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How long will my Lumbar puncture headache last?
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How long will my Lumbar puncture headache last?

I had a lumbar puncture 4 days ago, I am female, 5ft 8 and weigh just under 8st. Ever since the procedure I have had a headache which progressively has gotten worse. Yesterday I could not even stand, the pain is excruciating and when I tried to go for a walk yesterday, I broke into a sweat and started shaking and being sick about 5 times, plus being incredibly dizzy. I am finding the pain very hard to deal with, but I was told this could happen...how long should I expect this to last for and besides lying flat and caffeine, is there anything else which would help?
Tags: Lumbar punture, Headache, Lumbar puncture headache, Pain, dizzy, how long?
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Avatar f tn
A headache that lasts five days is the average length of time to be expected from a lumbar puncture.  Most of the "cures" really don't work, altho you could add more fluids and taking analgesics to your list.  It really is the needle size and method of puncture that can cause a spinal leak, and not so much body mass index or fluids or anything else.  And really, it got very bad when you were out walking, so it really is important that you try to stay supine.  

You posted this today.  So that means if this is still going on tomorrow, then you need to begin to arrange to be seen again so they can do a blood patch for you, and also they can make sure you don't have something more than just a typical spinal fluid leak.  Some say a headache longer than two days is reason to seek help, but my understanding is it's five.  So, in an abundance of caution, instead of waiting until tomorrow, particularly since yours just keeps getting worse and worse, you are within reason to be concerned and you can go ahead and today arrange to be seen.  

I hope it turns out to be nothing serious, but I DO think in addition to a blood patch, they should do some sort of scan or whatever checks for any problem that may be developing in your brain, which, if it's any help, that complication is rare.
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Avatar dr f tn
Dear Cheerybones, welcome to the medhelp forum. Post Dural puncture headache is caused due to stretching or dragging of the meninges or protective membranes of brain and spinal cord. The leakage of cerebrospinal fluid from the dural punchure site causes this headache. Usually one must lie on a flat bed, drink plenty of oral fluids and take over the counter painkillers. If the symptoms are persisting, you need to be reviewed by a neurologist. An epidural patch with your own blood near the site of puncture would seal the site. Consult your doctor immediately since headache is getting worse. Wishing you a speedy recovery soon. Take care.

