2021 ICD-10-CM Code R51

Headache

Version 2021
Replaced Code
Non-Billable Code
No Valid Principal Dx
Family Practice
Internal Medicine
Pediatrics

Not Valid for Submission

R51 is a "header" nonspecific and non-billable diagnosis code code, consider using a code with a higher level of specificity for a diagnosis of headache. The code is NOT valid for the year 2021 for the submission of HIPAA-covered transactions. Category or Header define the heading of a category of codes that may be further subdivided by the use of 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th characters.

The code is commonly used in family practice, internal medicine , pediatrics medical specialties to specify clinical concepts such as headache.

ICD-10:R51
Short Description:Headache
Long Description:Headache

Code Classification

Specific Coding for Headache

Header codes like R51 require more digits to indicate the appropriate level of specificity. Consider using any of the following ICD-10 codes with a higher level of specificity when coding for headache:

  • R51.0 - Headache with orthostatic component, not elsewhere classified
  • R51.9 - ... unspecified

Replaced Code

This code was replaced in the 2021 ICD-10 code set with the code(s) listed below. The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) has published an update to the ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes which became effective October 1, 2020. This code was replaced for the FY 2021 (October 1, 2020 - September 30, 2021).


  • R51.0 - Headache with orthostatic component, NEC
  • R51.9 - Headache, unspecified

Tabular List of Diseases and Injuries

The Tabular List of Diseases and Injuries is a list of ICD-10 codes, organized "head to toe" into chapters and sections with guidance for inclusions, exclusions, descriptions and more. The following references are applicable to the code R51:


Type 2 Excludes

Type 2 Excludes
A type 2 excludes note represents "Not included here". An excludes2 note indicates that the condition excluded is not part of the condition represented by the code, but a patient may have both conditions at the same time. When an Excludes2 note appears under a code, it is acceptable to use both the code and the excluded code together, when appropriate.

Clinical Information

Convert R51 to ICD-9 Code

The General Equivalency Mapping (GEM) crosswalk indicates an approximate mapping between the ICD-10 code R51 its ICD-9 equivalent. The approximate mapping means there is not an exact match between the ICD-10 code and the ICD-9 code and the mapped code is not a precise representation of the original code.

Information for Patients


Headache

Almost everyone has had a headache. Headache is the most common form of pain. It's a major reason people miss days at work or school or visit the doctor.

The most common type of headache is a tension headache. Tension headaches are due to tight muscles in your shoulders, neck, scalp and jaw. They are often related to stress, depression or anxiety. You are more likely to get tension headaches if you work too much, don't get enough sleep, miss meals, or use alcohol.

Other common types of headaches include migraines, cluster headaches, and sinus headaches. Most people can feel much better by making lifestyle changes, learning ways to relax and taking pain relievers.

Not all headaches require a doctor's attention. But sometimes headaches warn of a more serious disorder. Let your health care provider know if you have sudden, severe headaches. Get medical help right away if you have a headache after a blow to your head, or if you have a headache along with a stiff neck, fever, confusion, loss of consciousness, or pain in the eye or ear.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke


[Learn More]

Code History

  • FY 2021 - Code Deleted, effective from 10/1/2020 through 9/30/2021
  • FY 2020 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2019 through 9/30/2020
  • FY 2019 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2018 through 9/30/2019
  • FY 2018 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2017 through 9/30/2018
  • FY 2017 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2016 through 9/30/2017
  • FY 2016 - New Code, effective from 10/1/2015 through 9/30/2016 (First year ICD-10-CM implemented into the HIPAA code set)