Lumbar puncture aaaargh!

I’ve got a hospital appt on monday for a lumbar puncture, visual response and blood tests. Just had a real attack of the heeby-jeebies and wondered if anyone had any more info or advice on LP in particular but testing in general. Anycomments will be welcome as I feellike I need to keep busy and not think too much.

Posted about MRI results and ‘probable MS’ diagnosis a while back (couple of lesions in grey matter and one in brain stem) but been thinking about what neurologist said. He said it was probably ‘mild MS’. Have to say it douesn’t feel mild and I’m stillcoming to terms with the physical, mental and financial implications of this ‘probable, mild’ diagnosis.


Hi Rob Good luck on Monday - I’m sure you’ll be fine! I had an excellent LP. The guy that did it was marvelous - just a sharp scratch for the local, some pressure for the LP and no headache at all afterwards. Only had to lie down for an hour afterwards too. I found the evoked potentials worse but if you are only having the visual response one, then that is just some staring at a tv screen. The electric shocks in my toes and legs were pretty unpleasant but it sounds like you aren’t having that, which is good. Hope it all goes well - don’t worry! Teresa xx

Hi Rob Re LP ditto what Teresa said…no problems at all, during or afterwards and mine was done by a junior doctor under supervision!!

Hi Rob, re LP and Teresa and Mrs H… I had no problem at all. Went in terrified, came out smiling.

Re ‘mild MS’. OH I do wish neuro’s would stop saying this!!! It is not a ‘type’ of MS. You still need to know if you are dealing with RRMS or a progressive type.

I was also initially dx with ‘mild MS’ and didn’t feel mild to me either!

Pat x

yep my lumbar was pretty much the same as teressas no problem at all

mel x

Thanks everyone. Feeling re-assured. Lots of people have been telling me horror stories about LP and after effects. Also some commments about it not really being necessary for a diagnosis so getting myself in knots over nothing I guess.


I had an LP a few weeks ago,the procedure was fine and I didnt get the predicted headache on the day. but I got it with a vengeance for a few days after. I didn’t take the rest of the day off after the procedure though so probably all that moving around right after was the reason Make sure you take plenty of rest after yours and they say drinking lots of fluids might help to prevent the headache. Good luck!

My nurse there is no such thing as “mild” or “benign” MS. They are very old classifications and should NOT be used now-a-days. She also said that is very dismissive and disrespectful to the patient to use them. FYI the only think my neuro told me, is that it is benign MS!! That, together with her attitude, is what me ask for a re referral to an MS specialist neuro. Bring on February, when hopefully, I’ll get some answers.

Hi Rob,

I also didn’t have any problems when I had my Lumbar Puncture…I think the worst bit was the freezing cold iodine they used to clean my back, it really took my breath away! I had to lie flat for a couple of hours and sip water…had mine done in the evening, so went straight home to bed then.

Hope it goes well for you.

Fizzy x


I drank lots of water before the test, I rested for 30 minutes in a flat-ish position (just head raised a bit), drank more water through a straw while resting.

After the 30 minutes the consultant said it was ok so I got up and went to lunch and just got on with the day as per normal. Never had any problems or headache at all.

Good luck.



Mild/benign MS?? NO such thing.

No problem with my lp either. Hardly felt a thing.

Drank loads of fluids and had no headache at all. Had to lie flat for a while.

Told me to rest and take it easy.

Hubby doesn’t usually fuss over me at all so i made the most of it. I went home and lay on the sofa while he cooked the tea and made me drinks! ha ha ha! I am such a fraud!!

Best wishes


I had my LP in February this year and was apprehensive beforehand, but after having a bit of a Google (and being a bit selective about what information I chose to believe!), I just decided to relax about it, as often it is our physical response to stress and fear that causes discomfort.

I won’t lie by saying that the LP was the most fun I’ve ever had in my life, but it wasn’t by any means a horrific experience. The local anesthetic meant I didn’t feel pain, but I did feel a bit of pressure. I had a bit of an “Eeeeeeeeek!” moment when the doc moved the needle slightly and I had electric shock feelings across my buttocks, but that was probably because he hadn’t warned that I might feel anything like that!

My main tips are thus:

1 - Try to relax and even though the position isn’t the most dignified or comfortable, try to remain calm and still for the 10-20 minutes that the procedure will probably take.

2 - Drink plenty of water in the 24 hours prior to and after the procedure, plus try to not move around too much in the few hours afterwards as this should minimize the risk of leaking and any subsequent headache. I had no headache at all in the hours and days afterwards.