Feeds

What is a post-lumbar puncture headache?

Spinal tap blues

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Also in this week's column:

What is a post-lumbar puncture headache?

Asked by Liz Downes of Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

There are all sorts of unusual forms of headaches that most people have never heard about. The post-lumbar puncture headache is one of them. This form of headache occurs after one has a spinal tap (lumbar puncture).

According to the Mayo Clinic, headaches of this kind are often accompanied by stiffness in the neck, ringing in the ears, light sensitivity, nausea, and hearing impairment. The headache generally develops within a week after the spinal tap and typically resolves within a week. Such a headache can be debilitating.

A post-lumbar headache may start when one stands up and stop when one lies down. There is some debate as to what percent of patients who have a spinal tap also develop a post-lumbar puncture headache.

An article by Heidi Moore in Pulmonary Reviews in December 2000 estimated that the figure was "[N]early a third or more". But a more recent review by Dr R Gaiser of the University of Pennsylvania and published in Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology in June 2006 suggests the figure is "approximately 50 per cent".

Males are less likely to suffer post-lumbar puncture headaches than females. This is according to a team of doctors from Johns Hopkins University, led by Dr C L Wu, and published in Anaesthesiology in September 2006.

The lumbar region is the lower back. Anatomically, it is located at the back between and the thoracic vertebrae and the sacrum. The lumbar region is sometimes referred to somewhat inaccurately as the loins. "Lumbar" is from the Latin lumbus and means "loins".

Stephen Juan, Ph.D. is an anthropologist at the University of Sydney. Email your Odd Body questions to s.juan@edfac.usyd.edu.au

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.