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.
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:
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 ExcludesType 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.
- CLUSTER HEADACHE-. a primary headache disorder that is characterized by severe strictly unilateral pain which is orbital supraorbital temporal or in any combination of these sites lasting 15 180 min. occurring 1 to 8 times a day. the attacks are associated with one or more of the following all of which are ipsilateral: conjunctival injection lacrimation nasal congestion rhinorrhea facial sweating eyelid edema and miosis. international classification of headache disorders 2nd ed. cephalalgia 2004: suppl 1
- HEADACHE-. the symptom of pain in the cranial region. it may be an isolated benign occurrence or manifestation of a wide variety of headache disorders.
- MIGRAINE DISORDERS-. a class of disabling primary headache disorders characterized by recurrent unilateral pulsatile headaches. the two major subtypes are common migraine without aura and classic migraine with aura or neurological symptoms. international classification of headache disorders 2nd ed. cephalalgia 2004: suppl 1
- VASCULAR HEADACHES-. secondary headache disorders attributed to a variety of cranial or cervical vascular disorders such as brain ischemia; intracranial hemorrhages; and central nervous system vascular malformations.
- TENSION TYPE HEADACHE-. a common primary headache disorder characterized by a dull non pulsatile diffuse band like or vice like pain of mild to moderate intensity in the head; scalp; or neck. the subtypes are classified by frequency and severity of symptoms. there is no clear cause even though it has been associated with muscle contraction and stress. international classification of headache disorders 2nd ed. cephalalgia 2004: suppl 1
- HEADACHE DISORDERS-. various conditions with the symptom of headache. headache disorders are classified into major groups such as primary headache disorders based on characteristics of their headache symptoms and secondary headache disorders based on their etiologies. international classification of headache disorders 2nd ed. cephalalgia 2004: suppl 1
- HEADACHE DISORDERS PRIMARY-. conditions in which the primary symptom is headache and the headache cannot be attributed to any known causes.
- HEADACHE DISORDERS SECONDARY-. conditions with headache symptom that can be attributed to a variety of causes including brain vascular disorders; wounds and injuries; infection; drug use or its withdrawal.
- POST TRAUMATIC HEADACHE-. secondary headache attributed to trauma of the head and/or the neck.
- POST DURAL PUNCTURE HEADACHE-. a secondary headache disorder attributed to low cerebrospinal fluid pressure caused by spinal puncture usually after dural or lumbar puncture.
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
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
- Cluster headache (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Headache (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Headaches -- danger signs (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Managing tension headaches at home (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Tension headache (Medical Encyclopedia)