Primary Stabbing Headache in Adults and Pediatrics: a Review

Suzanne Hagler, Karen Ballaban-Gil, Matthew S. Robbins

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

10 Scopus citations


Primary stabbing headache (PSH) is an under-recognized primary headache disorder, which often goes undiagnosed. It is mainly characterized by its ultrashort stabbing quality and can be easily overlooked both by patients and providers as it is often not severe enough to interfere significantly with daily life. However, PSH may be severe and require therapy, and it is important for providers to recognize this headache type, both in adult and pediatric populations, as well as to be able to distinguish it from secondary headache disorders. PSH also may be more common than previously thought.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number450
JournalCurrent pain and headache reports
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014



  • Adolescents
  • Adults
  • Children
  • Ice pick
  • Idiopathic stabbing headache
  • Jabs and jolts
  • Paroxysmal
  • Primary stabbing headache

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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