Migraines are described as extending beyond a mere headache, involving severe throbbing pain or pulsing sensations. They are usually accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or some level of sensitivity to light and/or sound (photophobia and phonophobia). For patients suffering from migraines, their pain is typically focused on one side of the head, and they usually find that their pain is aggravated by activity (as such, sufferers usually avoid routine activities that they’d normally participate in). Migraines typically last from 4 to 72 hours, and some patients experience auras (for example, seeing bright spots or flashes of light) prior to onset.
Sub-occipital headaches are commonly referred to as tension headaches. These types of headaches are related to the sub-occipital muscles, which are located just below the bottom of the skull (the occipital bone). Patients typically describe pain stemming from sub-occipital muscles as feeling like a band wrapping around the head. Pain starts in the back of the head and can spread to the ears or eyes. Sub-occipital headaches can be caused by a variety of common factors, such as straining of the eyes, poor posture, or acute injury such as whiplash.