When Is A Migraine Not A Headache?

I used to be one of those ignorant people that thought a migraine was just a bad headache. How wrong I was.

Since my original tentative diagnosis of vestibular migraine (migraine associated vertigo in some places) from a hospital consultant, I’ve googled the heck out of migraines and their various forms and would like to sincerely apologise to anyone I’ve tutted or rolled my eyes at in the past!

I hadn’t heard of the different types of migraine, and am now very grateful that I made it past my 40th birthday without having to find out. All I heard when that doctor was trying to help me was “migraine” and I had some sort of rant at him telling him not to be stupid, it was the dizzy spells that were the problem, I only had a lingering tension headache because I was stressed about the dizzy spells!

As time went on and I did more research and got referred to other consultants in ENT, Audiology, Neurology, and, Epilepsy, I came to understand that he was possibly right in the first place. I had recovered from Labyrinthitis, and, BPPV; hearing tests and brain scans ruled out deafness and tumours. The vestibular migraine diagnosis was pretty much all that was left.

The wide-ranging symptoms I get are an utter nuisance, especially the lack of concentration and memory loss, but the preventative drugs are trying to keep them under control. Time will tell if the body pains are caused by weight gain and lack of exercise (thank you migraine meds!) or if they are part of that wide range of symptoms. I’m introducing a little more exercise week by week and was already trying to eat more healthily but in the meantime “possible fibromyalgia” has been added to my doctor’s notes.

Of course, with extra exercise, and 2 weeks suitable for doing a little in the garden, comes an increase in aches and pains. Just last weekend I was very grateful that I’d been sent a pack of these to try:

Nurofen Express Heat Patches
Nurofen Express Heat Patches

I wouldn’t be lying if I told you my whole body hurt but worst off were my right shoulder (from pulling out weeds no doubt) and my poor old knees!

Unfortunately they aren’t designed for podgy knee joints so I applied brufen gel there, but, for my shoulder, one of these was perfect. I’ve used heat patches before for back pain but they usually attach to your clothes rather than the sore bit. These go straight onto the skin and warm up within 5 minutes. They don’t get too hot, there’s just a soothing warmth. The clever hinged design means they move with you too. I’ll definitely be getting some of these in both sizes to see me through Autumn and Winter!

The patches cost around £4 for 2 regular or £5 for 2 large.

*I was supplied with the regular for the purposes of this review but all thoughts and opinions are my own.


  1. It’s a bit depressing just how many headaches there are and the myriad causes in the world-I’ve often wondered if mine are triggered by sniffing or just opening my eyes some days!
    I need the good stuff for the pain but I’m a huge fan of heat packs for the associated neck and shoulder pain.
    Hope you don’t have fybromialgia, or would a diagnosis be better?
    M x

    1. Mine are definitely triggered by the weather, even the lovely sunshine makes my head pound!

      I hope I don’t too but a proper diagnosis would, in a way, be wonderful. It’s hard answering the “what exactly do you have wrong with you?” questions with a list of might-bes! But, as I said to you earlier, without a diagnosis I can remain more hopeful that all these symptoms will disappear as suddenly as they seemed to appear! 🙂 x

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