Treatment for spinal headaches begins conservatively. Your doctor may recommend bed rest, fluids, caffeine and oral pain relievers. If your headache hasn't improved within 24 hours, your doctor may suggest one or more of the following treatments:
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- Epidural blood patch. Injecting a small amount of your blood into the space over the puncture hole will often form a clot to seal the hole, restoring normal pressure in the spinal fluid and relieving your headache. This is the usual treatment for persistent spinal headaches that don't resolve on their own.
- IV caffeine. Delivered directly into your bloodstream, caffeine helps relieve spinal headaches — usually within a few hours — by constricting blood vessels within your head.
- Marx JA, et al. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 22, 2015.
- Miller RD. Miller's Anesthesia. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 22, 2015.
- Post-dural (post-lumbar) puncture headache. International Headache Society. http://ihs-classification.org/en/02_klassifikation/03_teil2/07.02.01_nonvascular.html. Accessed Jan. 22, 2015.
- Post-lumbar puncture and other low-pressure headaches. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic_disorders/headache/post%E2%80%93lumbar_puncture_and_other_low%E2%80%93pressure_headaches.html?qt=&sc=&alt=. Accessed Jan. 22, 2015.
- Waldman SD. Atlas of Uncommon Pain Syndromes. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 21, 2015.