Posttraumatic Headache: Clinical Characterization and Management

Concussion and Head Injury (S Lucas, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Concussion and Head Injury


Headache is the most common symptom after traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI has become a global health concern with an estimated 2.5 million reported TBIs per year in the USA alone. Recent longitudinal studies of posttraumatic headache (PTH) show a high cumulative incidence of 71 % after moderate or severe TBI and an even higher cumulative incidence of 91 % after mild TBI (mTBI) at 1 year after injury. Prevalence remains high at over 44 % throughout the year after moderate or severe TBI and over 54 % after mTBI. A prior history of headache is associated with a higher risk for PTH, whereas older age appears to be protective. Gender does not appear to be a risk factor for PTH. Most PTH has clinical diagnostic criteria meeting that of migraine or probable migraine when primary headache disorder classification criteria are used, followed by tension-type headache. There are no evidence-based treatment guidelines for PTH management; however, expert opinion has suggested treating the PTH using primary headache disorder treatment recommendations according to its type.


Posttraumatic headache Concussion Postconcussion syndrome Tension-type headache Sports concussion Traumatic brain injury 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Sylvia Lucas is a section editor for Current Pain and Headache Reports.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Washington Medical CenterSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Harborview Medical CenterSeattleUSA

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