lumbar puncture - nervous

lumbar puncture at the radcliff a week thursday, slightly nervous,

any tips appreciated

best wishes


Hi Sue, I had a Lumbar puncture earlier this year which helped my neurologist reach a diagnosis. The fear was greater than the reality (in my case anyway!) The worst part for me was having to curl up in the right position-I’m not as supple as I should be! The needle going in does not hurt,you just feel a little pressure. Afterwards you should lay flat on your back for an hour or two so I’d suggest taking an iPod or a book! Drink lots of fluids and caffeine (from full fat coke) is meant to help ward off the headaches which can happen afterwards. You should be right as rain the next day, hope it all brings you some answers. Good luck Laura 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.

If the headache last more than 10 days you could need a blood patch; especially if there’s a wet patch on the bed in the area of the spine after a nights sleep; this is rare.

Good luck.