A2. Tension-type headache (alternative criteria)

The following alternative criteria may be applied to A2.1 Infrequent episodic tension-type headache, A2.2 Frequent episodic tension-type headache and A2.3 Chronic tension-type headache. They define a core syndrome of tension-type headache. In other words these criteria are very specific but have low sensitivity.

Alternative diagnostic criteria:
A. Episodes, or headache, fulfilling criterion A for [whichever of 2.1 Infrequent episodic tension-type headache, 2.2 Frequent episodic tension-type headache or 2.3 Chronic tension-type headache] and criteria B-D below
B. Episodes, or headache, fulfil criterion B for [whichever of 2.1 Infrequent episodic tension-type headache, 2.2 Frequent episodic tension-type headache or 2.3 Chronic tension-type headache]
C. Headache has at least three of the following four characteristics:

  • 1. bilateral location
  • 2. pressing/tightening (non-pulsating) quality
  • 3. mild or moderate intensity
  • 4. not aggravated by routine physical activity such as walking or climbing stairs

D. No nausea, vomiting, photophobia or phonophobia
E. Not better accounted for by another ICHD-3 diagnosis.