How long will my Lumbar puncture headache last?
by CherryBones23, Jan 07, 2012
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 long should I expect this to last for and besides lying flat and caffeine, is there anything else which would help?
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Member Comments (31)
by ggreg, Jan 07, 2012
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.
by Dr SharmaBlank, Jan 07, 2012
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.

by CherryBones23, Jan 15, 2012
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 :)
by jorae033, Aug 08, 2012
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?
by Sj1266, Oct 22, 2012
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?
by JesusFreak518, Nov 19, 2012
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!
by retha980, Nov 23, 2012
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.
by jennylynn2, Jan 07, 2013
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.
by chrissyb1975, Mar 01, 2013
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?