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Migraine, Tension Headaches, or Mixed Tension Migraines—Telling the Difference

When it comes to headaches, there’s a variety of them that you might experience. They can range from mild, to severe depending on the persistence of the triggers and health conditions.

With over 15 percent of the adult population complaining about some form of headache, it’s even more necessary to study the differences. It has also been noted that the prevalence of headaches is more prevalent among the youth than the older population.

The types of headaches include migraines, tension headaches and mixed tension migraines. While people are generally aware of these terms, they don’t know the minor differences that distinguish each type.

Here’s a quick study of headaches.


Migraines are a severe health condition that can have debilitating effects on an individual’s functioning. They’re caused by inflammatory substances that surround the blood vessels and nerves to trigger painful sensations. Even though the persistence of its symptoms is found among people diagnosed with migraines, it’s not as common as tension headaches.

The pain felt with this type of headache can help distinguish it from other types. Within migraines, there are several different categories of pain. Migraine with aura and migraine without aura are some examples. Aura is a neurological symptom that’s experienced before the onset of a full-fledged migraine. It can be described as numbness, changes in vision, affected speech, tingling or even nausea.

A few factors that differentiate a migraine from other severe headaches are:

In the case of an acute migraine attack, a few or all of these symptoms may be experienced.

Tension Headaches

In contrast to migraines, tension headaches are not caused by genetic predispositions to this health condition. They’re solely caused by the soreness of muscles in the neck, head and shoulders. Tenderness in muscles can cause pain but the severity doesn’t change with a change in environmental conditions or physical activity. This is where they differ from migraines.

Tension headaches don’t worsen while climbing stairs or jumping but a migraine definitely will. They don’t make you sensitive to sharp lights, loud sounds and strong fragrances.

The symptoms of tension headaches are more like dull pain and heaviness, as compared to throbbing pain in one side of the head in case of a migraine.

Similarly, you can cope with tension headaches with some rest and improved diet. But in order to treat migraines, you need proper treatment and medication.

Mixed Tension Migraine

This type of headache is somewhere in the middle of the continuum from tension headaches to migraines. They’re known to occur more frequently in females than in males. They share symptoms of both of the abovementioned categories.

The sequence in which it occurs is that soon after the onset of a migraine attack, the body experiences stress due to pain and that triggers a tension headache. The World Health Organization has confirmed that the leading cause of tension headaches is muscle tension, and in this case, migraines are the reason for it.

If you’re experiencing one or both types of headaches, you need to get a medical expert’s help to get better soon. Our pain therapy centers in New York City cater to all such cases of tension headaches and migraines.

Consult our professionals Pain relief doctors 07601 right here.

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