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Avatar f tn
Thank you both so much for the rapid responses and excellent advice.Thankfully my headache went away roughly 2 days after I posted that, what a horrible pain that was!!I felt very much more reassured thanks to your messgaes.Thank you so much again and take good care :)
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Avatar f tn
I got a LP done nearly 2 months ago. Been in and out the hospital many times after. Headaches, abdominal pain, etc. Went to see my primary Dr. He told me there is no way all is related to the procedure. That I'm not trying to manage the day. I've had severe pain n my right leg. Could barely walk. Then lower back pain that keeps me up. I lay each time crying. Cause no one has found out what to do. I had CT scans. Blood drawns, pelvic exam, and everything is negative. Im trying all options. I was to do a blood patch, but couldn't afford at the time, I called the place and now they said its too far along to do anything. I don't know what else to do. Anyone help me?
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Avatar f tn
Wow
I thought it was just me...I had a myelogram 4 weeks ago tomorrow...still have intense pressure behind my eyes and that throbbing sensation when I stand up after having sat a the computer most of the day. I had the blood patch 1 week after my procedure where I thought my head was going to explode right off the top of my shoudlers. It was a temporary relief, not instant nor forgiving. I too have been back and forth wih my primary Dr, on and off antibiotics for a sinus headache, that didnt help, have been eating Fioricet like M&M's, caffeine, massage for occipital nerve...good Lord does anyone have a fix to this miserableness?????
I feel your pain
Is ther a Dr in the house?....lol
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Avatar f tn
I had an LP done a week ago. My head has not stopped hurting. I'm 16 and I've been in the ER for this headache once this week. I'm going to see a doctor tomorrow but I've missed a week of school and work. The head aches only go away when I lay down. I can't stand up, can't hear noise, cant watch TV its torture both mentally and physically. HELP!
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Avatar f tn
I have been suffering from the worst post dural puncture headaches for 15 days already.   My neuro surgeon does not seem to worry as he says I must just stay in bed.  a blood patch was done 4 days after the puncture, there was relief but I feel horrible still.
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Avatar f tn
My daughter is 11 and is going this exact same thing. She had a LP done three days ago and had the excruciating pain in her head. They keep giving her a migraine cocktail but UT is only taking the edge off. She has been in the hospital for a week now. And still no relief.
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Avatar f tn
Hi there i had an epidural block two weeks ago now im getting severe headache Nd spinal pain in my neck and upper back. Is this normal?
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Avatar m tn
I had a lumbar puncture done 6 months ago. I have been treating it with a strong green tea every morning. Two tea bags in a 20oz container. If I do not drink it by noon the pain starts and by dinner time it is really uncomfortable. The LP was done to test for meningitis, it turned out to be Strep. They could have swabbed my throat and spared me this agony but they did not, and hear I am. I am afraid of the blood patch because of all of the horror stories and am hopeful that it will heal on its own without doing any damage. Ho hum :(
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Avatar m tn
I am treating headaches brought on by the LP with the caffeine from the green tea just wanted to be clear
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Avatar f tn
same thing is happening to me now. i've had the head for 7 days now after my LP. will see my neuro again tomorrow.
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Avatar n tn
I just read your post from a while ago & I was wondering if you are better now, no long-term side effects.  I hope so for your sake.  I only ask because when I read yours, I thought of myself & the issues I have had.  
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Avatar m tn
I am glad that I'm not alone here. Been dealing with this for about 2 months now and can't seem to shake the crap. I'm in the military and they all think I'm just "milking it". It's mountain bike season and I'm missing it!!! Help?
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Avatar m tn
I also had the LP done on june 6th and I'm suffering so bad with not just the terrib,e head hurting all the time but my shoulders, neck and my spine. The pain meds do nothing and I cant walk much, I didnt get the blood patch was to afraid for them to touch my spine again then it was to late they said they couldnt do it because it could hurt me more. I been on pain killers for a month now and still waiting for results to be treated for my lyme disease that I got on may 7th. I'm in pain every minute and just feels like I'm not getting better. Been out of work and wish I could get better and go back but am taking it day by day. Signed my self out of the hospital would still be in there today waiting. Hope you feel better I know the pain its too much to take.
