On ‘The Far Side’ Of The Headache Diagnosis

  • Hedwig van der Meer (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talkAcademic


Taxonomists of classification systems distinguish between clinical-symptomatic and etiologic approaches to disease classification. Clinical-symptomatic classification systems are based on symptom clustering and surface features, rather than underlying causes. Etiologic classification systems are based on underlying mechanisms and biology. As currently framed, the International Classification of Headache Disorders provides an etiologic classification for secondary headaches (e.g. cervicogenic headache) and a clinical-symptomatic classification for primary headaches. A clinical-symptomatic classification is based on a set of (unvalidated) signs and symptoms – it doesn’t indicate what we are dealing with; a primary headache diagnosis does not provide direction for physical therapists. Once a patient receives a headache diagnosis, their diagnostic process is not yet done. Perhaps it is more important to consider potential underlying musculoskeletal factors and pain mechanisms so as to optimize our influence on patients’ headache presentations. At the 2nd Watson Headache® Institute International Symposium Online, Hedwig will discuss not only how to recognize common headache complaints, but also how to look beyond them… what else matters in the diagnostic process?
Event titleInternational Headache Symposium: Turning primary headache upside down
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionInternational