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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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32 Comments Post a Comment
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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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