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Avatar f tn
I had a lumber puncher done 1 week and 1 day ago i have had one done before and this time i will say it was worse the procedure went great but after it my headaches followed by 24 hour after having it done i could not stand for the pain that was in my head,shoulders and back. I was more concerned that i couldn't walk all i did up until yesterday was crawl around the floor only to bathroom from bedroom. I didn't want to go to hospital as i was to frightened to go anywhere apart from bathroom to bedroom because of the headaches. I have only just managed to walk with a bit of a hunch back into my living room. I still am getting really bad headaches which i am taking pain killers for and i am trying to get myself better. I have read all the statements of other people and it is very reassuring that i am not the only one who has experience the pain of the producer after. Just wish that work could see and feel what the pain is actually like after
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Avatar m tn
   My son (15) has pseudotumor cerebri which is in remission. 6 days ago he was complaining of headache behind his eyes and blurred vision. We went to urgent care who sent us to the ER. They did a lumbar puncture, but they tried over a dozen times before they were able to get some CS fluid. (His poor back looked like a pin cushion!). the pressure was normal, so the headache was NOT because of the PT.
  The next day our family GP examined our son and said he thought is was dehydration, but the headache was gone. Then 3 days ago the headache behind the eyes and into the forehead was back and my son vomited 2 times on the way to football practice and then again on the way home. He did not suit up or participate physically.
   It has now been the 3rd day that he has pain behind his eyes and into his forehead, and not at the base of the back of his head - right side. He said the pain is a 3 when he is lying down, but a 5 to a 6 when he stands up.
   Could this be a low pressure headache? An Lumbar Puncture headache? Why did the pain go away for a day, then return? Any ideas?
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Avatar m tn
I had a lumbar puncture done 2 months ago and had such severe vommitting and vertigo afterwards that I had to be rushed to ER. They gave me IVs, anti nausea, & anti vertigo and sent me home. My symptoms eased after 6 days of misery, but I never got back to "normal".  I was able to work for a couple of weeks, but now the past few weeks the pressure in my head has been treamendous! I've also had pain in my neck down my spine. Doctor just swares it can't be due to lumbar puncture, even wanted to give me an anxiety med! I was so offended. I went to another nuerologist and he wants to treat me for a migraine disorder.  He prescribed me Topiramate to treat it. I haven't taken it yet because the side effects scare the crap out of me & I'm not so sure that's what it is. I've had migraines all my life and nothing like this!
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Avatar f tn
Hi it is now two months after my lp and I am still having headache and nausea. When did yours stop
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Avatar f tn
Hi it is now two months after my lp and I am still having headache and nausea. When did yours stop
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Avatar f tn
my name is Megan and I've been fighting a spontaneous spinal leak at the t 10nerve root since Aug 2008. my headache went undiagnosed for three years although I had all the correct csf leak testing done minus the MRI of my brain which finally confirmed a leak.  hue had four blood patches and two surgeries. my last surgery, they put a lumbar drain in, to take the pressure off my surgical site, for two days. when they removed it, it left me with a horribly intense spinal headache!  worse then my previous headache.  Doc says ill need another blood patch to fix leak but i am reluctant to doin that since i am still healing from the surgery a week ago. I dont want to put pressure on the repair.  Through there long five years of intense to minor spinal headaches, I've learned that Bigelow tea works the best for the pressure in my head and Acemetophine is the only drug to help with the tea. Good luck to all of you. this headache will control you and there isn't much you can do except pray it goes away! :) It has kept me outta work for four + months four times over the last five years.  its so debilitating.
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Avatar f tn
That's Bigelow GREEN tea:)
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Avatar m tn
Your comment struck me because of the medication you mentioned.  I saw a neurospecialist who wants me to take it as well and just like you, the side effects don't sit well with me.  Exchanging one bad thing for a list an arm length long just doesn't seem like an intelligent decision…buy hey, I'm no specialist.  Good luck though.
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Avatar f tn
Have you checked for brain cyst? I have a very small one and neurologist always dismiss my symptoms. The small pineal cyst causes all kinds of headaches specially behind the eyes.
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9355256 tn?1403339528
Hi, how did your recovery proceeded? Thanks.

