Tension Headache vs Migraine: How To Relieve A Migraine?

Headache is defined as pain in the head located above the eyes or ears, behind the crown, or in the back of the upper neck.

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Migraine and Headache
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Table of Contents

Tension Headache vs Migraine


Tension Headache


Tension headache feel around

the head, behind the eyes, neck or shoulders.


Migraine can feel in one part of the head.


Band like pressure and tenderness of the neck, shoulder and head.


Throbbing pain in one part of the head.


Sensitivity to bright and light sound and strong scents.

Pain with physical extertions.


Tension headache is most common type of headache and it generally affects more women than men.


Migraine seems less common.

Around 12% of population are suffering from migraine.

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Causes and risk factors of headache

  • It may be symptoms of an underlying disease or can happen primarily.
  • Intracranial infection.
  • Tumors
  • Meningitis
  • Head injuries
  • Cerebral hypoxia
  • Severe hypertension
  • Acute or chronic disease of eye, ear, nose, or throat.
  • Anxiety
  • A long hour at work
  • Lack of sleep.

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Classification of headache

Primary Headache

  • Migraine
  • Tension-type headache
  • Cluster headache


  • It occurs when blood vessels of the head and neck constrict, resulting in a decreased blood flow.
  • Episodic
  • Unilateral or bilateral
  • Pulsating
  • Moderate to severe
  • increased by activities, light, sound.

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Risk factors of migraine

  • Hyperactivity of neurotransmitter serotonin
  • Family history of migraine
  • Tension or stress
  • Alcohol use
  • Smoking
  • Lack of sleep
  • Particular food such as chocolate, nuts, pickle

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Signs and symptoms of migraine

  • Throbbing, pulsating feeling at one or two sides of the head.
  • Pain may be dull or severe.
  • Pain may be with nausea, vomiting, vertigo, visual disturbances.
  • Sensitivity to light or sound.
  • Hemianopsia(loss of half vision)
  • Blurred vision
  • Restlessness

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Management of migraine

  • Acetamenophen
  • Narcotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Calcium channel blocker
  • Beta blocker

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Tension headache

  • The most typical type of headache.
  • The result from the contraction of head and neck muscles.
  • Occurs due to emotional issues such as cry, worry.
  • It may be associated with depression and anxiety.

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Risk factors

  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Poor posture
  • Eyestrain
  • Tocaccoand alcohol use
  • Hormonal changes in a woman
  • Caffeine(too much or withdrawal)
  • Common cold or flue
  • Nasal congestion

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Signs and symptoms

  • Pain at head or neck
  • Heaviness of head


  • Aspirin
  • Acetamenophen
  • Analgesics
  • Antidepressant
  • Beta blocker
  • Calcium channel blocker

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Cluster headache

  • One-sided eye pain involving the area around the eye.
  • Occurs for few minutes to hours
  • Most painful
  • Uncommon type

Risk factors

  • Taking certain medications
  • Interruption in regular sleep pattern
  • Abnormal level of hormones
  • Alcohol and smoking
  • High altitudes
  • Bright light
  • Hard work

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Signs and symptoms

  • Severe, sudden, burning, sharp pain around the eye.
  • Excessive tearing
  • Redness in the affected eye
  • Swelling around the eye


  • Aspirin
  • Acetamenophen
  • Analgesics

Secondary headache

Occurs due to underlying structural problems like

  • Brain tumor
  • Brain infection
  • Stroke
  • Increased intracranial pressure
  • Epilepsy
  • Brain hemorrhage
  • Hypertension

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Diagnosis of headache

  • History taking and physical examination.
  • Blood test
  • CT scan of the brain
  • MRI
  • CSF analysis

Prevention of headache

  • A healthy diet and fluid intake
  • Avoid excessive caffeine
  • Getting adequate sleep
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Maintaining a routine
  • Avoiding irritants

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How to relieve a migraine headache?

  • Use a cold pack on your forehead
  • Drink enough liquids and stay hydrated
  • Do relaxing exercise
  • Take a warm shower
  • Avoid chewing 
  • Massage for few minutes
  • Try meditation
  • Have some caffeine

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Home Remedies for headche

Whenever a headache occurs, you get upset, and people start taking many types of medicines or drink tea or coffee. But despite this, this pain does not follow you. You also know that consuming more medicines is not suitable for your health, so whenever you have a headache, you can reduce it and get rid of it with the help of some things lying at home.

1.Basil leaves

You all know how beneficial Tulsi is, but do you know that it works to give you relief. So in such a situation, whenever you have pain, you should cook basil leaves in water and consume them. It can be more beneficial than any tea and coffee

2. Cloves

Cloves are used a lot in home remedies. For example, in headache, heat the clove buds on the pan, tie the hot clove buds in a handkerchief, and keep smelling the bundle made of it; it helps in curing the pain.

3.Black Pepper and Mint

You can also consume black pepper and mint tea in headaches; it proves to be very beneficial. If you want, mix some mint leaves in black tea; your pain will be reduced by doing this.

4. Sandalwood paste

If sandalwood paste is lying in your house, apply it to your head; it provides immediate relief. If sandalwood is applied to your forehead, it cools your forehead, and you get to benefit from it.

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Most headaches may ease after a short period or with mild pain relievers, but severe headaches like migraines can affect work and social life. These types of headaches generally need medical attention, and self-treatment may not always be the best option.

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