Spinal or post-lumbar puncture headaches are triggered after a spinal tap or other procedures that involve inserting a needle through the fluid-filled space that surrounds the spinal cord. The needle puncture creates a tiny passage that may enable spinal fluid to leak out. If a substantial amount of the fluid leaks out, the membranes may rub painfully against the skull and cause spinal headaches.
The symptoms of a post-lumbar headache includes a dull, throbbing pain that varies in intensity from mild to debilitating. The pain can worsen when patients sit or stand, and it diminishes when patients lay down. It is usually accompanied by dizziness, tinnitus, photo sensitivity, nausea, and neck stiffness.
The treatment for spinal headaches involves supplying adequate fluids to increase the cerebral spinal fluid, administering fluids to the veins, drinking caffeinated drinks, and a strict bed rest for 24 to 48 hours. The pain usually disappears within that period, but if it persists for more than 24 hours, the patient should consult a doctor for further treatment.
[Photo Credit: Lissy Elle Laricchia on Flickr]