Difference Between Migraine and Tension Headache


There’s a big difference in headaches as you probably already know. Many people under stress get tension headaches. These may result from work stress, financial issues, or relationship issues, but also from not taking care of yourself. If you don’t sleep the number of hours you need for good health, or if you don’t eat properly, you may experience tension headaches. Tension headaches are not fun, but most people can continue their work, or whatever project they are doing while having a tension headache. Tension headaches are a way of saying, Hey, relax. Take care of yourself.

Effects of Tension Headache

For a tension headache, you should find ways to relax. Go to your “happy place.” Find something enjoyable to do. It’s been suggested here as well, to make sure you are getting enough sleep and taking care of your body. When we are under stress because of workload, or financial issues, or relationship issues, we tend to forget to take care of ourselves! This is all too common in this busy life.

What About Migraines?

Migraine headaches on the other hand, are a different animal altogether. Many people experience an aura, or vision problems before a migraine hits. The aura has been described as flashing lights or a halo in your sight of vision. These headaches are often caused by food allergies or a vitamin or mineral deficiency. A deficiency of magnesium is quite often the cause of a migraine. It’s been said that if you are craving chocolate, it may be because you are in need of magnesium. Artificial food coloring has also been known to be the cause of migraines. Artificial food coloring is found in so many processed foods, and we all eat way too much of it.

Migraines are quite debilitating. Laying in a quiet room without lights and sound seem to be the most comforting. A cool cloth on the forehead may also be helpful.

There are other headaches besides tension and migraine, but these two seem to be the most upsetting and harder to get over. There are of course over the counter medications for tension headaches and even for migraines. However, prescription medications for migraines have been found to be the most effective. If a prescription medication is not available to you for a migraine, I suggest complete rest, and as stated above, a cool cloth, and a quiet and dark room. Anyone that is plagued with regular migraines, should be advised to try to find the source or the cause. A few lab tests could help with the deficiency issues, but keeping a food diary would be helpful as well. You may be able to discover for yourself how to stop the migraines by not ingesting the things that are your triggers.