Short Lasting Headaches

TBD (1), Dr. Junaid Kalia (2)
1 - Place affiliation here
2 - Founder, AINeuroCare


Headaches are a common problem that can be debilitating (1). The range of causes of headaches is very diverse and varies from mild situations to acute diseases, so it is very difficult to review all differential diagnoses concurrently; though a few focused questions and physical examination are enough to be able to make a better classification of patients at risk (2).
A variety of primary headache syndromes are pronounced by their short duration of pain. Numerous of these syndromes have their own distinctive characteristics and treatments, so they must be appreciated by physicians. In this article, a diversity of short-lasting headache disorders along with the clinical features, differential diagnosis, and management is discussed, including trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias (TACs), exploding head syndrome, hypnic headache, cough headache, and primary stabbing headache (3)(4).
Trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias (TACs) is a rare group of headaches marked by unilateral episodes of intense throbbing pain, mainly confined to the orbital region, associated with unilateral cranial autonomic signs such as lacrimation, palpebral ptosis, conjunctival injection, rhinorrhea, eyelid edema, facial redness, facial sweating, and ear-fullness.

Further Reading

  • Baraldi C, Pellesi L, Guerzoni S, Cainazzo MM, Pini LA. Therapeutical approaches to paroxysmal hemicrania, hemicrania continua and short lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks: a critical appraisal. J Headache Pain. 2017 Dec;18(1):71. doi: 10.1186/s10194-017-0777-3. Epub 2017 Jul 20. PMID: 28730562; PMCID: PMC5519518.
  • Bendtsen L, Zakrzewska JM, Heinskou TB, Hodaie M, Leal PRL, Nurmikko T, Obermann M, Cruccu G, Maarbjerg S. Advances in diagnosis, classification, pathophysiology, and management of trigeminal neuralgia. Lancet Neurol. 2020 Sep;19(9):784-796. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(20)30233-7. PMID: 32822636.
  • Burish MJ, Rozen TD. Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalalgias. Neurol Clin. 2019 Nov;37(4):847-869. doi: 10.1016/j.ncl.2019.07.001. Epub 2019 Aug 24. PMID: 31563236.
  • Levy A, Matharu MS. Short-Lasting Unilateral Neuralgiform Headache Attacks. Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2018 Apr;21(Suppl 1):S31-S38. doi: 10.4103/aian.AIAN_356_17. PMID: 29720816; PMCID: PMC5909132.


  • 1) Kumar KL, Cooney TG. Headaches. Med Clin North Am. 1995 Mar;79(2):261-86. doi: 10.1016/s0025-7125(16)30067-0. PMID: 7877390.
  • 2) Michl M, Michl GM. Kopfschmerzen [Headaches]. Internist (Berl). 2017 Sep;58(9):892-899. German. doi: 10.1007/s00108-017-0279-z. PMID: 28631045.
  • 3)Burish M. Cluster Headache and Other Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalalgias. Continuum (Minneap Minn). 2018 Aug;24(4, Headache):1137-1156. doi: 10.1212/CON.0000000000000625. PMID: 30074553.
  • 4) Rozen TD. Short-lasting headache syndromes and treatment options. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2004 Aug;8(4):268-73. doi: 10.1007/s11916-004-0006-z. PMID: 15228884.
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