Headaches: migraine or headache?

Headaches, migraines. Two terms to define pain in the skull but what are the differences?


Migraine is pain in part of the skull. This disease affects between 10 and 15% of the world’s population.

Its symptoms are as follows:

  • The pain is localized to one half of the head.
  • It is called “pulsatile”.
  • Can be increased with effort, even light (walking, climbing stairs, etc.)
  • It can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, discomfort in light.

Migraines can last from a few hours to several days.




Headaches are characteristic of mild pain and tend to occur at the end of the day.

Its symptoms are as follows:

  • The pain is continuous, moderate and diffuse affecting the skull and neck.
  • Sensation of strong pressure inside the skull (of having the “head in a vice” or in a helmet), of pulling behind the eyes.
  • It does not increase with exercise.
  • It is not accompanied by nausea or vomiting.
  • Can often be accompanied by tension in the neck and shoulders.
  • Increased in times of stress.
  • She is calmed by moments of relaxation.


What can be the causes of this pain?

There are a few factors that can trigger headaches (tension headaches or migraine), these are:

  • Stress, anxiety, annoyance, fatigue,
  • A particular and unusual smell
  • Diet: overconsumption of alcohol, caffeine, sweets, fatty foods and/or sauces, cheese, eggs, etc.
  • Taking medication
  • Periods
  • Climatic factors: heat, light…


The role of osteopathy in the treatment of headaches.

Firstly, the osteopath will seek to identify the primary cause of your headaches (whether it is a headache or a migraine).

Through his global approach, your osteopath will be able to act on different systems: cranial, osteoarticular, visceral, membranous, vascular. This helps release all tensions and restore mobility to the structures in order to regulate the overall balance of the body.


Some tips to limit the appearance of headaches (migraines and tension headaches)

Firstly, you will pay attention to diet:

  • Don’t skip meals
  • Avoid fatty meals and certain alcohols (particularly white wine),
  • Monitor caffeine intake,
  • Remember to hydrate well.

Secondly, a healthy lifestyle you will have:

  • Make sure you get enough sleep,
  • Consider doing light physical activity every day.

Third, you will manage your stress:

  • Through breathing exercises, acupuncture, relaxation.

Crisis advice:

  • Lie down in a dark, quiet room.
  • Put a cold compress on his forehead.
  • Massage your scalp.
  • Exert pressure on his temples.


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