Migraines vs Headaches

migraines vs headaches

Did you know that headaches and migraines, although common, are not normal? In the content below, we compare migraines vs headaches to highlight their differences regarding symptoms, where you feel the pain, the intensity, and duration of each ailment. Then, we explore a long-term remedy that effectively fights against both headaches and migraines.

Migraines vs Headaches

For individuals who frequently experience solely headaches or migraines, it may be hard to distinguish between the two. However, by analyzing symptoms, where you feel the pain, and how long the pain lasts, you can detect if you have a migraine or a headache. As a result, you can decide which treatment option will best resolve your head pain.



When assessing if you suffer from migraines vs headaches, the first thing to do is see what symptoms you experience. As migraines tend to be more severe and intense than headaches, people may often experience other symptoms in addition to head pain.

These symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Pain behind one eye or ear
  • Pain in the temples
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Seeing spots or flashing lights
  • Sensitivity to light and/or sound (aura)
  • Temporary vision loss

A migraine can strike when you least expect it with little to no notice. Although, some migraines can show more subtle symptoms up to two days before the head pain arrives. These symptoms include:

  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Frequent yawning
  • Irritability
  • Neck stiffness
  • Unusual food cravings


Often triggered by stress, muscle strain, and anxiety, tension headaches are the most common headache type. Tension headaches bring anywhere from mild to severe pain that can be compared to feeling a tight band around the forehead. Although it may feel like a migraine, tension headaches do not give symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.

In addition to tension headaches, there are a few other types to examine:

  • Cluster Headaches: Cluster headaches are severely painful and appear on one side of the head and come in waves, or “clusters.” As a result, you experience cycles of headaches with small periods of pain reprieve.
  • Sinus Headaches: Easily confused with a migraine, this headache type affects the sinuses. However, these co-occur with sinus infection symptoms like a fever, cough, congestion, stuffy nose, and facial pressure.
  • Thunderclap Headaches: This severe headache develops almost instantly, or within 60 seconds. It could be a symptom of a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a serious medical condition that may be a direct result of an aneurysm, stroke, or other injury. This headache type requires immediate medical attention for your safety.

Intensity and Duration


Migraines can be highly intense and debilitating, lasting anywhere from a few hours to a few days. As a result, the unpredictability of migraines could force you to change plans or make matters more stressful.


Although a headache can range from mild to severe intensities, they typically resolve faster than a migraine. For most headaches, you can expect it to last anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours if you work quickly to hydrate and rest.

Treatment Options

Headache Treatments

As tension headaches primarily result from stress, muscle strain, or anxiety, your primary treatment options focus on relaxation. Therefore, utilize chiropractic, massage, meditation, rest, neck stretching, and relaxation exercises to ease the tension in your head. For extra aid, heat therapy can also reduce the intensity and duration of your headaches. Apply a warm compress or take a warm shower to help relax tense neck and back muscles.  

Migraine Treatments

Depending on the frequency, intensity, and duration of your migraine, you have a few treatment options. If this is one of your first migraines, perhaps your body is displaying an immediate need such as rest or hydration.

To help lower the duration of your migraine, try applying heat or ice treatments. Ice packs are known for numbing pain, whereas heating pads can work to relax tightened or tense muscles. Place an ice pack or cold, wet towel over your forehead and under your neck; alternatively, you can place a heating pad on your lower back for no longer than fifteen-minute increments.

With severe migraines, the gentle work of laser therapy can drastically reduce the pain of a migraine as it helps your body relax. If you have access to laser therapy at the start of your migraine, it’s worth the trip!

For the most effective, long-term remedy to migraines, we highly recommend receiving chiropractic adjustments with spinal re-engineering. Facing long-term migraines reveal the potential of other issues happening in your body if left untreated. However, chiropractic care and adjustments are a safe, cost-effective, non-invasive, and drug-free solution that treats the issue, not just the symptoms!

Migraine and Headache Treatments in Raleigh with Team Chiropractic

Anyone can crack a back. However, only a spinal engineer can truly fix the spinal issues you are facing and generate the greatest long-term relief. At Team Chiropractic, our highly qualified spinal engineers work hard to create a custom treatment plan according to what your body needs for long-term restoration.

With over 25 years of service, we are the leading spinal adjustment practice in the Raleigh area and are uniquely suited to helping relieve your headaches through safe, professional spinal adjustment. Our Certified Chiropractic Extremity Practitioners (CCEP) and Certified Chiropractic Sports Physicians (CCSP) enables us to correct the overall biomechanics, which enables you to hold your correction.

We believe in the six essentials to healthy livingspiritual/mental alignment, physical alignment, nutritional alignment, exercise in alignment, rest in alignment, and removing chemical stress. By offering both services and products that adhere to the six essentials, we help promote an overall health and wellness treatment for every client who comes through our doors.

If you or someone you know is struggling with severe migraines or frequent headaches, we are here to help! Contact us online today or give us a call at 919-788-8881 to schedule your initial appointment and x-ray.

Do you have either a migraine or headache right now? Visit us immediately to see how we can help reduce your migraine’s intensity and duration! We look forward to helping restore your health.


Raleigh Office

309 West Millbrook Road
Suite 199
Raleigh, NC 27609


Monday: 7:30AM–12PM & 3PM–6PM
Tuesday: 7:30AM–12PM & 3PM–6PM
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Saturday & Sunday: Closed

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Raleigh, NC 27614


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Tuesday: 7:30AM–12PM
Wednesday: 7:30AM–12PM & 3:30–5:45PM
Thursday: 3:30–5:45PM
Friday: 7:30AM–12PM
Saturday & Sunday: Closed

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