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Lumbar Puncture: What to expect.

  • By Erin

    My doctors are scheduling a Lumbar Puncture and an MRV,the MRV doesn’t bother me too much. It’s basically an MRI of the veins in my head. I am however nervous about the Puncture. I wish they had stuck to Spinal Tap. Tap is so much better than puncture. I’ve gotten a lot of differing stories on how bad they hurt or they don’t hurt that much. My GPS told me I might get to experience a whole new type of migraine pain. This freaks me out. I’m hoping to get some honest feedback from migraine sufferers who’ve had a Lumbar Puncture. Thanks for any and all information.

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  • By chebbot

    I’m posting because I have the same question. I have heard of people being bedridden for weeks, but my friends mom said she drove herself there and home afterwards. I think it matters on the skill of the person doing it. I’m going to get one in the near future and am very worried.

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  • By Erin

    I can’t imagine driving myself home after a needle in my back. That’s a tough person. I’ve been told to have a driver. I’ve also gotten very differing accounts of the precedure and about the low pressure headache it can give you. I’m definitely freaked out. If I have mine before you, I’ll try to let you know how it went for me. I would love your input if you have the precedure before me. Hope it goes smooth and relatively painless for you.

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  • By chebbot

    I know, I can’t either. I have a ride to and from my Botox appointments, I can’t imagine after a lumbar puncture. She said she has a really good doctor and that it makes a difference who does it. I’ll have to talk to my doctor about it because I really don’t know if I could handle the migraines with the pressure headache. I’ve heard of some people being unable to do anything but lay down because of the head pain upon standing. I’d want someone with a lot of experience to do it. I will definitely keep you posted.

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  • By Katie M. Golden Moderator

    Hey Guys- I think I have some info for you that will help. (I’ve never had one, so I can’t give you a first-hand account, sorry.) FYI- the term Spinal Tap and Lumbar Puncture are one in the same.

    One of our writers, Ellen, gives a very detailed description of the process of getting a lumbar puncture here:
    https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-test-lumbar-puncture-or-spinal-tap/

    With any spinal procedure, including an epidural, there is a potential to get severe Migraine Headaches for up to 4 days after the procedure. During the puncture process to hit the dura matter around the spinal cord, which contains cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This can cause CSF headaches, which present as Migraines.

    Laying down typically helps this type of headache because standing up makes it worse. Lots of fluid and sometimes caffeine can be helpful. A procedure called a blood patch can also be helpful in relieving the symptoms.
    These articles may be helpful too:
    https://migraine.com/headache-types/spinal-headaches/
    https://migraine.com/blog/epidural-for-childbirth-and-migraine-what-is-the-connection/

    Please let us know how it goes!
    -Katie
    Migraine.com Moderator

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  • By Erin

    Thanks for the links Katie. I’ve read Ellen’s story. It was very informative. I’ve been hoping to get a pretty good number of people’s experiences. I will be reading the other link you gave me. I’ll try to keep everyone updated. Thanks again for the information. Hope everybody is having a good day.♡♡♡

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  • By Monkeybrew

    Hello to the group. I was just in the inpatient unit at Chelsea Community Hospital’s Head Pain unit for a couple of weeks. One of the procedures was a lumbar puncture. I had a bit of anxiety going into the procedure.

    I can say that it was no big deal. I was a bit sore, but after a lidocaine patch on the site for a few hours I felt fine.

    It is not as bad as you think. I have had several other procedures performed by the same physician and he has been great every time. Of course for some of the procedures they pump some pretty strong medication into the IV.

    The lumbar puncture really does sound worse than it is.

    MB

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