5 Ways Migraines Are Different from Other Headaches

5 Ways Migraines Are Different from Other Headaches

The words migraines and headaches are often used interchangeably, but in reality, they are two different things.

At New Tampa Interventional Pain and Sports Medicine, Jose De La Torre, MD, and our team offer innovative treatments for migraines when you can’t find relief with over-the-counter medicines.

We offer comprehensive evaluations to identify what’s causing your head pain. For migraines, Dr. De La Torre uses Botox® injections to treat existing head pain and prevent new migraines from occurring.

How migraines differ from headaches

Migraines and headaches both cause head pain. However, migraines cause symptoms that are generally more intense than general headaches.

Other differences between migraines and headaches include:

1. Migraines occur in phases.

Unlike other types of headaches, migraines occur in four different phases in some people. These phases include:

Premonitory phase

The premonitory phrase is a pre-headache condition. During this phase, you might experience mood swings, food cravings, and neck stiffness.

Aura phase

The aura phase can cause sensory disturbances that affect your speech, vision, and sense of touch. You might see flashing lights or have blurry vision.

Headache phase

During the headache phase, you can develop head pain that ranges from mild to severe. You may become increasingly sensitive to sounds, light, and smells.

Some people who are prone to migraines may experience the first two phases but never get a headache.

Postdrome phase

The postdrome phase occurs after your headache ends. You might feel confusion or extreme exhaustion for a few hours to a few days during this time.

2. Migraines last longer than headaches.

Typically, a headache lasts between 30 minutes and a couple of hours. A migraine can last several hours or even days at a time before your head pain subsides.

3. Migraine pain can be more intense than headaches.

Migraine pain feels like an intense, throbbing pain. The intensity of the pain can make it impossible to keep up with your responsibilities. It can even cause digestive issues, such as upset stomach, nausea, and vomiting.

For some, the pain can be severe enough to send people to the hospital for emergency care.

4. The cause of migraines isn’t well understood.

The cause of headaches is typically easy to pinpoint. You can develop a headache because of muscle tension or stress.

The underlying cause of migraines isn’t well understood. However, there are known triggers that people who get migraines have in common. Triggers can include hormone changes, changes in the weather, and allergies.

5. Migraines can be chronic.

If you have migraines 15 or more days a month, your condition may be chronic. You may be at increased risk for a chronic migraine condition if you have a family history of the condition, unmanaged stress, or other migraine triggers.

Getting help for your migraine pain

When you’re unable to manage your migraine pain with over-the-counter medications, you can benefit from the pain management solutions available at New Tampa Interventional Pain and Sports Medicine.

We spend time figuring out what your migraine triggers might be, so you can learn to avoid them. Dr. De La Torre may also recommend lifestyle changes you can make to prevent migraine pain.

If you have chronic migraines, you might be a candidate for Botox injections. Injections of this prescription medication can relax the muscles that contribute to migraine pain to prevent new migraines from developing.

To learn more about your options for treating migraines, call New Tampa Interventional Pain and Sports Medicine today, or book an appointment online.

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