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Acupuncture: an alternative treatment for post dural-puncture headaches following obstetric epidural or spinal
  1. S Mahendra Perera
  1. Department of Anaesthetics, Queen Elizabeth II Hospital, Welwyn Garden City, Herts AL7 4HQ (UK)


    Six obstetric patients were treated with acupuncture for post dural-puncture headaches. Five had had epidurals for pain relief in labour and one a spinal for an elective lower segment caesarean section; all had developed a post dural-puncture headache, although in the epidural group not all had had an obvious CSF leak. After explaining the options available for treatment of post dural-puncture headache, verbal consent was obtained to perform acupuncture. Minimal needling was done using 0.25 by 30mm sterile disposable needles. The points were chosen from: LR.3, bilateral cervical articular pillar (CAP) as described by Felix Mann, and GB.12,14,20 and 21. The CAP points and LR.3 were needled in all patients; other points were chosen according to the site of headache and the location of tender points. Four patients had complete relief of symptoms from the onset of treatment. They were given a second treatment one or two days later and then discharged home. Two patients had only a transient relief lasting about four hours. They were not given a second acupuncture treatment, but were blood-patched with a successful outcome.

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