Symptoms: headache

Coding system
Coding system release
Codelist ID
Version ID



Code list aiming to identify individuals consulting complaining of headache


Identified from intial search terms outside of OpenCodelists: "headache" "migraine" "cephalalgia" cephalgia" "cephalodynia" "cranial" hemicrania" "head" "migrain"

Clearly irrelevant codes excluded (with review by a second clinician)

Candidate codelist reviewed outside OpenCodelists by two clinicians. As we reviewed our candidate codelist outside openCodelists, we did not benefit from the tree structures that might have identified additional codes. However, we assume that these are likely to be codes that are not used frequently, e.g., eponymous syndromes.

Specifically excluded headaches with clear causes, e.g., drug induced, concussion, post trauma. Excluded trigeminal neuralgia as implies facial pain rather than classical headache.

Excluded any codes related to GPs with special interests in migraine/headache.

Specifically included headache syndrome including migraine, cluster headaches.

Signed off by

  • Kate Mansfield, (Dec. 14, 2022)
  • Caroline Morton, (Dec. 7, 2022)

Codelists are developed by a broad community of users for individual study purposes, which may or may not meet the needs of other studies. They should not be thought of as universal definitions of a particular condition.

We don't offer any guarantees about what they do or don't identify. Users should carefully check that any codelist meets their needs, and seek clinical input where appropriate.

