Headache Drugs Logo
Home | About Dr. Robbins | Archived Articles | Headache Books | Topic Index  

Back to List



Migraine Pain Location: A Tertiary Care
Study of 1283 Migraineurs
Leslie Kelman, M.D.
Posted: November 2005  
Headache 2005;45:1038-1047

Objectives:  This study of headache location in migraine was performed (1) to document the location of pain in a large group of migraine patients and (2) to assess the impact of different types of migraine, gender, aura, and headache features on the location of the headache.

Methods:  A total of 1283 migraine patients were evaluated at the 1st visit. Headache location and character were graded, and triggers were graded. Other headache features and medication responsiveness, were also recorded. Patients were stratified by migraine type and headache frequency. Combined and isolated locations, and the impact of age, gender, headache frequency, migraine types, and aura were addressed. Unremitting headache was excluded.

Conclusions:  This study provides a detailed documentation of headache location in a large cohort of patients. The commonest locations are the orbital, frontal, and temporal areas and least common sites being diffuse and the vertex. A single location is infrequent. Hemicranial location is present in two thirds of subjects and a quarter each are on the left side, right side, and both sides. The locations of the headache are very similar in different migraine types, but there are some differences. Under age 21 and older patients tended to show some differences in location and side. Location differences are seen with gender, headache frequency, and aura. Location shows many correlations with triggers and headache features.