Acute Headache


4.8 out of 5 (37 Reviews)



Post Assessment Questions


Expiration Date

31 Dec 2023

Last Reviewed

1 Jan 2021

Estimated Time To Finish

60 Minutes

Stay up to date on the latest medical knowledge

Start This Activity
Need Help?  If you have a system or content concerns, please contact

Activity Description

Headache is a nearly universal complaint. Most headaches are benign, and the majority of patients can be safely treated and discharged with minimal workup. However, there are also many serious and life-threatening conditions which may present with headache. Recognition, evaluation, and appropriate management of these dangerous secondary headaches are critical to prevent long-term disability or death. This activity describes the evaluation and medical management of headaches in the emergency department and highlights the role of the interprofessional team in assessing and appropriately treating patients with this chief complaint, with specific emphasis on differentiating benign from concerning presentations.

Activity Image

Target Audience

This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of physicians.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the learner will be better able to:

  • Review the etiology of common causes of headaches.
  • Outline the important exam findings of headaches.
  • Describe a management strategy for the treatment of headaches in the emergency department.
  • SUmmarize interprofessional team strategies for the identification of life-threatening versus benign causes of headaches to improve patient outcomes.

Author(s) / Contributors Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest

Each author, editor, faculty and planning committee member have completed a disclosure form indicating that neither they nor their spouse/partner has a financial interest/arrangement or affiliation that could be perceived as a real or apparent conflict of interest related to the content of this activity.

COMMERCIAL SUPPORT: This activity has received NO commercial support.

Continuing Education Accreditation Information

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University, and StatPearls, LLC. The Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University designates this activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This activity is reported to the following Maintenance of Certification (MOC) boards:
American Board of Anesthesiology
  • Neuro Anesthesia
  • Pain Medicine
American Board of Internal Medicine
  • Adolescent Medicine
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Internal Medicine
American Board of Pathology
  • Cardiovascular
  • Chemical Pathology
  • Clinical Pathology
  • Cytopathology
  • Hematology (Blood, BM)
  • Neuropathology (incl. Neuromuscular)
American Board of Pediatrics
  • General Pediatrics
  • Medical Toxicology
  • Pediatric Cardiology
  • Pediatric Neurology

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations must be received in writing and a money-back guarantee is provided if not completely satisfied.

  • StatPearls and ETSU reserve the right to cancel any course due to unforeseen circumstances. StatPearls and ETSU will not be responsible for other expenses incurred by the participant in the unlikely event that the program is canceled.

Equal Opportunity

  • StatPearls and ETSU are Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action / Equal Access Institutions. 

Medium or Media Used:

  • Computer Requirements:  Internet Access
  • E-mail Address

Instructions for Credit

  1. Register for the activity and create a StatPearls login.     
  2. Review the required accreditation information:  Target audience, learning objectives, and disclosure information.
  3. Complete the entire self-study activity.
  4. Complete the post-test assessments.
  5. Successfully pass the post-test with a minimum score of 100%.
  6. Complete the evaluation survey. 
  7. Obtain a certificate.

StatPearls and ETSU adhere to ACCME Standards regarding commercial support of continuing medical education. It is the policy of StatPearls and ETSU that the faculty and planning committee disclose real or apparent conflicts of interest relating to the topics of this educational activity, that relevant conflict(s) of interest are resolved, and also that authors and editors will disclose any unlabeled/unapproved use of drug(s) or device(s) during their presentation. Detailed disclosure will be made prior to starting the activity.

The information provided at this CME/CE activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical/clinical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition.

  • If you need help with the system or have a question about content, please contact, or call 727-289-9796.
  • If you have a question about the ETSU CME providership, please contact


Media Usage Rights

The contributors and editors of StatPearls have attested that all associated media (images and video) have been legally cleared for use with this activity.  All copyrights are reserved.


    Deborah Z. on 1/18/2021

    PERRY W. on 4/20/2021

    Emmy K. on 9/13/2021

    Excellent! Thank you!

    lee a. on 10/4/2021

    Harry A. on 10/7/2021

    SHEENA M. on 10/9/2021

    Yewande A. on 10/16/2021

    Patrick G. on 10/18/2021

    Brent r. on 10/19/2021

    Laura r. on 10/26/2021

    patricia h. on 11/29/2021

    Lisa R. on 11/13/2021

    Karl S. on 11/13/2021

    George C. on 11/16/2021

    sarah s. on 11/20/2021

    Kevin C. on 11/21/2021

    ANWAR S. on 12/1/2021

    Diane P. on 12/4/2021

    Donald P. on 12/22/2021

    SANDRA R. on 12/27/2021

    Dr e. on 12/30/2021

    Jarrod H. on 1/7/2022

    Laura P. on 1/30/2022

    Sarah H. on 2/15/2022

    devin n. on 2/26/2022

    Louie L. on 3/4/2022

    Sherrika W. on 3/10/2022

    Sherryl E. on 3/15/2022

    Donald P. on 3/28/2022

    Rebecca G. on 4/2/2022

    Clifford F. on 4/11/2022

    Amy R. on 5/6/2022

    Chinaza Jacinta U. on 5/9/2022

    Shelia C. on 5/13/2022

    cyvada s. on 5/15/2022

    Beverly C. on 5/18/2022

    Lauren S. on 5/19/2022

    Unlimited Physician CME

    Stay up to date on the latest medical knowledge with 6489 CME activities. In these online self-assessment activities, read our reference articles and test your knowledge with more than 7206 hours of CME.

    Learn About Lifetime CME

    Single Activity

    Take this single activity

    $39 1 activity

    6 Month Unlimited Physician CME

    Access to all the Unlimited Physician CME activities in all specialties.

    $249 per half year per user

    1 Year Unlimited Physician CME

    Access to all the Unlimited Physician CME activities in all specialties.

    $349 per 1 year per user