Tips and advice on lumbar puncture

I have received the call this morning to give me an appointment for this Thursday for my lumbar puncture.

Feeling really nervous but it’s got to be done so I’ll just get on with.

Has anyone any tips on what to do before, during or after the procedure.

Thank you.


My lumber puncture was very straightforward and painless.

Drink a lot of water before and after.

some people also say to drink coke after too.
i also rested up for the day after.


Mine was fine and I hope that yours is too. They had me lie flat for an hour or two after, then I drove home and had no ill-effects. I would suggest not planning anything too strenuous the next day, mainly on account of the emotional toll these things take - in my case the worry was so much worse than the event, but worry does take it out of a person.

1 Like

Hi, I was nervous too! I wrote about my experience here: [Lumbar puncture: my experience - Lumbar puncture: my experience.
It was a piece of cake, honestly. My advice: Go to the loo before they start, so you’re not worried about that. Then do as they say and lie still for an hour after the procedure. When you get up, even if you feel absolutely fine (as I did), avoid all physical exertion for the next 24 hr. I made the mistake of going for a run, thinking it was all over… I suspect this then brought on the post lumbar headache.
For the headache, if you do get, lie flat and listen to the radio to avoid boredom. Some people say caffeine also helps, so on the way home you might treat yourself to your favourite caffeinated drink…
Honestly, I quite enjoyed my lumbar puncture, the doctor doing it was so nice - a while since anyone has shown me that much care!

1 Like

Drink more liquid than you think you can hold in the 24-48 hours before the test, but stop in time so that you won’t be caught having to cross your legs in the middle of the test. I don’t remember why, but extensive liquids are important.

In the US, they advise us to lay prone for 24 hours after the test. Walking around or even sitting up too long can lead to a killer headache. I admire Alison100 for driving home, because I wasn’t worth a thing for quite some time after mine.

Other than that, the test wasn’t nearly as painful or terrifying as I’d expected it to be. I few little pinches every now and then, but the staff closely monitored me and explained what they were doing. I’ve had more discomfort giving blood or getting a tooth filled than I did for the l.p.

1 Like

Thank you.

I had it done yesterday afternoon. It took 4 attempts, two laid down and knees up, then the final two attempts sat up bent over a pillow.

My back is incredibly sore today and I do have a headache. He said that due to the number of attempts and then double the local anaesthetic the back pain and head ache would be pretty unavoidable. My back is a pretty back and blue colour :see_no_evil:.

He said rest for 24 hours and not to remove the dressing or get the area wet during this time. He said painkillers for 2 weeks and to avoid anything strenuous for 72 hours.

Glad it’s all done x

Crumbs, that sounds a bit rough. I’m glad it’s done.

1 Like