What Are Low Pressure Headaches?

What Are Low Pressure Headaches?

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A low pressure headache can be caused by an
internal spinal fluid leak, or in most cases for us, from a spinal tap. Our brain normally sits inside a “bag” filled
with spinal fluid which extends down from the skull into the spine. The fluid helps to circulate the crud out
of our brain and provides cushioning and support. When the pressure of this fluid is too low,
the brain may “sag” downward when we are sitting upright, causing us crazy amounts of pain. Did you know that a low pressure headache
occurs in about 10% of people who have had a spinal tap? Low pressure headaches are intense. They occur
when we sit or stand and may be relieved by laying down. We may also have a stiff painful neck and
most likely will have nausea and vomiting from the intensity of the pain. Can a low pressure headache be diagnosed? Doctors can base the diagnosis on the symptoms
and the situation. Also, and MRI can show “enhancement” of the
meninges lining the brain and sometimes can indicate the brain and sometimes can indicate
evidence of brain “sagging’ downward from the skull toward the neck. An MRI of the neck and back occasionally reveals
spinal fluid leaking out of its normal location. (That’s in an instance of a spinal fluid leak) A CT scan of the back after dye is injected
into the spinal fluid may reveal the site of the leak. There also is a CSF Cisternogram, A procedure
where a radioactive dye is injected in the spinal fluid and detected by a special radiation
detecting camera. How are they treated?? With strict bed rest!! Pain medication Increased fluid intakes If severely dehydrated, IV fluids are given. and lots and lots of caffeine. Either by liquid,
IV or a pill form. If these treatment options fail, an epidural
“bloodpatch” can be done. In this procedure, a syringe of our blood
is removed from a vein and injected into our spine. Usually the blood patch offers immediate
relief, but for some it may not help, it may need to be repeated a few times to be successful. I would say, this pain would be on the 10
ten list of worst pains that a person could go through. I personally have only had to
deal with 1 low pressure headache, and it wasn’t fun at all. It lasted for 7 days. The
neurologist did say, if it lasted for more than seven days to come in for a blood patch,
well on the seventh day it did go away. Those 7 days I tell you were hell. Had to crawl
to the bathroom, couldn’t do anything. I know some of you have had a low pressure headache
every time you have had a spinal tap, and I am so so sorry. It is not fun at all. I am going to read through some comments that
you all left on your experiences with low pressure headaches. I think that you can read
through all the research articles in the world on the internet, but actually hearing it from
real people first hand is better than any research out there. So here is a few of there
experiences. Feels like my spine is trying to suck my brain
down..only when I lay down it eases up. It’s nicknamed the ‘suicied headache’ for
a reason. Worst pain ever!! Vomiting every time I sit up..Worst pain ever! Low pressure is like a really bad hangover..My
head feels empty, dehydrated, dizzy every time I stand up I get queazy and want to vomit…I
loose my balance like I’m drunk..bump into walls..the only thing that helps is being
horizontal. I don’t drink coffee so coke and chocolate are my caffeine hit. Nikki After my LP revision surgery I had a low pressure
headache for 2 weeks. I was miserable. I couldn’t sit up or stand without feeling like my brain
was slipping and sliding around inside my skull. Every time I would sit or stand I would
vomit violently until my nose would bleed. My neck hurt continuously, all I could do
was lay still in bed. Brittany. It’s the worst pain i’ve ever experienced.
I’ve literally had to crawl to the bathroom. The only relief I get is when lying flat.
Emma When I have a low pressure headache I just
want the pain gone, I get similar pain to a high pressure headache only 100 times worse.
It really feels like my head is splitting in two. I want my head to split in two if
it would stop the pain. Have to be in a dark room as artificial light is unbearable. I
literally want to scratch my eyes out. Lying down eases the pain, but if I move to sharply
even when lying down the pain is extreme. Standing or sitting are just impossible, there
were times I crawled to the toilet. I don’t even attempt to bend over, looking after my
daughter is impossible. It’s like a sharper version of high pressure headache that just
gets worse with time and makes you feel as though your dying. Abigail I can’t sit or stand because of the pain it
causes. Only get relief when lying down. Gets so bad have to go back to the hospital. Norma It is one of the worst pains I have ever been
through in my life. Usually try to drink a ton of caffeine right after the tap to try
to avoid it, but it never keeps it away. They usually last about 2-3 weeks for me. Only
thing that helps is to lay flat. Kendall I’ve only had one low pressure headache after
a spinal tap.. I could not sit up without the pain hitting the “oh no..I’m going to
vomit stage” Thankfully laying down relieved the pain. I suffered three days before calling
the doctor. Went to the Er for a blood patch and the pain was instantly gone. Kristy I had my first low pressure headache after
my first spinal tap and all I could think is “oh no, i’m going to die” It was a terrible
pain and compares greatly with an IH headache. After spending a day on my back with some
pain medication, I was okay. Ashley It was much worse than my normal headaches.
Felt like someone was bashing the top of my head every time I stood up…lasted around
5 days the good patch didn’t seal off correctly so I went through that for nothing. Ashley It’s happened 3 or 4 times. It was the worst
pain ever. My high pressure headaches are still much worse, but the low pressure ones
are still miserable and blood patches have never worked. Jessica. Mine lasted for two weeks, I didn’t cope.
I couldn’t eat or drink. Sitting up resulted to drinking out of sports bottles, so I could
stay hydrated. Then I was admitted into the hospital, put on a fluid drip and given an
epidural blood patch. The relief was immediate. Doctor said I had almost no fluid left and
if I had collapsed I would of most likely caused brain damage, so i was very ill. I was trying to create an analogy with a bag,
water and a plastic easter egg, but I couldn’t get it to work. So if anyone can get this
to work or has any ideas on how to make it to stay floating in the middle of the bag
of water send us a message. I hope this video has helped you with questions
about low pressure headaches. If you have anymore questions please feel free to send
us a message. Hope everyone is having a pain free day today, and don’t forget to subscribe!

4 thoughts on “What Are Low Pressure Headaches?”

  1. All headaches are caused by the neck struggling too hard to hold up the head. When it is struggling too hard, blood flow is blocked. It is blocked blood flow that causes headaches. You have to determine by feeling the muscles throughout the body to determine what is causing the neck to strain so hard. Usually movement and strengthening of muscles are needed. My website is acaringtouch-massage.com

  2. When laying down the neck does not have to strain, which allows blood flow to move through easier. When sitting upright, the neck has to strain harder, which blocks blood flow. Causes can be a combination of heavy head, weak upper back muscles, not enough movement, a twist in the muscular system from using repetitive machines and others. I am a headache and pain specialist, with 21 years of experience. If you want an accurate diagnosis, contact me. My website is acaringtouch-massage.com

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