terrible headaches from lumbar puncture- any cures?

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terrible headaches from lumbar puncture- any cures?

Postby popjinx » Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:49 am

I had a lumbar puncture 3 days ago. Since then I have been confined to my couch due to having extremely painful headaches occur upon standing. Has anyone had luck with drinking lots of caffeine to subside/cure the headaches? I am a teacher and tomorrow is my first day back from summer vacation, and I don't want to have to call off. Any suggestions as to what I can do to help with the headache pain would be very appreciated. BTW, I have already tried painkillers- tylenol, advil, and vicodin
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Re: terrible headaches from lumbar puncture- any cures?

Postby euphoniaa » Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:31 pm

popjinx wrote:I had a lumbar puncture 3 days ago. Since then I have been confined to my couch due to having extremely painful headaches occur upon standing. Has anyone had luck with drinking lots of caffeine to subside/cure the headaches? I am a teacher and tomorrow is my first day back from summer vacation, and I don't want to have to call off. Any suggestions as to what I can do to help with the headache pain would be very appreciated. BTW, I have already tried painkillers- tylenol, advil, and vicodin


Wow, popjinx, so sorry about your pain! I had no problems with mine at all, but many others have had the dread "spinal headache" just like yours, so maybe they'll stop in.

However, I've always heard that the way to get rid of the LP headache was with a "blood patch" so I looked it up on the Mayo Clinic site. You should contact your doctor right away and see what he/she suggests, but check out this link below. Hoping you get relief soon!

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/spinal ... -and-drugs

Treatment for spinal headaches begins conservatively. Your doctor may recommend bed rest, fluids, caffeine and oral pain relievers. If your headache hasn't improved within 24 hours, your doctor may suggest one or more of the following treatments:

• 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.

• Epidural saline. Injecting a saltwater (saline) solution into the space outside the membrane that covers your spinal cord may put pressure on the lumbar puncture site and stop the cerebrospinal fluid leak. But because saline solution is absorbed so quickly by the body, spinal headaches often recur after this treatment.
Dx'd with MS & HNPP (hereditary peripheral neuropathy) 7/03 but must have had MS for 30 yrs before that. I've never taken meds for MS except 1 yr experiment on LDN. (I found diet, exercise, sleep, humor, music help me the most.)
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Re: terrible headaches from lumbar puncture- any cures?

Postby cheerleader » Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:32 pm

Please call your doctor immediately, pop! Lumbar puncture headaches lasting longer than 24 hours need to be reported. Get some help, and let us know how you do....good thoughts to you,
cheer
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/spinal ... es/DS00643
Husband dx RRMS 3/07
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com
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Re: terrible headaches from lumbar puncture- any cures?

Postby NHE » Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:07 pm

When I was diagnosed, I had a spinal tap and got the killer headache. It lasted for a week. I eventually went back to the doctor and got the blood patch. A half hour later, it was fixed and I was fine.

The problem is that some doctors do not pay attention to the orientation of the needle bevel when they do a spinal tap. You can think of the fibers in the dura as long strands of spaghetti that run parallel to the length of the spinal cord. If the needle bevel is perpendicular to these fibers, then they're more likely to get cut resulting in a long term CSF leak. However, if the needle bevel is parallel to the fibers, then there's a greater chance that the fibers may simply get pushed out of the way rather than become cut. This results in a lower risk of a long term CSF leak.

The headache is not fun. It felt like someone was trying to pull my brains out through the back of my skull. Pain medication did nothing for me. Get the blood patch and minimize your suffering.

Here are some papers...

Bevel direction and postdural puncture headache: a meta-analysis.
Neurologist. 2006 Jul;12(4):224-8.

Needle bevel direction and headache after inadvertent dural puncture.
Anesthesiology. 1989 May;70(5):729-31.


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Re: terrible headaches from lumbar puncture- any cures?

Postby Daisy3 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:13 pm

If its past 3 days then you need a blood patch. Please do it ASAP as the more time you take getting it done,the less effective it can be. Might mean you get stuck with a permanent headache for over 3 months. I had the same thing for 5 days after a c-section. I am sorry to say that I had the blood patch done to make it better.
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Re: terrible headaches from lumbar puncture- any cures?

Postby jimmylegs » Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:51 pm

i had the postural post-LP migraine. you have to lie down and stay that way. when i had it, i called my neuro, who said: if it's not gone by monday, come in for a blood patch. i didn't like the sound of that, so i stayed horizontal all weekend, and got better.

i suspect my poor zinc status had a lot to do with the slow healing of the puncture. the pressure changes in my spinal column just from lying to sitting to standing was enough to reopen the hole. it wasn't until years later that i learned i was zinc deficient. zinc is well known to be required for wound healing. if you don't like the idea of pills, rub zinc oxide lotion over the site. some may work its way in through your skin and help it heal.
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Re: terrible headaches from lumbar puncture- any cures?

Postby popjinx » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:07 pm

Thanks everyone for your help. I ended up getting a blood patch and feel much better.
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Re: terrible headaches from lumbar puncture- any cures?

Postby euphoniaa » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:14 pm

popjinx wrote:Thanks everyone for your help. I ended up getting a blood patch and feel much better.


I'm so glad to hear that! :smile:
Dx'd with MS & HNPP (hereditary peripheral neuropathy) 7/03 but must have had MS for 30 yrs before that. I've never taken meds for MS except 1 yr experiment on LDN. (I found diet, exercise, sleep, humor, music help me the most.)
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Re: terrible headaches from lumbar puncture- any cures?

Postby Cece » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:38 pm

I had this headache after my spinal tap six years ago, I had the blood patch, and it got much much worse! Really scary. Had a second blood patch and it was better right away.
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