Spinal Headache After Epidural

Spinal headache can come out as a result from epidural block like the ones performed during a woman’s labor and delivery. This is done to lessen the pain that the woman is undergoing in her labor stage as well as during delivery time. Procedure involves placing the needle within the fluid filled space which surrounds the spinal cord. This may result to spinal fluid leak and when this happens, the fluid pressure around the spinal cord and brain changes resulting to a spinal headache.

Fortunately with the design of spinal needles improved, occurrence of spinal headache is now lessens after the administration of epidural anesthetics. If larger needles are use then spinal headache most likely will occur most especially if the epidural needle passes through the covering of the spinal cord. Most spinal headache occurs five days after the procedure is done. This occurrence might be prevented with bed rest after the procedure.

Spinal headache are much severe when you are in an upright position but it lessens out when you lie down. Causes of such headache are the leakage of this spinal fluid through a puncture hole in the layer that covers the spinal cord. When this fluids leak it decreases the pressure in the spinal cord and brain resulting to headache.

This condition usually occurs within a day after an epidural anesthesia is administered. Even though the epidural is injected in the epidural space and not in the layer that covers the spinal cord still there are instances when the needle gets to puncture the membrane causing spinal fluid leak.

Who are at risk of spinal headaches? Mostly women, for this is usually done with pregnant women who are about to deliver their baby. Also those who have past history of headaches in general, those who are twenty to forty years old, and those who undergo procedures using larger needles or entails multiple punctures in the membrane that covers the spinal cord.

Treatment for spinal headaches may include enough hydration to boost spinal fluid pressure in the brain. Sometimes fluids are given intravenously. The individual may be also advised to drink beverages that are caffeine high. Rest for two days should be strictly observed.

Also if the patient develops spinal headache or epidural headache right after the procedure, the anesthesiologist may create a blood patch using the person’s blood to close or seal the leak. To do this a needle is inserted into that same space or right next to the area where the anesthetic is injected. And then the doctors take a small amount of blood from the patient and inject it into that epidural space. The blood then clots thus sealing the hole which causes the leak.