Tension Headaches: Key Q&A

What's the difference between a migraine and a tension headache?

A migraine is a severe, throbbing headache that is often accompanied by other symptoms, such as nausea, sensitivity to light or sound, dizziness or chills. The pain is usually located at the side of the forehead. A tension headache is a dull, pressurelike headache over the head, neck and scalp. It is usually not as severe as a migraine. Other symptoms rarely accompany a tension headache.

Are there any other kinds of headaches?

Yes. The International Headache Society has composed a comprehensive list of more than 150 types of headache. However, tension headaches and migraines are by far the most common. Following migraines and tension headaches, the most common type of headache is a cluster headache. A cluster headache is a very severe, chronic headache characterized by sharp, penetrating or burning pain on the side of the head. Unlike tension headaches and migraines, cluster headaches affect men more often than women.

What is the difference between chronic and episodic tension headaches?

When a tension headache occurs on more than 15 days a month for at least six months, it may be described as chronic. The pain may be daily or continuous. Chronic headaches may persist for many years. Episodic tension headaches occur on fewer than 15 days a month. They usually last anywhere from 30 minutes up to a week. They cause tightness and pain around both sides of the head. This pain and tightness does not get worse with physical activity and is not associated with nausea or vomiting.

Connect with Us
Follow Our Pins

Yummy recipes, DIY projects, home decor, fashion and more curated by iVillage staffers.

Follow Our Tweets

The very dirty truth about fashion internships... DUN DUN @srslytheshow http://t.co/wfewf

On Instagram

Behind-the-scenes pics from iVillage.

Best of the Web