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Feel pulsating, throbbing sensation when running and climbing. Had epidural c section. Should I be worried?

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Pain Medicine & Palliative Care Specialist
Practicing since : 1983
Answered : 1337 Questions
Hi there, I hope you can help as I worry about this....
After a short burst of exertion, like running up the stairs, I sometimes get a pulsating, throbbing sensation run up the back of my spine which intensifies in my neck into the back of my head with a real throbbing heat which makes me have to sit and lean my head forward for a few minutes until it passes. It may only take minutes to pass but is really scary and debilitating whilst it is happening. This has been happening for years now, since having my daughter by epidural c section, so don't know if it's related? Should I be worried?
Posted Fri, 21 Jun 2013 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Kerry Pottinger 21 minutes later
I am an anaesthetist and specialise in obstetric anaesthesia. I can reassure you that these symptoms are not due to the epidural you had when your daughter was born. There is extensive evidence to confirm that epidurals do not cause symptoms like these. It is likely t be coincidence that these sensations started after you had your daughter.
However, I can appreciate that you are worried by this problem. If these symptoms only occur when you have exerted yourself, you may be experiencing the effects of an increase in blood flow which inevitably happens when you exercise, even if it is only a short burst. This can sometimes create a sensation of throbbing around the head.
If you feel faint frequently when exercising, there is a possibility you may be anaemic.
In answer to your question, you do not need to be worried by these symptoms but it may put your mind at rest to visit your doctor to discuss your concerns. Your doctor may possibly do a blood test for anaemia.
I hope this information has helped you and if you have any more questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
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