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In this blog we’ll be delving into the difference between headaches and migraines and what can cause them.

Research shows that 4.9 million Australians experience migraines and up to 7 million can experience headaches in their lifetime. (Migraine in Australia Whitepaper, Deloitte Access Economics Report, 2018)

How to Differentiate Headaches and Migraines

Headaches and migraines often get lumped together under the broad category of “head pain,” but anyone who has experienced both knows they’re not one and the same. Understanding the nuances between these two types of conditions can help you source effective management. Let’s delve into the key differences between headaches and migraines.

Headaches are a common ailment experienced by most people at some point in their lives. They can range from mild discomfort to debilitating pain around the head, neck and shoulders. Migraines, on the other hand, are a condition characterised by intense head pain accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, auras (visual disturbances) and sometimes even pins and needles and/or weakness down one side of the body.

What causes Headaches and Migraines

The cause of headaches and migraines often stem from the first three vertebrae of the neck, also known as the ‘upper cervical spine’. Factors such as head/neck injuries and poor posture are the most common contributors to changes in the cervical spine. This can then cause increased sensitivity of the surrounding nerves and central nervous system which can then lead to headaches and/or migraines.

Here are two key things you can do to look after your posture to avoid negative changes or irritation to your upper cervical spine:

Adopt good posture:

Sleep with good neck support:

While headaches and migraines both involve head pain, understanding these distinctions can help provide a more accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.

Whether you’re dealing with occasional headaches or chronic headaches and migraines, consulting with one of our headache clinicians can help you determine the root cause of your condition and a personalised plan to manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Call us on 1800 43 23 22 or find us online to book an appointment and start treating your headaches and migraines today!


Written by:

Piumi Herath

Senior Headache Clinician

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