Do You Have a Migraine or a Headache?

Woman suffering from head pain | Do you have a migraine or headache? Migraine Specials NASA Neuroscience and Spine Associates

Migraine symptoms are often mistaken for headache symptoms, but they are not the same. Knowing the difference between a headache and a migraine is important so you can be sure to receive the right treatment. Here’s how to tell if you have a headache or a migraine.

Headache is a neurological symptom; the underlying cause needs to be established. Migraine is a genetic, neurological condition often causing headaches, but is also associated with many other symptoms including sensitivity to light, sound, smells, and movement, as well as dizziness, visual disturbances, brain fog, speech difficulty, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, irritability, and more.


A headache is a common form of pain that affects the head causing pressure and aching in a throbbing manner. Headaches usually occur on both sides of your head and the spectrum of pain can be mild to severe. A typical headache generally lasts between 30 minutes to a few hours.


The key difference between a headache and migraine is that migraines can be distressing and debilitating and can affect your whole body. Almost always, migraines bring on more symptoms than headaches, and those symptoms can be more severe.

A migraine is also a type of headache, but much more. Migraines include extreme pain with a pulsing or throbbing sensation. The pain commonly occurs on just one side of the head, lasting from a few hours to several days. It is typical for migraines to divert everyday activities, such as work, school or anything else that involves leaving a dark room. Migraine is considered “chronic” when headaches occur for 15 or more days per month.

One of the biggest differences between a migraine and a headache is the sensations you feel. People who have headaches often feel:

  • Pain extended to the face or neck area
  • Pain and pressure in varying degrees of intensity and frequency

Southwest Florida Migraine and Headache Specialists in Naples, Florida

There are many different types of headaches you may experience. If you are experiencing any of these conditions, the doctors and specialists at Neuroscience & Spine Associates are here to help. Contact us today to learn more or schedule an appointment.