Lumbar puncture headache


I have been diagnosed with RRMS but my neurologist still wanted me to have a lumbar puncture despite already diagnosing me.

I had the LP on Wednesday and I’m still stuck in bed today! When they discharged me they made it sound like I would just need to take it easy for 24 hours then get back to living my life as normal but this hasn’t been the case! Have a terrible pressure headache whenever I sit or stand so am having to stay laying down - including to eat or drink!

Ive been drinking Diet Coke but have read on here that I should be drinking normal coke or coffee (I don’t like coffee annoyingly!) I’ve also been taking paracetamol where needed but lying down tends to ease the pressure/pain.

I just feel at a loss as to how long I might feel this way and what I can do to help? I’m panicking that I might need to go back in for the procedure to correct it etc and I’m just after some friendly advice really! I called 111 yesterday and they said I need to test and carry on as I am and then to call back if no improvement after a week or if I develop new systems or I get worse.

Thank you for reading x

dont leave it too long ok it should only be 24 hours. i never had the headache i just hydrated before and after. my neurolgoist wont do LP now for MS diagnosis he uses VEP instead.

I would imagine it should be ok by tomorrow but just drink water

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Yeah, what CC said, don’t leave it too long. I had my LP and I remember being told to sit for 15 mins afterwards and they gave me a cuppa. I remember when the local anaesthetic wore off I felt a bit bruised but beyond that nothing else. Retro.

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I had the headache after mine, it didn’t seem to be easing after a couple of days so my husband rang the hospital. I was told to lie down constantly for 48 hours only getting up for a trip to the bathroom. This did the trick but it did feel like a very long time!


You guys are lucky to have not got the headache! It’s fine when I lay down, it’s just the pressure when I stand or sit! They didn’t give much info after I had it done which is annoying! It’s been 72 hours since the LP now so I was hoping I would be better by now!

Hopefully, things will get better soon, but headaches can last for up to a week. According to Barts it’s a lot to do with the type of needle used.

Side effects of a lumbar puncture

A lumbar puncture is generally a safe procedure and serious side effects are uncommon.

The most common side effects are:

  • headaches, which can last for up to a week – you’ll be given painkillers at the hospital if you need them
  • swelling and lower back pain where the needle was inserted – this should get better on its own after a few days and is normally nothing to worry about

Lumbar puncture - NHS (

Your Lumbar Puncture at The Royal London Hospital (

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I had a really bad headache after mine, think the following day. The only thing that eased it was lying down and drinking full sugar coke x

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I had the most horrific headache on and off for a week after mine. Was the worst pain of my life. I did go back to A&E a few days in but they didn’t take any action and I just got sent back home. That was mid-Covid last summer tho so that may have had something to do with it.
All in all it was around 9/10 day mark when it went away completely, but last couple of days it was only bad when I was active.
So try not to be too concerned, I expect you’ll soon be all better, but definitely do get yourself checked out to be on the safe side x

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Oh and when you lie down make sure you’re completely flat - no pillow. Seemed to help me x

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Mine lasted a week. Hope you feel better soon.

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It was quite a long time ago but headache wasn’t my main concern.

I woke up mid puke!

not a regular looking vomit, more like a cat’s vomit. (Sorry if TMI)

I told my GP and he said “Look you have had some of your Cerebral fluid removed” and to go home and insist that my family look after me!

It’s no flipping picnic!

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Had headaches for a few days but not to bad. Don’t stoop over and keep your head up as much as possible. When lying down use plenty of pillows to keep you head elevated.

I hope you’re feeling much better now! If not I’d advise calling the hospital where you had the LP for advice - I seemed to get worse rather than better in the days following mine (unable to be upright, fever, nausea) and when I rang the hospital they said I might have an infection and advised me to visit my GP or go to a walk in centre. In the end I didn’t need to as I finally turned a corner on the sixth day - I just kept resting and upping my caffeine intake. I found that huge cups of tea using two teabags was way more effective than coke or coffee as it gave me caffeine but also kept me hydrated! I hope you’re doing ok :slight_smile:

I lay very flat in a nearly dark room for days. My advice is to do the same, take pain killers, drink loads of mineral water (I don’t get on with caffein)… and warn everyone else to leave you alone in peace.
After a while, life returned to normal.
Happily, my neuro said he will never need to ask me to have another.