Some people employ the terms tension headache or migraine in conjunction to refer to tension or pressure on the head. The distinction between them is essential to receive the appropriate treatment and to avoid the possibility of future headaches.

Migraine and tension headache can be described as two frequent kinds of headaches.

Around 3 out of 4 people in the population of the United States experience tension headaches.

The symptoms of tension headaches include constant, dull pressure, pain, or tightness in either side of the head. They can occur in brief, unfrequented instances, or they could be persistent.

It is also common for migraines to occur They are also the second highest

cause

of disability worldwide and is the fourth most frequent causes of emergency visits of emergency visits in the U.S. According to an

Recent study

The incidence of migraine is 21 percent of females, and 10.7 percent for males across the U.S.

The symptoms of migraine can be described as the sensation of pulsating or throbbing pain, which could be more intense on the one facet of your head. They can occur in stages that include the headache phase usually lasting for between 4-72 hours. Nausea nausea, neck pain, vomiting, nasal congestion, and dizziness are common.
accompany this stage.

This article explains the distinctions between migraines and tension headaches with regards to symptoms, reasons, treatments and treatment.


Doctors believe that tension and migraine headaches as primary headaches, or headaches that occur when
another condition is not the cause. Both tension headaches and migraine may appear slowly and gradually and vary in intensity.

Signs of tension headaches include:

  • mild to moderate discomfort
  • head. There is pain on both sides of the head
  • the sensation of pressure, a dull ache or tightness around the head
  • sensitive or sore neck, scalp or the back of the neck or back of the

The symptoms of migraine are:

  • Moderate to extreme, painful or pulsating
  • discomfort that gets worse with physical exercise
  • head or both the faces of your head
  • discomfort behind the eyes or the temples
  • nausea and vomiting
  • dizziness
  • sensitization to light, smell or hearing
  • Numbness or tingling

There are people who experience migraines with aura. Aura is usually visual however, it can also cause physical sensations as well as other symptoms. One may experience flashes of lights, bright spots as well as blind spots within the field of view. Also, they may experience blurred vision or lose sight.

Both migraines and tension headaches can also be associated with nasal congestion. A sensitivity to sound or light is also a possibility in migraine headaches that cause tension, however this isn’t as widespread.

Certain migraines can be mild, and they can affect all sides of the head. The overlap of symptoms could result in confusion between the two kinds of headaches. However, they share more differences than commonalities for example:

  • Physical activity does not cause tension headaches.
  • migraine episodes can begin by displaying a prodrome or aura prior to the headache phase. Prodrome symptoms could be:
    • extreme fatigue and crying
    • irritability
    • trouble focusing
    • hunger for food
  • nausea and vomiting aren’t found in tension headaches.



Doctors don’t know all the root causes of headaches and there isn’t any one reason that causes these headaches.

The tightening of the neck, back and scalp due to stress can cause tension headaches.

The environment and genetics can trigger migraine. The risk of migraine is low.
levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in nerve communication, are also involved in migraine.

Learn more about migraines and its genetic causes here.

The same is true for migraine.

more than twice as frequent

In females, it is thought that hormones could have a part to play in causing it.

Find out more about the causes of migraines in females here.

A study in 2018 of twins revealed that migraine and tension headache might have shared reasons, such as genetic factors as well as exposure to similar lifestyles and environmental triggers.

The two conditions share similar triggers, which include:

Other triggers that have been identified to cause migraines are:


The procedures for diagnosing two kinds of headaches are the same. If a person’s headache is moderate to mild and is responsive to home remedies and isn’t caused with other signs, it might not require further testing.

To determine the diagnosis, a physician will review a full medical history in order to know more about the symptoms of a person as well as when it is that they happen. Doctors may perform a physical exam or a neurological examination.

If a physician suspects migraine or other migraine-related symptoms, a neurologist can request brain scans and tests for blood to rule out other ailments that could be responsible for the symptoms. This could include magnet resonance imaging (MRI) and CT scan.

It is vital to recognize that there are racial differences in the healthcare system.

As per the American Migraine Foundation, 47 percent of Black migraine sufferers have an official diagnosis , compared with 70 percent of whites. Latino sufferers of headaches are half as likely to be diagnosed with migraine than whites.

Learn more about the disparities in racial equivalences and migraine here.



The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) the person can relieve tension headaches through:

Doctors can prescribe tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) to sufferers of tension headaches in order to avoid recurrences.

The American Headache Society recommends preventive treatment for those who suffer from more than four headache days per month.

Certain medications can help relieve migraine symptoms and also prevent future attacks. Doctors divide migraine medications into two categories:

  • Abortive drugs: A person takes these medications immediately they feel an onset of migraine, to ease or eliminate the symptoms. These include NSAIDs, triptans and Ergotamines.
  • Preventive medications: These drugs reduce the intensity, frequency and distress associated with migraine-related symptoms. Examples include beta-blockers, TCAs angiotensin receptor blockers and calcitonin gene-related (CGRP) inhibitors. Doctors might prescribe preventive medication for people suffering from more than four headaches in one month, or eight or more days of headaches throughout the month, headaches due to medication use and chronic headaches.

Find out more about migraine medication here.

One might also want to consider staying in a dark , quiet space, putting cold packs on their foreheads and hydrating to ease migraine-related symptoms.

Based on the NHS the NHS, if medications for migraine prevention or abortive are not effective doctors may suggest the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) or the use of acupuncture.


One can learn to deal with tension headaches and migraine.

Headache diary

One can keep a record of their headaches in order to find the causes. This could help them to make changes in their lifestyle to stop headaches from returning.

The log could comprise:

  • the food items a person consumes
  • the length and quality of their the quality and length of their
  • Their activities
  • Weather conditions change throughout the day

Management of stress

Exercise, like yoga and relaxation techniques can aid in preventing headaches as well as reducing the severity of headaches.

Lifestyle that is healthy

To avoid headaches or triggers that can cause them, one could attempt:

  • exercising
  • drinking lots of drinking plenty of water
  • making sure you eat a balanced and healthy eating plan
  • Maintaining a healthy sleep routine

Find out more information about migraine prevention remedies here.


The person suffering from chronic or altered migraines can suffer from a combination of both migraines.

As per the International Headache Society (IHS) chronic migraine can be defined as when
a person with no prior history of migraine has headaches for 15 or more days in a month. Also, the headache needs to have features of migraine for at least eight days a month for at least three months.



Headaches are rarely cause for anxiety. But, it is recommended that a patient seek out a doctor in the event:

  • the headache interferes with or interrupts their everyday life
  • They require medication more often than once a week to get relief
  • There is a change in the pattern of headaches or signs

The migraine and tension headache are two kinds of headaches primary that affect many people. They differ in severity as well as length and duration. In general, migraine-related episodes tend to be more severe and impact a person’s daily life.

An individual can deal with migraines and tension headaches through knowing the triggers for them and using preventive measures. A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent repeating of these disorders.

It is recommended to consult an experienced doctor if they are having frequent headaches and they can affect their daily activities.