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Difference Between Headaches and Migraines

woman iwith migraineSo just what is the difference between headaches and migraines?

Headaches and migraines are common complaints that many individuals experience at some point in their lives. While they both involve discomfort in the head, they have distinct characteristics and causes. Let’s explore the anatomy of the head and the role of nerves in the neck to better understand the differences between headaches and migraines.

The head is a complex structure comprising various bones, muscles, and nerves. One crucial aspect of this anatomy is the intricate network of nerves that innervate the head. These nerves originate in the neck and extend upwards to supply sensation to different regions of the head and face. The neck, also known as the cervical spine, plays a pivotal role in maintaining proper nerve system integrity.


Headaches, though uncomfortable, are generally considered a more common and milder form of head pain. They can result from tension, stress, poor posture, or muscle tension in the neck and scalp. The neck muscles, when strained, can refer pain to the head, causing a headache. Tension headaches typically produce a steady, dull ache on both sides of the head and may be accompanied by tightness or pressure.


On the other hand, migraines are a more intense and debilitating type of head discomfort. They are neurological in nature and involve abnormal brain activity. Migraines are believed to be triggered by changes in blood flow and chemical imbalances in the brain. These changes can lead to severe pain, usually on one side of the head, along with other symptoms such as nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and visual disturbances.

It is crucial to differentiate between headaches and migraines as their management approaches differ. While medication might be commonly used to alleviate symptoms in the medical model, chiropractic care takes a different approach. At Loving Life Chiropractic, we focus on restoring nerve system integrity to allow the body to function optimally. By addressing any misalignments or subluxations in the cervical spine (specifically C1, C2 or occiput) we aim to remove interference to the nerve system, which may contribute to both headaches and migraines.

Chiropractors use gentle adjustments to realign the spine, reducing pressure on nerves and promoting overall well-being. By enhancing nerve system function, individuals may experience fewer headaches and migraines and an improved ability to heal naturally.

In conclusion, headaches and migraines are two distinct forms of head discomfort with different causes and characteristics.

Understanding the role of nerves in the neck and their relationship to head pain is essential in providing effective care. Chiropractic care at Loving Life Chiropractic seeks to restore nerve system integrity to promote overall health and help individuals lead vibrant lives.

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