How to Distinguish Headaches from Migraines

With patients using headaches and migraines interchangeably, it’s pretty obvious why many find them hard to tell apart from one another. However, it’s no secret that pinpointing what you specifically have plays a part in finding the best remedy for your case. For example, can a migraine chiropractor in Oakland CA help? Should you stick to taking medication? Find out more about the differences between migraine attacks and headaches as we discuss them below.

Headaches and Migraines Aren’t the Same Things

Migraines and headaches are two different symptoms. You can have migraines without feeling an aching sensation in your head. And, you certainly can experience headaches without having a migraine attack. 

To know the reason behind your physical, mental, and emotional torment, here’s a list of questions you can use for a quick assessment:

  • Do you experience more than one symptom? 
  • Do you experience auras or sudden sensory disturbances?
  • Do you happen to observe specific phases during a painful episode?
  • Are you experiencing recurring episodes of throbbing headaches on one side of the head?

If you answered YES to these questions, the pain you experience likely stems from a migraine and not just an ordinary headache. To give you a better grasp of your condition, let’s further discuss headaches and migraines.  

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.


Headache – A Cause of Unpleasant Pain

Headaches tend to serve as a symptom of various health conditions. For a lot of migraineurs, headaches are among the most significant causes of concern. That’s because they can render you helpless and debilitated for a couple of minutes or several hours. 

Headaches also come in various forms. Here are other specific types of headaches that anyone can experience:

  • Cluster headache: As the name suggests, a cluster headache happens in cyclical patterns. It can severely impact your sleep cycle and cause excruciating pain in one of your eyes.  
  • Thunderclap headache: Like thunder, this type of headache also comes out of the blue.  It usually has a short lifespan, lasting from a few seconds to a minute.  Doctors often link it to an aneurysm plus other injuries, so if you experience a thunderclap headache, we recommend calling for medical assistance.
  • Sinus headache: A sinus headache often gets confused with a migraine attack because they have strikingly similar symptoms. Some of the common signs that you have a sinus headache include nasal congestion, runny nose, and facial muscle pressure. 
  • Chiari headache: Chiari malformation is a rare congenital disability that can cause serious health problems, including frequent headaches. 

Migraine – A Terrible Condition to Have

Doctors and neurologists explain that migraine is a highly complex neurological problem. That means, apart from making you experience agonizing headaches, it can make you feel other symptoms as well. Many patients who are visiting our migraine chiropractor in Oakland CA say that they have the following symptoms: 

  • Seeing visual disturbances like spots of light of fuzzy lines
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Painful sensation in one ear or eye
  • Throbbing temples
  • Vision loss that comes and goes
  • Sensory sensitivity

Some also note additional symptoms before an imminent migraine episode, such as: 

  • Odd food cravings
  • Neck pain
  • Frequent yawning
  • Increased irritability
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Constipation

What Can Trigger a Migraine Episode

If you frequently experience migraine attacks, it’s critical to track your migraine triggers. This way, you can prevent an episode from happening or reduce the impact of your symptoms. Many of the patients who prefer to consult with our migraine chiropractor in Oakland CA note the following triggers: 

  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Taking birth control pills
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Weather or air pressure changes 
  • Menopause
  • Food products that contain caffeine, MSG, and aspartame 
  • Fluctuation in blood sugar levels
  • Drinking alcohol

What You Can Do at Home to Fight Migraines

Now that you learned a few things about migraines and headaches, it becomes relatively easier to devise your coping tactics. For starters, you can reduce your exposure to the triggers. You can also try popular migraine remedies such as: 

  • Using cold therapy 
  • Massaging the painful areas
  • Doing slow and gentle neck muscle stretching 
  • Practicing relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga breathing 
  • Trying aromatherapy 
  • Avoiding overstimulation of your senses

Solving Your Excruciating Condition with Specific Chiropractic 

Surely enough, migraines and can bring about pain and discomfort. If you confirm that your headaches don’t have anything to do with a migraine attack, your next priority is to retrace its likely cause. Feel free to get a detailed assessment from your neurologist or primary healthcare provider. This will help you rule out worrying health conditions like cardiovascular diseases, stroke, and brain tumors.

If your headache stems from migraines or other health conditions that don’t require emergency care, you can check out specific chiropractic. It’s a popular natural method for managing migraines and headaches. It’s a proven effective procedure that involves fixing misalignment of the spine.

Studies explain that many patients with chronic migraines or headaches experience vast improvements in their symptoms after seeking specific chiropractic. Want to try getting an adjustment from our migraine chiropractor in Oakland CA? Would you like to know how specific chiropractic works and how you can benefit from it? Then, contact our office today and set an appointment with Dr. Melissa Crago as soon as you can.

To schedule a special consultation in our Oakland office call (510) 594-9994, or just click the button below.


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