Migraines affect more than 10% of people worldwide, occurring most often among people aged 20 to 50 years. They’re also about 3 times more common in women than in men.
Today we’ll look at the difference between a migraine and a headache, what a headache might mean if it’s connected to other symptoms, when to seek treatment, and how we treat some of the common conditions, including migraines.
Headaches Vs. Migraines
First, it’s important to understand the difference between a migraine and a headache, and the primary differences are the intensity and frequency as well as the root cause. A migraine is caused by inflammation when blood vessels in the brain become enlarged and press on the nerve fibers around them. Gut dysfunction, vitamin deficiencies, and hormonal imbalances can increase the severity and frequency of a migraine, so we take these factors into consideration when implementing a treatment plan.
Headaches, on the other hand, can be caused by a variety of factors, such as stress, physical tension in the neck and jaw, allergy and sinus issues, as well as dehydration, caffeine withdrawal, and injuries such as head trauma from a concussion or other brain injury. Headaches can also be a side effect of any condition that is exhausting, disabling, and causes loss of sleep.
Common Neurological Conditions That Cause Headaches
Among the common conditions we treat, many of our patients have reported headaches as one symptom that has hindered their ability to work, participate in sports, or complete daily chores and tasks.
#1 Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
POTS is one form of dysautonomia that causes decreased blood flow to the brain, leading to lightheadedness, brain fog, fatigue, as well as headaches. We can treat this with dietary recommendations and physical therapy that retrains the autonomic nervous system and improves blood flow.
#2 Inflammation Due to Injury or Infection
Inflammation to the brain caused by concussion, post-concussion syndrome (PCS), infection, or long-haul COVID can cause ongoing headaches. If you’re experiencing pain as well as symptoms such as brain fog and fatigue weeks or months after a head injury or a COVID infection, it’s important to seek treatment.
The repetitive muscle spasms and tremors associated with dystonia can cause head and neck pain, especially when the part of the body affected is the face, mouth, jaw, and neck. The pain can often radiate into the back and shoulders.
As you already know, a migraine is more than just a headache. They can cause pain, visual disturbances, nausea, and vomiting. Patients with this condition often report one or more migraine “triggers,” such as strong scents, a change in the weather, or stress. We use a variety of therapies to treat migraine symptoms, including posture analysis, oxygen therapy to reduce inflammation, and manual therapies designed to alleviate nerve pressure.
When To Seek Treatment
Schedule a consultation with Neurohealth Services. Our caring and knowledgeable team has years of experience, and we utilize the most advanced diagnostic tools to pinpoint the root cause of your symptoms in order to provide the most accurate diagnosis and treatment possible.
Many of our patients have had tremendous success after a Discovery Day, a comprehensive evaluation that allows us to design and implement a research-backed, personalized treatment plan to optimize your brain health. Call for a free 10-minute phone consultation and find out if a Discovery Day evaluation is right for you: (317) 848-6000