Maarten
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9355256 tn?1403339528
Hi, how did your recovery proceeded? Thanks.

Maarten
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9355256 tn?1403339528
Hi, how did your recovery proceeded? Thanks.

Maarten
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9355256 tn?1403339528
Hi, how did your recovery proceeded? Thanks.

Maarten
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Avatar f tn
Hello everyone I just had LP 11 days ago and Still have severe headache is it normal?
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Avatar m tn
8 days of spinal headache  after having C4 C5 nerve root block for chronic neuropathic pain
Only when I lie virtually flat does it subside, but then tinnitus (which I already had) is much worse and nausea and dizziness spoke to consultant anaesthetist and said ring back in a week if no improvement. It seems as if I am getting worse each day and can sit up for less time.
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Avatar f tn
Would a light massage help after a spinal tap for the pain or is it un advisable , it's only 24 hours after but I'm worse today , I can't sit or walk without vomiting and an excruciating headache ..if I tilt my head forward it feels as if I have a string within my head base of neck that extends to the entry point of the tap...
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Avatar f tn
Hi. I've been suffering from lumbar puncture headaches for the last 4 months. I had a blood patch after 3 days of horrid spinal headaches. Though the headaches are now mild, I continue to have the dull headaches that do not subside when lying down. The headaches are not in one particular area of the head. They occur at the top, back and sides of the head and I get them about 50 times a day. I also have tinnitus which is a constant ringing in my ears. Feeling very frustrated! Do you all still have the headaches? Will it go away?
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Avatar m tn
I had a lumber puncture 14days ago and have a crippling headache and admitted to hospital. I've been on bed rest since but no change as professionals said this was all I needed. What can I do as a blood patch was not thought suitable after 7 days. I'm really desperate. Will this go on its own and how long will it take
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Avatar f tn
This is what i have done that helps.
I had a LP 6 days ago and I have the headache, upper and lower back pain, vomiting and for the first three days unable to hold my urine.
I have found reclining in a chair or laying face down in bed has been helpful. Slowly allowing the chair to go back to a laying position, I mean slowly! I also took a hand towel and made a turicate of it, fastening it with a hair band and when I need more pressure applied I just twist the towel. I got a soft neck brace which helps stabilize my head and keeps it from flopping around and has eased the muscle spasm and nausea due to motion sickness of the flopping. Eating soft foods so I dont have to chew that causes more pain. Two heating pads, one for the neck and the other for the lower back. Once I had my head stabilized my back pain decreased and I then used both heating pads for my upper back to the top of my head.
Drinking coffee and eating some sugary foods help also. There seems not to be one fix all answer, but many continuous actions. I am certain sleep helps but for the life of me couldn't figure out the actions to make that happen for the first 3 days. With sleep I have improved greatly! Whatever you do, do it slowly.
I truly hope this helps the next reader/sufferer.
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Avatar f tn
I had a LP 1 month ago to this day. Unlike you however I did not undergo BP due to tingling and numbness in my arm at the time. But after 10 days of excruciating headaches and now 4 weeks later I have the same symptoms you described. I have daily dull headaches, prolonged sitting or motion activity brings on a headache, could be top of head, sides of head, bottom back of head, my ears hurt, no ringing, just pain and I feel like liquid is draining, though I can't see it happening. My headaches are no longer alleviated by laying down.  Neuro says there is nothing to do. Just wait. In the meantime I am going to have an MRI with gadolinium just to take a picture doc says because he's pretty sure my symptoms are consistent with low pressure and only time will heal basically. It is very frustrating, all because of a spinal tap!
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Avatar f tn
I had an LP last year and I have had some whopper headaches but this was extreme. After a week I was ref from my neurologist to a pain spec who preformed a blood patch and within the hour the pain from the LP had completely disappeared. Def wouldn't be rushing to get an LP again.
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Avatar f tn
UPDATE: It's been 14 months since my lumbar puncture and my headaches are still there. Needless to say, the lp has changed my life. In addition to the headaches, I deal with a loss of balance, sensitivity to sound, muscle spasms and dizziness on a daily basis. I have accepted the fact that my life has changed. I just hope you all have better luck than me and achieve full recovery.
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Avatar f tn
Hello everyone. I am having a problem. 6 yrs ago i had a spinal tap where i ended up in the er after being discharged because i had very back back pain and horrible headaches. These headaches didnt allow me to stand straight or sit up. since then i have had migraines here and there... but for a month now and ONLY on weekends i get this bad headaches where i cant stand straight nor sit up. It took me back to 6 yrs ago when i couldnt do neither of those two. I had a ct scan a month ago and everything came back straight. At this point idk what to do because i cant afford to see a neurologist. Can this pain really come back? and only on weekends? this is crazy. Nothing havent changed. Only that i work monday through friday. I still wake up early on weekends and i am still eating. PLEASE help me! Thank you in advance.
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Avatar f tn
