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Headache is a common presentation in primary care. The classification of headache was overhauled by the International Headache Society (IHS) in 1988, and the past decade has seen rapid growth in the understanding of headache disorders. The IHS places particular importance on precise headache diagnosis. This paper discusses the relevance of such an approach to primary care. A review of the literature revealed a dearth of evidence regarding headache management in primary care settings. The evidence from other settings is considered and gaps in the literature highlighted.