Among the head related issues, conditions like a headache and migraines can be seriously disturbing. It breaks your schedule and prevents you from engaging in your regular activities. Though conditions like a migraine and headache are similar in nature, they aren’t the same. People get confused between a headache and migraine. They address the terms interchangeably as they do not know how a migraine works. So here we are going to break down the whole concept of a migraine and also state the differences between a headache and a migraine.

Migraine vs. Headache

Understanding the difference:

Why is it important to understand the terms appropriately? At the end of the day, both the conditions are in the head, and they generate similar pain and pressure, so any term works. Is that what you think? Then you are going wrong there. If we have to explain simply, the terms are different, which means the cause and cure will also differ accordingly. So here are the differences that you should know regarding a migraine and headache.


  • Headaches usually begin with a mild pressure that is felt throughout the head. The pain gradually increases and leaves you restless. There are different reasons behind a headache. There are also different types of them as in tension headaches, cluster headaches, sinus headaches and thunderclap headaches. The causes and the relief measures vary based on the intensity of the headache.
  • A headache can also be one of the factors for other major diseases and medical conditions, for example, a brain tumor. So always look for other symptoms that come along with a headache. This can help you figure out the trouble that you are facing.
  • Women can face continuous head-throbbing and headache during their menstrual cycle. But since there is also menstrual migraine, they will have to look at the symptoms and find out the problem carefully.
  • A headache can also be the beginning factor for issues like hemorrhage, stroke or an internal injury. This is when you will face thunderclaps headache. The pain with shoot up within 60 seconds and will cause panic and stress. In such cases, the victim will require immediate medical attention.
  • So since your pain is severe and is repetitive, you cannot call it a migraine.


  • Unlike a headache, where the pain is spread throughout the head, in a migraine, the pain is only on one side of the head. It begins with a pain that is severe, and this one-sided pain can even spread down to ear or eye on that particular side.
  • So when the pain spreads to both the sides, am I safe, because it is not a migraine? No, sometimes you can go wrong at that conclusion because at times you can have a migraine on both the sides. Sadly, it is only a medical condition, and you can have it on either side.
  • Migraines can be accompanied by other problems such as nausea, dizziness, temporary loss of vision, unclear sight, sensitivity to light and sound, pain in eye or ear and so on.
  • Unlike a headache, a migraine will not come before certain symptoms for most of the victims. This includes depression, constipation, frequent yawning, irritability and even unusual food cravings. This can differ from one person to the other.
  • Finding out the symptoms can help you treat your condition appropriately at the right time.