Is it a migraine or just a bad headache?

June 19, 2019

Not all Headaches are Created Equal

Do you ever feel like you are being stabbed in the head with an icepick? Well, believe it or not, that is NOT a kind of migraine people can suffer from. When you think about headaches, often, our minds drift to migraines. However, there are different kinds, and we are going to show you just what they are.

Below are some headache and migraine symptoms and their names. Having a list of the differences can help you determine your next course of action, as the treatments for a headache versus a migraine can vary.

Common Types of Migraines:

  • Migraine Aura Also called a “Complicated Migraine”. When you experience a series of sensory or visual changes (aura) before or during a migraine. These can last anywhere from 10-30 minutes. Check out this video of what that can look like!
  • Hemiplegic Migraine- Weakness on one side of the body also with the visual aura symptoms. This migraine can resemble a stroke.
  • Retinal Migraine-When you temporarily lose vision in one eye. This can last anywhere from a minute, to a month. Although scary, this is usually fully reversible.

Common Types of Headaches:

  • Icepick HeadacheWhen you experience primarily a stabbing sensation, delivering intense, sharp, pain. This can last anywhere from 5-30 seconds.
  • Cluster Headache- These start with a burning sensation around and above the eyes and temples. This can move all the way to the back of the head and trigger other symptoms. Red, swollen eyes, as well as a runny nose can happen along with these.
  • Cervicogenic Headache-This is when the pain in your head is caused by the pain in your neck. The pain can originate from neck pain, or a lesion on the spine.

Whether it is a headache or a migraine, always consult with your doctor to find the right treatment for you. Your provider will take your family history, have some tests run that may include blood work, and any imaging that may need to be completed. Then, you can be on your way to prevention and relief through the many options available to treat migraines and headaches.

At ActivMed, we are committed not only to working with patients to find current treatments that will deliver the most impactful results, but also in working to develop new treatment options through clinical studies.

If you or someone you love is struggling with migraines, ActivMed currently has enrolling studies for those seeking new treatment options. Qualified candidates who participate will receive study-related care at no cost and receive compensation for travel. To learn more and see how you or someone you love may qualify for a study, click HERE.




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