Cochrane Summaries

Trusted evidence. Informed decisions. Better health.

Postures and fluids for preventing post-dural puncture headache

Arevalo-Rodriguez I, Ciapponi A, Munoz L, Roqué i Figuls M, Bonfill Cosp X
Published Online: 
12 July 2013

Some doctors advise their patients to remain in bed after a lumbar puncture and to increase fluid intake to prevent the occurrence of a complication called post-dural puncture headache (PDPH). PDPH limits a person's mobility and daily activities while presenting additional efforts for both the patient and the health institution. This review found that bed rest does not prevent the onset of headaches after lumbar puncture procedures, regardless of the duration of rest, or the body or head positions assumed by the patient. We also found few data on the usefulness of additional fluid intake, which showed no preventive effect on the onset of headaches. We believe that these practices should no longer be routinely recommended to patients for the prevention of headaches after lumbar puncture.