Document Type


Publication Date

September 2004


This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Regional Anesthesia and Pain Management 29(5):462-275, September/October 2004. The published version is available at Copyright (c) 2004 by American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine; published by Elsevier Inc.


Headache is a common symptom caused by a wide variety of diseases. Primary headaches include migraine, cluster headache, tension-type headache and other less common diseases. It is important to differentiate these headaches from secondary headaches caused by vascular, neoplastic, infectious, metabolic and toxic disorders. Most primary headaches have a genetic basis, with environmental factors acting as triggers. Recent advances in basic research resulted in the development of more specific and effective therapies. Medication overuse headache is a very common cause of chronic daily headache. Detoxification from the offending drug is essential for headache improvement. Cervicogenic headache is common and needs to be diagnosed correctly since it may require specific therapy. Nerve blocks are useful for some patients with primary, as well as secondary, headaches.

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