my lumbar puncture experience

hi folks

I had my LP yesterday and here’s how it went.

Dr explained the procedure to me so i knew exactly what to expect. Into a wee room and lay on my left side, knees curled up and my chin as close to my chest as i could. The Dr explained that she was trying to ‘find the spot’ and had a gentle prod followed by a pen to draw some fetching lines on the skin.

A wee wipe down with a bit of iodine then the local anaesthetic was administered. A little scratch followed by a very brief nippy sensation and it soon took effect. With the Dr explaining things they made the first attempt. Nothing more than a feint sharp sensation and a bit of pressure, until i got some discomfort … not pain as such and certainly not a big problem … they stopped immediately as did the discomfort. a quick reposition and within seconds they had hit the mark and were collecting my sample.

Afterwards i lay for a few minutes and felt fine. A couple of bottles of full fat cola on the way home, a couple of paracetamol and taking it easy meant no headache and nothing worse than a dull ache in my back. I’ve taken paracetamol a couple of more times as a precaution but the headache has not arrived and the back ache is no worse than when I’ve previously pulled a muscle.

the long and short of my experience … LP was NOWHERE near as bad as i thought it would be. Just thought i’d share incase anyone is stressing about theirs.



Hi Brian

This has made me feel much better, I am still awaiting appointment for mine.

Although I am not looking forward to it I also wish the appointment would hurry up so I will know one way or another as to what my diagnosis is.



1 Like


Your post about your experience is very reassuring and I hope to bare it in mind if/when I need a lp - I am definitely someone who is a bit stressy at the thought of it never mind actually getting through it, it will be full blown panic with me probably! Though I really do hope to be rational and think of positive experiences like yours.

thank you


1 Like

My LP was much the same as your Brian except it took more than few tries to get it in the right place. Not too painful in fact hardly painful at all but maybe some discomfort. The worst part is when I just got the urge to straighten my legs quickly but it soon passed and the sample was gained.

Lay on my back in the recovery room for an hour whilst they brought me copious amounts of tea and then a relative drove me home where I had a couple speculative paracetamol but I never really got a head ache.

My results took about 3 weeks but as it was Xmas time I didn’t get to see the specialist until about 5 weeks and then I was confirmed as RRMS.

It’s not the awful experience some have had for everyone, you wouldn’t choose to have it but it I found it relatively easy especially with the thought in my mind that this would hopefully confirm either way if I had MS.

Don’t be put off by what others say and if your experience is starting to become bad then you can always ask them to stop and seek alternative means.

1 Like

Hi Jo

im glad my post has been useful to you. I’ve been fortunate that the nhs here in Scotland have been terrific. About 4 weeks to wait on results and I’ve asked to be informed by letter rather than face to face, I’d rather not have to wait for an appointment, I’ll deal with the news on whatever day the postie delivers it.

I hope you get your LP soon and have an experience like mine, totally worth it for more information on how things are.

Hope things go as well as possible for you


Luckily mine was the same Brian. Nowhere near what I thought it would be.

1 Like

I had my first LP when I was 7 years old. I was in hospital at the time with viral meningitis. The procedure itself wasn’t too bad but the headache from hell afterwards put me off for life. So when my neuro said about doing an LP a few years back I flatly refused it. Glad to hear your experience wasn’t too unpleasant.

It’s a really positive thing to hear that people are having LPs without too much discomfort or the ‘headache from hell’. Mine was over 20 years ago, but I still remember it not hurting exactly, just feeling kind of intrusive and sort of nasty. But I didn’t have the benefit of knowing about caffeine or the laying down afterwards advice, so I think I was very lucky not to get the headache. Sue

I don’t think they knew 40 years ago when I had mine. My Mom wasn’t there either…

Aw, that’s not fair. They were vicious in those days.


1 Like