Headaches and Migraine

There are two main types of headaches; an everyday tension headache, and a more severe migraine.

Headaches can be very unpleasant but it should be remembered that not all headaches are migraines. 


Migraines are more often associated with nausea and can quite often cause sickness, blurred vision and extreme pain.

Migraines can be very concerning for the person suffering and mainly occur to one side of the head. You may also experience sensitivity to light and feel the need to lie in a dark room for several hours, or even longer.

Click here to find out more about migraines. 

Migraines can be caused by a huge variety of things, which relate to emotional reasons, or even simply not having enough sleep. Click here to read more about the causes. 

Tension headache

A tension headache is generally caused by stress, tiredness or even dehydration. An unhealthy lifestyle can also lead to tension headaches. Read more about tension headaches here.

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When to be concerned

Most headaches can be treated with painkillers such as Paracetamol. However, you should seek immediate medical advice if a headache:

  • Is accompanied by a very stiff neck, fever, nausea, vomiting and confusion
  • Follows an accident, especially if it involved a blow to your head
  • Is accompanied by weakness, numbness, slurred speech or confusion
  • Comes on suddenly and feels very unusual

You can read more about when to seek medical advice here.


In addition to yoga, massage and relaxation sessions, painkillers can be used to treat a migraine or headache. The strength of the dose will depend on how much you are suffering.

If you want to work on your relaxation levels, click here for more information.

Things to remember

  • Not all severe headaches are migraines; many will clear up quickly on their own after a big glass of water and some deep breathing to relax.
  • There are times when sudden and unusual headaches should cause alarm bells to ring. Just be aware.
  • Different people have different triggers for migraines. It’s about understanding your trigger and trying to manage it accordingly.

Word from our GP

 Migraines can be so severe that people can think they are seriously ill.

Don’t be alarmed, try to get some sleep but monitor reoccurrences and see your GP if you are concerned.

Dr Neil Geraghty, Newcastle Surgery