R51 - Headache

Version 2023
No Valid Principal Dx
ICD-10:R51
Short Description:Headache
Long Description:Headache
Status: Not Valid for Submission
Version:ICD-10-CM 2023
Code Classification:
  • Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified (R00–R99)
    • General symptoms and signs (R50-R69)
      • Headache (R51)

R51 is a non-specific and non-billable ICD-10 code code, consider using a code with a higher level of specificity for a diagnosis of headache. The code is not specific and is NOT valid for the year 2023 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.

According to ICD-10-CM guidelines this code should not to be used as a principal diagnosis code when a related definitive diagnosis has been established.

Clinical Information

Specific Coding for Headache

Non-specific 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:

  • BILLABLE CODE - Use R51.0 for Headache with orthostatic component, not elsewhere classified
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use R51.9 for 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 coding notes and guidance for inclusions, exclusions, descriptions and more. The following references are applicable to this diagnosis code:


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.

Convert to ICD-9 Code

Source ICD-10 CodeTarget ICD-9 Code
R51784.0 - Headache
Approximate Flag - The approximate mapping means there is not an exact match between the ICD-10 and ICD-9 codes and the mapped code is not a precise representation of the original code.

Patient Education


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 in MedlinePlus]

Code History