Is Caffeine Good for Spinal Headaches?

About Spinal Headaches:

A Spinal Headache occurs when there is a leak of the spinal fluid which surrounds the brain and the central nervous system. The spinal fluid is located around the brainstem and runs down the spinal cord. This spinal fluid exerts certain amount of pressure on the brain, spinal cord, and the central nervous system which helps protect them from any damage.

A spinal headache occurs when there is a drop in this pressure that is exerted by the spinal fluid. There may be several reasons for the pressure exerted by the spinal fluid to drop with the most common cause being a spinal fluid leak.

A spinal fluid leak in majority of the cases occurs after a surgical procedure along the brain, central nervous system or the spinal cord. Another cause for a spinal fluid leak is when a needle is inserted into the spinal cord. This usually happens when a facet joint injection or an epidural injection is performed for recurrent low back pain for pain relief.

A study suggests that when the brain shifts a little bit down towards the brainstem then the nerves connected to the brain get overstretched. This also is one of the causes for a Spinal Headache. In some cases, there may be a tear caused in the protective layers of the spine as a result of something as small as sneezing which also results in spinal fluid leak resulting in a Spinal Headache.

It has been observed that patients with a diagnosis of a Spinal headache are often at times prescribed caffeine for relief of symptoms. This article gives a brief overview on whether caffeine is good for Spinal Headache.

Is Caffeine Good for Spinal Headaches?

Is Caffeine Good For Spinal Headaches?

The primary reason why caffeine is considered to be a good alternative for Spinal Headache is because caffeine is a natural vasoconstrictor. This means that Caffeine contracts the blood vessels. As a result of constriction of blood vessels, the pressure that the spinal fluid exerts increases. This increase in the CSF pressure ultimately relieves the Spinal Headache, especially caused by a lumbar puncture or an epidural injection.

However, even though the symptoms may be relieved by consumption of caffeine they are bound to return once the caffeine is completely absorbed. For this, it is highly recommended to get to the cause of the spinal fluid leak and fix this for permanent resolution of a Spinal headache.

For most cases, patients with Spinal Headaches are advised to use caffeine either in liquid form or in the form of tablets and take ample amount of rest to allow time for a tear causing the CSF leak to heal as this will allow complete resolution of Spinal Headache.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 3, 2018

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