Donald Corenman, MD, DC
Moderator
Post count: 8436

CSF (or cerebral spinal fluid) leaks normally occur after a direct injury to the dura. Something like spine surgery or spinal injection (epidurals or nerve blocks). I can tell you I have never seen a dural leak outside of a spinal intervention.

Coughing spells cause pressure change called a Valsalva maneuver. This increases pressure in the brain and spinal cord. Headaches after coughing spells would make me think more of small vessel irritation or even small ruptures in the cranium.

Epidural blood patches can reduce inflammation and not necessarily “cure” a spinal leak unless the leak was really present.

A true spinal leak should cause a headache that would increase with sitting up and be relieved with lying down.

Dr. Corenman