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What is an epidural headache?

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Quick Answer

An epidural headache happens when the epidural needle accidentally passes through the membrane covering the spinal cord, called the dura matter. This puncture causes the fluid around the spinal cord to leak into the epidural space, and the decrease in fluid pressure causes a headache, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

Although an epidural headache usually develops within the 24 hours after an epidural, it can occur up to five days later, according to WebMD. The main symptom of an epidural headache is a severe headache that gets better when laying down. Other symptoms include a stiff neck, dizziness, nausea, sensitivity to light, and ringing in the ears, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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