Sorry to hear your problems, and hope you feel better soon. Yes neck stiffness can be a part of spinal headaches, but most of these headaches go away within 24 hours. If yours is this severe this far out you may need treatment. Here is a little more information:
Spinal headaches occur in up to 40 percent of those who undergo a spinal tap (lumbar puncture) or spinal anesthesia. Both procedures require a puncture of the tough membrane that surrounds the spinal cord and, in the lower spine, the lumbar and sacral nerve roots.
During a spinal tap, a sample of cerebrospinal fluid is withdrawn from your spinal canal. During spinal anesthesia, medication is injected into your spinal canal to numb the nerves in the lower half of your body. If spinal fluid leaks through the tiny puncture site, you may develop a spinal headache.
Most spinal headaches — also known as post-lumbar puncture headaches — resolve on their own with no treatment. However, severe spinal headaches lasting 24 hours or more may need treatment.
Spinal headache symptoms include:
- Dull, throbbing pain that varies in intensity from mild to incapacitating
- Pain that typically gets worse when you sit up or stand and decreases or goes away when you lie down
Spinal headaches are often accompanied by:
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Light sensitivity (photophobia)
- Neck stiffness
The fact that your headache gets worse when you sit or stand is also an indication for treatment, not to mention that you have been suffering with this for so long and you have your little baby to take care of.
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:
- 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.
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