Most spinal headaches occur within 48 hours after a spinal treatment, but a spinal headache can take up to five days to develop.
Most spinal headaches go away on their own within 24 hours. Headaches lasting longer than 24 hours may require treatment to help seal the leak the restore normal spinal fluid pressure.
Treatment typically begins with bed rest, plenty of fluids to make sure you are well-hydrated, caffeine to constrict blood vessels in your head, and pain relievers.
If a spinal headache does not go away, your doctor may perform an epidural blood patch. During this procedure, a vial of your own blood is drawn and then injected into your spinal fluid.
The goal is to create a small blood clot that will patch the hole and prevent more spinal fluid from leaking out. Once the leak is sealed, spinal fluid pressure will return to normal and the headache will go away.
If you have questions about headaches or about potential side effects of a spinal tap or epidural, talk to your health care provider.
Reviewed June 30, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith
Spinal headaches. Mayo Clinic. Web. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
Spinal Headaches. Web Md. Web. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
Low CSF Headache. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Web. Retrieved June 28, 2016.