Q. How to manage post spinal headache?

 

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Hello doctor,

I am 31 years old. Four days ago, I had a C-section to deliver my baby. I had a spinal anesthesia and they also tried to put in an epidural catheter, but they could not. They just kept poking at me and eventually gave up. They told me that I had a difficult spine since I have a bit of scoliosis. Two days after the surgery, I started getting headaches when sitting up and less so when standing, which progressively got worse. Today, these headaches are very intense. I cannot really stand or sit for a long time as the pain becomes too intense. Also, when I put my chin to my chest or when I move my head left or right the pain becomes more intense. When I put my chin to my chest, I also feel pain in my thoracic spine area. I can only lie-down basically and I have a newborn to care. Is it normal to have more intense pain when putting my chin to my chest with postdural puncture headache? I am worried about this symptom, but I do not have any fever. Can it be meningitis? How long will it last? How can I make it better? The anesthesiologist told me not to worry that it will pass. But, she did not know about the chin to chest symptom because I did not have it until today. I feel very sad and distressed. I do not know if this is normal for a post spinal anesthesia headache.

 

 

Answered


Hi,

Welcome to dr.sitehome.info.

  • As you know, there were multiple punctures and that lead to meningeal irritation. I mean to say that chest to chin thing is indicative of meningeal irritation and it does not mean you have meningitis.
  • Although, a high index of suspicion should be kept and ask your doctor or nurse to keep on monitoring vitals such as pulse, blood pressure and fever more intensely.
  • I will prefer to say that it is not normal, but yes, it may happen. The post spinal headache will last for one to two weeks and get relieved over the passage of time. Here, the blood volume needs to be managed more efficiently and if needed the IV fluids should be used.
  • Since there is stress of caring baby, I feel you need to have some support to get relieved from pain. This is important as more stress leads to tightening of muscles and more pain.
  • The second thing you need to do is to prefer lying down position. I understand that you may consider it very basic advice, but it is one of the most important things for you to do at this time.
  • To conclude, there is a good possibility that it is a normal post spinal headache and there is a need for monitoring and support.

For further information consult a neurologist online –> https://www.dr.sitehome.info/ask-a-doctor-online/neurologist

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