I had an LP just over two months ago. Within a few hours and for the first week afterwards, I couldn't sit or stand without severe headache. I could only crawl between bedroom and bathroom. After the week the headache eased off but I was left with a permanent dull headache that feels like I'm underwater at best or at worst my head is in a vice. This is made worse by activity and even a five minute walk was enough for the head in a vice type headache. This is accompanied by dizziness and nausea and the combination of these symptoms has really turned my life upside down. I was off work for two months and the symptoms had slowly improved to where I felt able to return to work. Since going back to work part time, my symptoms have worsened again and the pressure in my head and dizziness are making it really hard to remain positive! Being a teacher of small children it's hard to take it easy at work, but feeling worse again is really starting to get me down. I feel like I'm not able to concentrate at work properly and I'm having to reduce my timetable again next week. One of the worst parts is that no one really gets it and even doctors who I have seen or talked to don't seem to know much about it or understand it. One doctor said after less than a 5 minute consultation said that this couldn't be the lumbar puncture and I was just a bit stressed (this was not the case and I was quite offended) and another doctor just wanted to give me migraine medication. Thankfully I have one gp who has experience of this and he just says rest and carry on as normal when you can. But other people don't seem to have heard of this so I think they are sceptical about how much I am affected. I am now totally fed up and don't really know what to do. I wish I had more of an explanation about what has and is happening to me and wondered if anyone has experienced anything similar and how long it lasted.
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Avatar f tn
Hello! I feel your pain! I'm hoping when you read this that you are hopefully feeling better now as your post was in January. I had severe headaches in January which led to a mri of my brain. It was abnormal and I was sent to a neurologist who felt I had a spinal fluid leak. It was recommended I have a spinal tap to confirm. This was done and like you I developed horrible spinal headaches and needed a blood patch 5 days later on 2/17. Recovery from this has been extremely slow. I spend a great deal of time resting during the day to relieve recurrent headaches and am fatigued. Overall my symptoms are improving but I just don't feel at all like myself and am concerned about getting back into my normal routine and energy level. I am to have another Mri this week to evaluate the healing so I'm hoping for a "normal"reading.  Take care :)
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Avatar f tn
Hello! I also had a spinal tap done by ER doctor on 2/17/16 to test for meningitis cause I had a fever of 102, chills and it felt like my head was about to explode! I was stuck 12 times in my back 10 of which the ER doc missed in attempt to get fluid then he sent me to get it done via CT fluro guided. I had a CSF leak and experienced the WORSE spinal headache ever! It's been almost 5 weeks now and I'm still suffering from headaches. I did not get blood patch. I was seen by a neurologist and he ordered an MRI without contrast and a MRA without contrast to check the nerves in my brain. Well my eye doctor also ordered an MRI with contrast and he also had them to check my orbits (I have glaucoma too) I worked in pain management for 6 years and I remembered that some patients came in for Occipital neuralgia, I looked up the cause and symptoms and it is what I'm suffering from the slurred speech, dull to sharp pain in top of my head mostly the right side, the pain behind my right eye, gait and imbalance is off also vertigo. It said that one of the causes is CSF leak!  There are a number of things listed that helps. One mentioned is Occipital nerve block.  I will see neurologist next week.  Can't wait to see his diagnosis.  I hope all the best for all who suffer from this.  Hello! I also had a spinal tap done by ER doctor on 2/17/16 to test for meningitis cause I had a fever of 102, chills and it felt like my head was about to explode! I was stuck 12 times in my back 10 of which the ER doc missed in attempt to get fluid then he sent me to get it done via CT fluro guided. I experienced the WORSE spinal headache ever! It's been almost 5 weeks now and I'm still suffering from headaches. I did not get blood patch. I was seen by a neurologist and he ordered an MRI without contrast and a MRA without contrast to check the nerves in my brain. Well my eye doctor also ordered an MRI with contrast and he also had them to check my orbits (I have glaucoma too) I worked in pain management for 6 years and I remembered that some patients came in for Occipital neuralgia, I looked up the cause and symptoms and it is what I'm suffering from the slurred speech, dull to sharp pain in top of my head mostly the right side, the pain behind my right eye, gait and imbalance is off also vertigo. It said that one of the causes is CSF leak!  There are a number of things listed that helps. One thing  mentioned that would help is Occipital nerve block which my patients came in to get for relief for headaches!  I will see neurologist next week for results of MRI.   My first visit  with him he said my headaches, slurred speech and memory loss is caused  from the trauma of being stuck so many times.  I can't wait to see what his diagnosis is after he review the MRI results.  I hope this information is useful and I hope all the best for all who suffer from this.  

Genny
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Avatar m tn
How are you doing now, I had an LP done on April 1st and I'm still suffering with them I did have a blood patch the severity went down but I'm still having them day today with eye strain ringing in ears in a lot of cranial pain.
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Avatar f tn
Thank you for share your story. I am suffering bad from my spinal after giving birth on 2/8/16. I am just starting to have some hope for a full recovery. I had  pressure in the back of my head and mostly back pain.  Nerves Going crazy and painful/  itchiness  all over my body. I drink  plenty of water and tea and  coffee. I still  Lie down flat and it has been 9 weeks going on 10 I am getting better just praying for full recovery. I am thankful to be able to walk  straight, stand and drive now. There is still a lot of nerve pain and feeling like ants to cool water and to fire feeling from head to toe. God bless us all who had or have this.
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Avatar m tn
Hi how did your MRI come out if you don't mind me asking?
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