Lumbar puncture help please!

I’m getting a LP thursday week and I have already started haveing nightmares about it.

Just basically want to know any advice you might have. I have been told I will be in and out within the hour so I know I can’t lie down for a while after.

Does it really hurt and can someone come into the room when your having it done?

Also, how long did it take for you to get the results?


Thought you needed to lie down for a while after it? well what do i no not sure i was in hospital when i had mine and was told to lay flat and still for a couple of hours i think, was told

if i didn’t would get a terrible headache i still did.

Iv’e heard people on here say it’s not to bad and others say it was the worst, depends on who does it i think i had to have three attempts but the one who did it in the end did it really quickly and was experianced at it, the others were not!

Hope i haven’t scared you but i wouldn’t have another!

Hope it all goes well and i had a nurse in with me don’t no if you can take anyone in with you?

It took about six weeks for my results

Tracy x

Good luck

They use a finer needle for LPs now which cuts down on the number of people who get the headache. Lying down and drinking loads of coke and coffee is supposed to help too, but I read something reasonably recently that said that it doesn’t make much of a difference, so I wouldn’t worry too much about not being able to stay in the hospital for long - just make sure you take it easy when you get home (good excuse!).

It don’t remember it hurting. You get an anaesthetic first so that’s probably the worst bit - and it’s really not bad.

Don’t see why someone shouldn’t go in with you. Why not phone and ask?

I’m sure it’ll be fine!

Karen x

My lumbar puncture was a very positive experience. All I felt was a sharp scratch when the guy did the local anaesthetic. After that nothing more than a bit of pressure and having to lie very still. I lay flat for an hour and then went home and rested. Absolutely no headache from hell! I had to wait 3 months for the results, partly because my Neuro was on holiday for the whole of August and partly because the results took ages! All the best with it - try not to worry! Teresa xx


I had mine done in July. It was done in a 4 bedded ward with the curtains pulled round and my husband was there all the time. It didn’t really hurt, just a bit uncomfortable but nothing to get worked up about - I wouldn’t be scared if I had to have it done again. I had mine done sitting up on the side of the bed leaning over a table with a big comfy pillow on it - I couldn’t seem to get in the right position laid down. I did get the headache though and was advised to stay flat on my back at home for 48 hours and drink loads of caffeine. That cured the headache but I’d say I felt a bit rough for 4 or 5 days afterwards.

And I was told it would take 6 weeks for the results - it was actually more like 10 before I heard anything.

Don’t be scared, the fear is worse than the procedure!

S x


The actual procedure is not painful; in fact the only thing you feel is a scratch when the anaesthetic goes in. The actual removal of fluid is just a feeling of pressure if done properly. I must stress if done properly; do not let anyone practice on you insist on someone who is experienced.

It’s after you MAY get something called ‘the headache from hell.’ To cut down the chances of getting this you should lay flat for at least 3 hours do not even get up to go to the loo; use a pan. Drink at least 2 litres of classic Coke, not diet; it’s the caffeine that aids replenishment of your CNS fluid. Being your drinking a lot take one of those bendy straws otherwise the bed will get more Coke than you. If you want a change of drink very strong coffee.

These things will drastically reduce your chances of getting a headache that could last about 8 days. If you have a couple of days off work and rest if you do not get the headache, if you do 10 days off work.

Good luck.


Sorry forgot to show you a little article on something called a Blood Patch. This is very rare but the booklet contains other info you may find useful.

Do not get yourself worked up about an LP; if you get someone who knows what they are doing it is a breeze.


It’s so hard not to worry isn’t it? I was bricking it about mine but in fact it was fine. It didn’t hurt and wasn’t even uncomfortable really, just felt a little bit weird but didn’t take long at all, and just done on my normal hospital bed. I didn’t have any illness afterwards or anything. As I was in hospital, I got the results very quickly.

Thank you for all your replies. Its good to hear its not all bad. I will let you know how it goes next week x

I was such a baby about having my LP and really worked myself up over it. It was a piece of cake. The thought of the proceedure is far worse then what happens.

You get an anesthetic in your spine and basically feel nothing. It went very quickly. I wasnt told to lay down afterwards. I was told to drink lots of fluids before hand (including coke) which I did. I never had the headache but omg I do have to say i was really ill afterwards it caused an exacerbation of my symptoms just brought on really by the stress I put myself through. SO RELAX. Its nothing I would rather have another LP then go to the dentist lol. Good luck.


I was worried about mine too, but totally no need to have been. I drank plenty of water afterwards and no headache. A little bit of backache for a day or two but no big deal at all - and a good excuse to get out of the domestic chores!

Mr Sensible

It depends on which hospital does it. When I had mine, the docs do 4 a week so know what they are doing! Option to either lie down or bend over a hydraulic table. Had the LA over the table then dedided to lie down. They were very quick and had my MP3 playing. Lay down for an hour post and then home.

Points to note in the evidence my wife gained (always a research scientist, even at home!):

Every hospital has a different policy

There seems to be no difference in lying down to getting up straight after. Nicer to lie down post it though.

The amount of caffeine should be moderated as it could be the cause of a headache I fell for drinking too much! Although again the statistics do not really support the use of massive amounts of caffeine, just fluids to offset the shock.

In fact, the needle used to take a blood sample just after it hurt more!


Hi There

I had mine done two years ago but it was an emergency appointment so got the results straight away. The actual procedure itself didn’t hurt, it was just a bit uncomfortable.

My husband was with me so no reason why you should not be able to have someone with you.

Unfortunately I did suffer with a headache for about a week afterwards which went away almost instantly when I laid down.

From reading other peoples comments it seems that everybody has a different experience, but I really would try not to worry too much about it.

Good Luck. xx

Had one on Friday. Slight moments of discomfort comparable to having say a hair plucked, but the nurse did insist on laying down for 3 hours and gave me a Paddington hard stare when I sloped off 20 mins early to drive up North for a Wedding.

Good luck with your LP today! Honestly the LP itself is fine - make sure that you lie down flat for a few hours afterwards to avoid headache and backache and you’ll be fine.