epidural blood patch

For most people, aches and pains of life are manageable, but for others, chronic pain can be debilitating. The reasons behind chronic pain are often difficult to pinpoint and treat, and in some cases, the condition may be incurable. The most common treatments for chronic pain include medications and surgery, but these often come with side effects and don’t provide long-term relief.

Up to 10% of Americans experience chronic pain that stems from nerve damage, irritation, or inflammation. Board-certified anesthesiologist and interventional pain management specialist Frank Ocasio, MD, understands the frustration of nerve pain. At North Shore Headache and Spine in Huntington, New York, he uses epidural blood patches to diagnose and treat chronic pain at the source of your discomfort.

What is an epidural blood patch?

An epidural blood patch is a treatment for post-dural puncture headaches. These headaches can occur after a spinal tap, an epidural placed during pregnancy, or epidurals performed for pain management due to trauma or damage to the dura surrounding the spinal cord from bony calcification on the spine. Post-dural puncture headaches are characteristic but can be challenging to diagnose correctly. Individuals with these headaches often have increased head or neck pain when standing or sitting, which reduces when lying down.

How does an epidural blood patch work?

The dura is the membrane around the spinal cord that can be punctured during a medical procedure. While the dura puncture can improve without any treatment or procedure, most patients require a more intensive approach to treat headaches. An epidural blood patch treatment involves drawing the patient’s blood and re-injecting it into the epidural space to “patch” the tear or leak in the dura of the spine. To begin the process, approximately 15-20ml of blood is drawn from the patient and inserted using a thin needle into the spine, and as it clots, the leak or tear should be sealed.

What can I expect after treatment?

This is not a surgical procedure and only requires local anesthesia as it is minimally invasive. After the procedure, patients can experience stiffness or soreness at the injection site for a day or two. Many patients have instant headache relief, while others require a second epidural blood patch to completely seal the tear and reduce chronic headaches. Aftercare is simple and requires rest for several days without strenuous activity and quick movements. Patients can use ice at the injection site for any discomfort and should drink lots of water.

Contact Our Pain Management Clinic for Pain Relief Today

To find out if an epidural blood patch is right for you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Ocasio. Contact us today at our Huntington, New York office.

Why Choose North Shore Headache and Spine?



With our in-office diagnostic imaging, dozens of innovative treatments, and full regenerative medicine service offerings, we are able to examine, diagnose, and treat patients experiencing chronic pain all under one roof.


Integrative Philosophy

Instead of masking symptoms with a quick-fix approach, we focus on every lifestyle aspect to determine the root causes of pain and develop non-narcotic solutions.



Our team values each and every one of our patients. We understand the toll that chronic pain takes on your physical and mental health, and we’re committed to listening to your concerns and creating the right treatent plan for you.

Pain Management Treatment Options

North Shore Headache and Spine offers the latest modalities for pain treatment, including, but not limited to:

Intracept Basivertebral Nerve Ablation

The Intracept Procedure is a minimally invasive treatment that targets the basivertebral nerve, which is often responsible for lower back pain.

Central and Peripheral Stimulation

Central and peripheral nerve stimulation involves using electric devices to disrupt pain signals from damaged nerves.

Nerve Blocks

A nerve block delivers a combination of medication and an anesthetic directly into the space surrounding a damaged nerve to quickly relieve pain.


Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a pain management treatment that uses heat to destroy tissue and prevent pain signals from being sent to the brain. Cryoneurolysis is a nerve-blocking technology to help reduce chronic pain due to nerve damage.

Epidural, Steroid, and Trigger Point Injections

Steroid injections, including epidurals and trigger point injections, introduce anti-inflammatory medications into your area of pain to simultaneously alleviate chronic pain and treat inflammation.

5 Star Rated Practice

Thousands of New Yorkers Trust North Shore Headache and Spine

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