Tension headache is dull and occurs on both sides of the head. You may feel tension or pressure in your head. Migraines, on the other hand, occur only on one side or worsen on one side. They are characterized by severe, throbbing or pulsating pain.
Tension headaches are usually caused by stress, worry, or tiredness. They cause the muscles of the scalp, neck, and jaw to tighten, causing pain. Migraine pain and tension headache are similar and tend to be mild, moderate, or severe in nature. Pain for each type of headache can be localized on one side of the head or on both sides of the head.
Unlike some forms of migraine, tension headaches are not usually associated with visual disturbances, nausea, or vomiting. Although physical activity often aggravates migraine pain, it does not worsen tension headache. An increased sensitivity to light or sound can occur with a tension headache, but this symptom is not common. A tension headache usually feels like a constant pain or discomfort in the head.
Pain can be distracting, but not weakening. On the other hand, a migraine is a severe, throbbing headache. If you have a severe headache and feel dizzy, nauseated, sensitive to light, or experience other visual disturbances, you may be suffering from migraine. If you have a headache 15 or more days each month for a period of 3 months, you may have chronic tension headaches.
This type of headache can cause stress and depression, which in turn can lead to more headaches. Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish between tension headache and a migraine attack. Tension headache does not worsen with physical activity. It is not accompanied by vomiting and, if there is nausea, it is mild.
A migraine attack may be accompanied by increased sensitivity to both light and sound; one or none accompanies the tension-type headache. However, it is possible that a tension headache may trigger a migraine attack. When you experience a headache, tuning in to the location and intensity of the pain can help you distinguish what type of headache it is. However, the brain aneurysm can rupture days later and cause sudden symptoms, including a severe headache that usually peaks as a worst-of-life headache within a minute.
If over-the-counter medicines don't stop your headaches well enough or if you have a lot of headaches, your doctor may prescribe medicines to prevent headaches. Reviewed for accuracy by subject matter experts, headache specialists and medical advisors from the American Migraine Foundation with in-depth knowledge and training in headache medicine. Knowing if you have a tension headache or migraine will help you choose an appropriate treatment plan for relief. Combination therapies containing butalbital or opioids are generally not recommended for the treatment of tension headache because of the risk of tolerance, dependence, toxicity and the development of drug overuse headache.
Cluster headaches are very painful headaches that occur on one side of the head and come in groups. The pain is usually mild to moderate and doesn't get worse with routine physical activity, which means that most people with tension headaches continue their normal daily activities despite having a headache. Detecting and avoiding things or triggers that cause tension headaches can reduce how often headaches occur and how severe they occur when you have them. If a person takes medicine for migraine headache more than 10 days a month, this could cause an effect known as rebound headaches.
Although many people believe that any moderate to severe headache is a migraine, there are specific criteria regarding the type of pain and the associated symptoms, which lead to the diagnosis of migraine. You may be able to prevent or reduce tension headaches by learning what causes your headaches and try to avoid those triggers. If you experience a headache that is very different in quality or severity (the worst headache of your life) than your usual headaches, or that is associated with unusual symptoms or is associated with an elevated temperature, you need immediate medical evaluation to exclude serious underlying causes. If tension headaches are life-altering or if you need to take medicine for headaches more than twice a week, see your doctor.
Botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A) is sometimes injected into the muscles of the face and head to treat headaches. . .