Spinal Tap Headache Treatment
Treatment for a spinal headache may include bed rest, caffeine, narcotic pain medication, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Additional treatment may include an epidural blood patch, epidural saline injection, and intravenous caffeine.
Specific treatment for a spinal headache may include:
- Flat on the back
- Beverages that contain caffeine
- Acetaminophen for pain
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Ibuprin, Nuprin)
- Naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn)
- Ketoprofen (Oruvail, Orudis, Actron)
- Narcotic pain medication:
- Intravenous caffeine:
- May relieve spinal headaches within a few hours by constricting blood vessels in the brain
- Blood patch for spinal headache:
- A small amount of the patient's blood is injected into the location where the needle was inserted into the spinal canal.
- The blood forms a clot that prevents fluid from leaking from the spinal canal through the puncture site.
- Epidural saline:
- Injecting saline into the space outside the membrane that covers the spinal cord can put pressure on the lumbar puncture site and stop the cerebrospinal fluid leak.
Spinal Tap Headache Specialist
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- Lybecker H, Moller JT, May O, Nielsen HK. Incidence and prediction of postdural puncture headache. A prospective study of 1021 spinal anesthesias. Anesth Analg. 1990 Apr;70(4):389-94. 
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