a migraine

Firstly, people who suffer from migraines need a great Health Professional team around them. This team can include a Neurologist, GP, Physiotherapist and Dietitian.

  • Prevention plan created with Health Professionals can include;
    • Diet changes
    • Hormonal plans (eg Oral Contraceptive Pill)
    • Taking steps to decrease stress
  • Medication plan;
    • Prevention medications
    • Breakthrough medications
  • Tracking migraine and non-migraine days to look for pattern.
  • Physiotherapy to keep the body as happy as possible. We see that having the body as best as possible decreases the incidence of our clients migraines.

In addition to the above, if you have questions or would like to know more please contact hello@barefootphysiotherapy.com.au