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ICD-10 Code R51.9

What is the code R51.9?

R51.9 is a billable/specific ICD-10-CM code used for "Headache, unspecified."

Detailed description of R51.9

This code is used when a patient presents with a headache without specific diagnostic characteristics that would classify it under a more specific subtype.

Symptoms commonly associated with R51.9

Symptoms include generalized head pain that can vary in intensity, duration, and location, without accompanying diagnostic features.

  • R51.0: Headache with orthostatic component, not elsewhere classified
  • G44.209: Tension-type headache, unspecified, not intractable

Appropriate usage of R51.9 for billing

For billing purposes, R51.9 is appropriate when the healthcare provider documents a headache without specifying the type.

Instructional guidelines for providers coding R51.9

Providers should record symptoms and any related factors or triggers while being mindful that more specific headache codes should be used if diagnostic criteria are met.

Other terms that are coded to R51.9 are “facial pain” and “chronic daily headache”.

Common pitfalls in coding with R51.9

Misclassification when more specific headache types can be clinically determined.

Key resources for R51.9 coding


R51.9 is used for straightforward cases of unspecified headache, facilitating appropriate treatment and billing.

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