Headache

20 July 2004

What is the difference between a headache and a migraine?

It is not always easy to distinguish between the two, as there may be an element of both muscle tension and a vascular component in both headaches and migraine. In many cases, migraines are more severe than headaches, and are often accompanied by visual disturbances or nausea. Normal headaches will often respond to over-the-counter medications, whereas migraine is often severe enough to require prescription medication.

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It is not always easy to distinguish between the two, as there may be an element of both muscle tension and a vascular component in both headaches and migraine. In many cases, migraines are more severe than headaches, and are often accompanied by visual disturbances or nausea.

Normal headaches will often respond to over-the-counter medications, whereas migraine is often severe enough to require prescription medication.

 

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Headache expert

Dr Elliot Shevel is a South African migraine surgery pioneer and the founder and medical director of The Headache Clinic in Johannesburg and Durban in Cape Town, South Africa. The Headache Clinic is a multidisciplinary practice dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of Primary Headaches and Migraines. Dr Shevel is also the main author of all scientific publications generated by his team. He recently won a high level science debate in which he was able to prove that the current migraine diagnosis and classification is not based on data. Tertiary Education - Dr Shevel holds both Dental and Medical degrees, and practises as a specialist Maxillo-facial and Oral Surgeon. Follow the Headache Clinic on Twitter @HeadacheClinic . Read the Headache Clinic's latest article on headaches during the holidays.

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