code term
103006007 Unilateral headache
103007003 Headache due to external compression of head
103010005 Headache associated with sexual activity
103011009 Benign exertional headache
1119294003 Unilateral headache on left side of head
1119295002 Unilateral headache on right side of head
121021000119105 New daily persistent headache
122711000119109 Hypnic headache
122731000119104 Primary thunderclap headache
124001000119104 Status migrainosus co-occurrent and due to migraine without aura
124081000119107 Menstrual status migrainosus
124171000119105 Chronic intractable migraine without aura
128187005 Vascular headache
139490008 Headache
139568005 Headache site
139570001 Generalised headache
139571002 Unilateral headache
139572009 Bilateral headache
139573004 Frontal headache
139574005 Occipital headache
139575006 Parietal headache
139576007 Temporal headache
139577003 Headache site NOS
139578008 Headache character
139579000 Aching headache
139580002 Throbbing headache
139581003 Shooting headache
139583000 Headache character NOS
145611000119107 Allergic migraine
154931007 Tension-type headache
155046006 Migraine
155047002 Migraine with aura
155048007 (Cluster headaches) or (migrainous neuralgia) or (migraine NOS)
158296002 [D]Headache
158298001 [D]Pain in head NOS
162209005 Headache (& [C/O])
162210000 Sinus headache
162211001 Viral headache
162297001 Headache site
162299003 Generalized headache
162300006 Unilateral headache
162301005 Bilateral headache
162302003 (Frontal headache) or (pain in sinuses)
162304002 Parietal headache
162305001 Headache site NOS
162306000 Headache character
162307009 Aching headache
162308004 Throbbing headache
162309007 Shooting headache
162310002 Morning headache
162312005 Headache character NOS
17300000 Cervicocranial syndrome
192028000 Headache: [muscular] or [tension]
192435004 [X] Somatoform pain disorder (& [persistent] or [psychalgia] or [psychogenic backache] or [psychogenic headache])
193027003 Atypical migraine
193028008 Sick headache
193029000 Common migraine NOS
193030005 Migraine variants
193031009 Cluster headache syndrome
193032002 Cluster headache syndrome
193033007 Ophthalmic migraine
193034001 Cluster headache syndrome
193035000 Tension-type headache
193036004 Migraine variant NOS
193037008 Other forms of migraine
193038003 Status migrainosus
193039006 Complicated migraine
193041007 Migraine NOS
193085009 [X]Vascular headache, not elsewhere classified
194493009 [X]Other migraine
194494003 [X]Other specified headache syndromes
194500004 [X]Vascular headache, not elsewhere classified
198407008 (Premenstrual tension syndrome) or (migraine - menstrual)
198438009 Menopausal headache
203861000000109 Medication overuse headache
206946005 [D]Headache
206948006 ([D]Pain: (in head NOS) or (jaw))
211591000000104 Medication overuse headache
230461009 Headache disorder
230462002 Migraine with typical aura
230463007 Migraine with prolonged aura
230464001 Non-familial hemiplegic migraine
230465000 Migraine aura without headache
230467008 Status migrainosus
230468003 Migraine with ischemic complication
230469006 Tension-type headache
230470007 Episodic tension-type headache
230471006 Chronic tension-type headache
230472004 Episodic cluster headache
230473009 Chronic cluster headache
230474003 Chronic cluster headache unremitting from onset
230475002 Chronic cluster headache evolved from episodic cluster headache
230476001 Atypical cluster headache
230478000 Low pressure headache
230481005 Idiopathic stabbing headache
23096007 Cranial neuralgia
23186000 Menstrual migraine
232284007 Migrainous vertigo
248661000000105 Increased frequency of headaches
25064002 Headache
26150009 Lower half migraine
267096005 Frontal headache
267699004 (Cluster headaches) or (migrainous neuralgia) or (migraine NOS)
271329006 [D]Pain in head NOS
272027003 Complaining of a headache
279016001 Cervicogenic headache
290531000119102 Intractable chronic tension headache
294031000119103 Episodic paroxysmal hemicrania
301365009 Pain of head and neck region
301401001 Tenderness of head and neck region
330007 Occipital headache
338091000000104 Benign coital headache
364627004 Characteristics of pain of head and neck region
364628009 Characteristic of headache
364760007 Finding of headache character
366967004 Sinus headache
367191001 Sinus headache
37796009 Migraine
38823002 Aural headache
395602009 Headache disorder
395603004 Benign coital headache
395688005 Benign coital headache
398057008 Tension-type headache
398126006 Muscular headache
400601000000103 [D]Pain in head NOS
414001000000101 [X] Somatoform pain disorder (& [persistent] or [psychalgia] or [psychogenic backache] or [psychogenic headache])
41413006 Temporal headache
423279000 Refractory migraine without aura
423683008 Refractory migraine with aura
423894005 Refractory migraine
424699007 Migraine variants, not intractable
425007008 Migraine without aura, not refractory
425365009 Refractory migraine variants
425936006 Intractable ophthalmic migraine
427419006 Transformed migraine
429051000000106 [D]Pain in head NOS
431237007 Chronic headache disorder
43242008 Drug withdrawal headache
443094001 Paroxysmal hemicrania
443095000 Hemicrania continua
443341000000106 ([D]Pain: (in head NOS) or (jaw))
444251000000103 [X]Other migraine
4448006 Allergic headache
445322004 Migraine variant with headache
44538002 Nasal headache
445511002 Orthostatic headache
4473006 Migraine with aura
456201000000105 [X]Other specified headache syndromes
466441000000100 [X]Vascular headache, not elsewhere classified
467691000000105 [X]Vascular headache, not elsewhere classified
48780006 Cranial neuritis
49605003 Ophthalmoplegic migraine
4969004 Sinus headache
497101000000107 [D]Headache
508421000000101 Chronic headache disorder
509691000000108 Cervicogenic headache
510201000000105 Chronic headache disorder
538741000000109 Headache character NOS
55865003 Cluster headache
56097005 Migraine without aura
571000119103 Daily headache
583651000000101 Migraine NOS
585561000000103 Headache site NOS
59292006 Hemiplegic migraine
603711000000104 Common migraine NOS
603721000000105 Migraine variant NOS
644011000000107 Other forms of migraine
66551002 Psychogenic headache
698803006 Medication overuse headache
699314009 Migraine with persistent visual aura
712826000 Intermittent headache
712831003 Frequent headache
722981005 Infrequent episodic tension-type headache
722982003 Frequent episodic tension-type headache
724429004 Stroke co-occurrent with migraine
735938006 Acute headache
756661000000103 Chronic paroxysmal hemicrania
762592003 Chronic primary headache
784541000000101 Infrequent episodic tension-type headache
785021000000100 Paroxysmal hemicrania
785471000000105 Frequent episodic tension-type headache
79267007 Retinal migraine
808291000000103 Infrequent episodic tension-type headache
808321000000108 Frequent episodic tension-type headache
808331000000105 Chronic tension-type headache
808351000000103 Paroxysmal hemicrania
808361000000100 Benign cough headache
808371000000107 Benign exertion headache
808511000000105 Headache associated with sexual activity
83351003 Basilar migraine
85641006 Hemianencephaly
86925001 Ocular headache
95653008 Acute confusional migraine
95654002 Chronic paroxysmal hemicrania
95655001 Ophthalmic migraine
95656000 Familial hemiplegic migraine
95657009 Chronic mixed headache syndrome
95658004 Cough headache syndrome
95660002 Thunderclap headache

Codes not in the full codelist are in faint grey.