Spinal Headaches

A spinal headache can occur following a spinal tap, lumbar puncture, a spinal anesthetic, or rarely following an epidural injection. When a needle is inserted into the spinal fluid, it can cause a chronic or persistent leak of spinal fluid through this needle puncture hole. This leakage of spinal fluid causes a spinal headache. This is commonly repaired by taking blood from a patient’s arm and inserting it in the location of the hole or leak and “patching” the epidural space. Spinal headaches may follow an epidural injection (which is not theoretically an intrathecal or spinal injection) when there is an inadvertent puncture or nicking of the dura (or lining of the spinal fluid).