Lumbar Puncture Headache – Diagnosis and Treatment

Lumbar puncture is a commonly administered method in medical emergencies. Headache after lumbar puncture is a common experience, up to 32% of patients experience headache. Lumbar puncture is a method that requires inserting a small needle into the membrane around the spinal cord at the lower back to draw out the cerebrospinal fluid.

If the headache is severe is lasting for several days and is left untreated, it can lead to serious complications like subdural haematoma and seizures.

Factors to the development of headaches after lumbar puncture

Several factors lead to the development of headaches after lumbar puncture. By learning these factors you can reduce the severity of the headache.

Therefore, it is important for the doctors to consider these factors to reduce the incidence of headaches after lumbar puncture

Some of the factors are

  1. Needle size
  2. Direction of bevel
  3. Needle design
  4. Replacement of the stylet
  5. Number of lumbar puncture attempts

The headache, which is typically induced by spinal fluid that oozes out when the needle is inserted. Pain can range from moderate to severe followed by dizziness, ringing in the ears, blurred or double vision, nausea, etc.

Preventing Spinal Headaches

Lumbar punctures are administered to diagnose diseases such as meningitis, infections etc in the central nervous system. They produce a spinal anaesthetic for surgery.

One way to prevent a headache is by using an atraumatic needle, which is less inclined to allow spinal fluid to drip.

Treating Spinal Headaches

If you experience a headache after a lumbar puncture, inform your doctor or visit us. Mostly oral painkillers can help you relax.

Some of the tips that can help

  • Take rest
  • Stay hydrated
  • Beverages like coffee or caffeine supplements can help you relief
  • Lying down

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