What Is Spinal Headache?
A spinal headache, also known as a postdural puncture headache, is a complication of needle insertion into the subarachnoid space through the dural sac.
The dural sac encases the spinal cord and cerebrospinal fluid. This is a pressurized system that extends from the intracranial cavity down to the sacrum.
Spinal headaches typically appear within 48 hours after a spinal tap or spinal anesthesia.
Causes Of Spinal Headaches:
Spinal headaches are caused by the following factors:
- Leakage of spinal fluid through a puncture hole in the tough membrane (dura mater) that surrounds the spinal cord.
- Sometimes epidural anesthesia may lead to a spinal headache as well.
The following factors increase the risk of developing spinal headaches:
- Being between the ages of 18 and 30
- Being female
- Undergoing procedures involving the use of larger needles or multiple punctures in the membrane that surrounds the spinal cord
- Having a small body mass
Symptoms Of Spinal Headaches:
Spinal headaches are marked by the following symptoms:
- Dull, throbbing pain that varies in intensity from mild to incapacitating
- Pain that typically gets worse when you sit up or stand and decreases or goes away when you lie down
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Light sensitivity (photophobia)
- Neck stiffness
Diagnosis Of Spinal Headaches:
A medical history and an MRI help in confirming the diagnosis of spinal headaches.
Treatment Of Spinal Headaches:
The following treatment is available:
- Epidural blood patch. Injecting a small amount of your blood into the space over the puncture hole will often form a clot to seal the hole, restoring normal pressure in the spinal fluid and relieving your headache. This is the usual treatment for persistent spinal headaches that don’t resolve on their own.
- IV caffeine.Delivered directly into your bloodstream, caffeine helps relieve spinal headaches — usually within a few hours — by constricting blood vessels within your head.
By : Natural Health News