Mon - Fri: 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Monday – Friday8:00AM - 5:00PM
Saturday Open for MRI
Sunday Closed
Migraine treatment same day as your first appointment.
Visit our Healow Portal
Visit our Healow Portal Call 214-619-1910
CALL 214-619-1910

Difference Between Migraines and Headaches

Medically reviewed by Maushmi Sheth
Medically reviewed by Maushmi Sheth

Migraine is a disease of the brain, which is also inherited. It is characterized by recurrent bouts of moderate to severe headaches. The attack usually lasts from several hours to several days. In this case, the pain can be so intense that it is almost impossible to go about daily activities.

There are many types of headaches, and only a doctor can make an accurate diagnosis. Nevertheless, a migraine has specific signs or symptoms that allow it to be suspected and distinguished from a tension headache, the most common type of headache.

The difference between a migraine and a headache:

  • The pain is most often felt from all sides with tension headaches; it presses like a hoop but does not pulsate.
  • With a migraine, usually, the head hurts on one side, the pain is throbbing, there is nausea or vomiting, there is a fear of light and noise (you want to be in a quiet, dark room).

What are headaches?

Regular headaches are among the most common nervous system disorders. Headaches are a severe and disabling condition with a few primary headaches, such as migraine, tension headache, and cluster headache. The headache can also be caused by other causes or be secondary to a long list of other conditions, such as drug overuse headache.

How common are headaches? Globally, the prevalence of headaches among adults is about 50%. Between half and three-quarters of people aged 18-65 around the world have had headaches in the past year, and more than 30% of these people have reported migraines. 1.7 – 4% of the world’s adult population suffers from headaches lasting 15 days or more each month. Despite regional differences, headaches are a global problem that affects people regardless of age, race, income level, and geographic area.

What is the burden of headaches?

burden of headaches

A headache is not only excruciating, but it also deprives a person of the ability to function normally. A migraine is the sixth most common cause of years lost due to disability. Headaches generally rank third among such causes. The main difference between migraines and headaches is the duration of the pain and, accordingly, when it is difficult for a person to function normally.

Headaches are a substantial burden for people in need, including sometimes significant personal suffering, reduced quality of life, and financial costs. Recurrent attacks of headaches and constant fear of anticipation of the next attack harm family, social life, and work. Long-term efforts to adjust to living with chronic headaches can also contribute to the development of other illnesses. For example, rates of depression among people with migraines or severe headaches are three times higher than those among healthy people.

Types of headaches

Migraines, tension headaches, and drug overuse headaches are of public concern as they lead to high disability and poor health in the general population. But there is a difference between migraines and other types of headaches.


  • The type of primary headache.
  • It begins during puberty and causes the greatest suffering to people aged 35–45 years.
  • Approximately twice as many women suffer from migraines as men; this is due to hormonal factors.
  • It is caused by the activation of a mechanism in the deep parts of the brain. This activation leads to the release of inflammatory substances that cause pain around the nerves and blood vessels of the head.
  • Recurrent attacks characterize migraines, often throughout life.
  • Attacks include symptoms such as:
  1. Moderate to severe headache.
  2. Nausea (the most common symptom).
  3. The attacks happen once a year to once a week.
  4. In children, seizures tend to be shorter and abdominal symptoms are more pronounced.

Tension headache:

  • Tension headache is the most common type of primary headache.
  • Over 70% of people report episodic tension headaches.
  • A tension headache often begins during adolescence, mainly among women.
  • Its mechanism may be related to stress or musculoskeletal problems in the neck.
  • Attacks of episodic tension headaches usually last for several hours but can last for several days.
  • Chronic tension headaches can be continuous and interfere with normal functioning much more than episodic ones.
  • This type of headache is described as a pinching or constricting pain, similar to pain from a tight bandage around the head, sometimes extending to the neck or starting in the neck.

Cluster headache:

  • Cluster headache is relatively rare and affects fewer than one in 1000 adults, with one woman for every six men.
  • Cluster headache develops mainly in people aged 20 and over.
  • It manifests itself in the form of frequent, short-term, but extremely severe attacks of headache. These headaches are characterized by pain in the eye area with lacrimation and redness, a runny nose, or nasal congestion on the side of the face that hurts, and possible drooping of the eyelids.
  • Cluster headache can be episodic or chronic.

Headache caused by overuse of medications:

  • Headache occurs as a result of chronic and overuse of medications.
  • This headache is the most common type of secondary headache.
  • It can affect up to 7% of people in some population groups, mainly women.
  • The headache is pressing, persistent, and is often most severe on awakening.

Treatment of migraines and headaches

Treatment of migraines and headaches

For pain management, you need to see your doctor to determine the difference between migraines and headaches. Depending on what kind of headache you have, the doctor will prescribe the appropriate treatment.

Treatment of migraine consists of two directions of arresting an attack and conducting preventive therapy. It makes sense to use analgesics and antispasmodics at the beginning, before the onset of severe pain. But, as a rule, taking any pills is carried out already at the peak of pain, which is ineffective. Therefore, prevention is of greater importance in the process of fighting a migraine.

The attending physician prescribes therapy for headache elimination. The results of a complete diagnosis of the body will prompt an accurate diagnosis for selecting an effective method for eliminating severe headaches. So that the headache does not manifest itself so strongly in the patient, the symptoms are carefully studied, and only then an individual treatment is selected.

Barriers to successful health care

  • The main clinical barrier is the lack of knowledge among healthcare professionals. Without defining the difference between migraines and headaches, it is impossible to determine the correct treatment.
  • There is a lack of awareness among the general population. Headaches are not perceived by the population as a severe disorder, as they are mostly episodic, not fatal, and not contagious. Low rates of seeking medical advice in developed countries may indicate that many people with headaches are unaware of effective treatment. An estimated 50% of people with headaches self-medicate. Moreover, you need to know the difference between migraines and headaches to understand when it is inevitable to see a doctor.
  • Many governments seeking to limit health care spending fail to recognize the significant burden of headaches on society. They may not realize that the direct costs of headache treatment are negligible compared to the vast indirect cost savings that can be achieved by allocating resources to treat headaches properly.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Be the first to write a review
Lone Star Neurology
Based on 905 reviews
powered by Google
Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
Next Reviews

Please, leave your review


Write a comment: