A long time in the research and writing, my article on Spontaneous Cerebro Spinal Fluid (CSF) Leaks finally made it into print in the Australian Physiotherapy Association's InMotion.
The CSF is a fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord helping to support the weight of these tissues through it's bouyancy effect as well as helping protect the neural tissues from mechanical shocks and supporting the physiological function of the central nervous system. It is contained in a "sac" of tissue called the dura that surrounds the brain and spinal cord inside the bony skull and spinal column.
Spontaneous leaks of CSF due to a variety of defects in the dura are believed to be more common in people with connective tissue disorders, or types of hypermobility syndromes due to the altered structure of their dural tissue. The classic symptom of a leak is a headache that is aggravated by being upright and relieved by lying down although this can vary. A range of other symptoms of disturbed neurological function can also occur.
Effective treatments are available although sufferers often face delays in diagnosis and management due, at least in part, to a lack of awareness of the condition. It is hoped that this article will help to start spreading the word so cases can be identified and managed quickly negating unnecessary suffering and disability for the patient. The response from a range of professionals who have made contact regarding this publication so far suggests the article has made a good start!
If you think that you or someone you know may have a CSF leak, and your health professionals are not familiar with the condition, feel free to share a copy of the article with them (pdf available below).