How long does your back hurt after a lumbar puncture?

Have you recently undergone a lumbar puncture and are now wondering how long the back pain will last? Well, fret not, my dear reader! This article is here to answer all your questions (and perhaps even make you chuckle a bit along the way).

But first things first: what is a lumbar puncture? It’s a medical procedure that involves inserting a needle into your spinal canal in order to collect cerebrospinal fluid (which surrounds your brain and spinal cord) for testing. And yes, it can be quite painful. But don’t worry, the procedure itself only takes about 30 minutes or so. The real question is how long the pain lasts afterwards.

Pain levels vary from person to person

Here’s the thing about back pain after a lumbar puncture (LP): everyone experiences it differently. Some people hardly feel anything at all while others are stuck lying flat on their backs for days on end unable to move without wincing in agony. So if you’re trying to predict how long your own discomfort will last based off someone else’s experience—forget about it! Your mileage may vary.

What causes post-LP back pain?

So why exactly does one experience such unpleasant sensations following an LP? After all, isn’t it just extracting some fluid from between vertebrae? Yes and no—it’s also because of something called post-dural-puncture headache (PDPH). When that needle pierces through the dura mater—the tough membrane surrounding spinal nerves—and then doesn’t patch up well enough afterward due to increased cranial pressure due mainly by weight gain or obesity—it can create small leaks which cause uncomfortable drips and subsequent headache development…the more mobile lifestyle leads spontaenous healing of these holes resulting spontaneous resolution before patients realize any sort of problem has arisen.

How long does the pain typically last?

Now to answer the question you’ve been waiting for: how long will your back hurt after an LP? As with everything else, it depends. But generally speaking, most people experience a post-LP headache within 48 hours (but this has changed as per said above). And while some folks may bounce back in a day or two, others can feel discomfort for up to several weeks(sighs).

If you’re one of the unlucky ones still feeling achy after more than ten days have passed since your LP, be sure to speak with your doctor or surgeon who performed it, just in case there is another problem on board that could escalate quickly!

In general though, any residual symptoms should subside before too much longer. So hang in there!

What can you do about the pain?

While it’s very tempting just lie flat and wait out this whole mess, there are things you can do to ease soreness (especially if freshly done)! Here are some ideas:

  1. Take over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen (with approval from medic) . Don’t forget local medications available specifically made for spasms!
  2. Apply heat packs.
  3. Give yourself permission time for rest and sleep!!
  4. Try low impact exercises once rested such as walking.

You might also benefit contacting physical therapy through physicians’ referral but only when guided properly….

There are lots of other tactics out there—just make sure not strain anything badly at first recovery stages–do not lift heavy objects before clearance..Start slowly and then advance bit by bit with guidance—but those four should get you started off well.

When should I actually worry?

Finally—and this is important!—there are certain indications that something more serious might be wrong which bother patient; these include visual disturbances like double images/head spinning/dizziness, unexplained fever and increased pain that lasts for more than 2 weeks’ post procedure. If you experience any of those symptoms—in particular the neurologic ones—definitely don’t be dauntmed to communicate it with your doctor(s) right away! Otherwise, just sit tight and let your body heal itself.


So there you have it: back pain after a lumbar puncture is pretty much par for course…and if anything along this road has perplexed or worried you go ahead and schedule an appointment about it. Remember, we all react in our own way when being poked around on the table! What’s important now is taking good care of yourself as best possible so (to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin), time will do its thing while back stabbing recovers gracefully over time…Cheers!!

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