My doctor said when the contractions are 5 minutes apart for an hour then go to the hospital. If they are bh they will not be consistent and will get further apart.
Braxton Hicks should not be painful. You may be in labor
Bh can be painful, but as gummibear said, they are inconsistent. If you think you may be in labour, my midwife said to
1) drink some water, lie down and rest. If they are 'fake' they might go away like this.
2) If they continue, start timing. Try stay calm and relaxed in meanwhile.
3) Go to the hospital when contractions are no more than 5 min apart (or your water breaks or so), or they will send you back home. It can take awhile before you get to 5 min, and you'll be more comfortable at home to wait it out. And at 5 min you still have quite some time to go before you really go in active labour, so take your time. Besides the usual (walking, bouncy ball,...) staying relaxed helps things to go a bit quicker.