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Doctor insights on: How Long Will My Back Hurt After Having A Spinal Tap Done

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Dr. Dariush Saghafi
387 Doctors shared insights

Lumbar Puncture (Definition)

To test for meningitis or multiple sclerosis or a variety of problems, a small needle is inserted into the lumbosacral cistern to obtain spinal fluid for testing ...Read more


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I had a spinal tap done 10 months ago to test for MS... is it normal to start having back pain in that area again after so long?

I had a spinal tap done 10 months ago to test for MS... is it normal to start having back pain in that area again after so long?

How much pain?: If there is sensitivity but only mild that may not be unusual. The pain if severe is unusual in this area but might have bruised a nerve if severe. See your doctor to better describe the severity and see if it is related to something else going on. ...Read more

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How long will my lower back hurt after spinal tap? Cant hardly set back.

How long will my lower back hurt after spinal tap? Cant hardly set back.

Up to several days: It can persist several days. Watch out for progressive pain, fever, weakness in your legs or incontinence as these may be signs of post-procedure bleeding or infection. Back pain is fairly common after a lumbar puncture 10-25 % and should resolve over the subsequent 3-7 days. If not you should be evaluated by a medical provider. ...Read more

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I had spinal tap 3 months ago and still have bad lower back pain mostly when bending over or sitting too long. Is this normal? Will it go away? Thanks!

I had spinal tap 3 months ago and still have bad lower back pain mostly when bending over or sitting too long. Is this normal? Will it go away? Thanks!

Spinal tap: This is somewhat normal. May last 6 months. As long as no fever, vomiting or headache associated, this shouldn’t be too concerning. ...Read more

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Can it be normal to have back pain 4 weeks after spinal tap?

Can it be normal to have back pain 4 weeks after spinal tap?

Possibly: It depends. If the "spinal tap" was done to get spinal fluid to test it and the "tap" was traumatic or difficult with the needle hitting bone you may have pain for a number of weeks. The outer layer of bone is called periosteum and has many nerve endings and can take some time to heal. However, the pain should not be severe. If continues get a work-up. ...Read more

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I have severe back pain following a spinal tap?

I have severe back pain following a spinal tap?

Let the doctor know: There are many reasons for there to be pain after a lumbar puncture. Let the doctor know and have them take a look. ...Read more

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Is it bad to experience severe back pain following a spinal tap?

Is it bad to experience severe back pain following a spinal tap?

Usually not: Not necessarily-usually resolves unless spinal headache is present which can resolve 99% of time with rest and fluids. ...Read more

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My granddaughter had two attempts today for a spinal tap. Was unable to get fluid both times. Tonight is in a lot of back pain. Is this normal?

My granddaughter had two attempts today for a spinal tap. Was unable to get fluid both times. Tonight is in a lot of back pain. Is this normal?

Back pain: Likely the back pain is from the tap procedure and in most case this resolves over a day or two. If the pain last longer than 3-4 days then I would contact the doctor that did the tap. ...Read more

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Can I have a back massage after a spinal tap? I had a spinal tap 2 weeks ago and still have severe back pain. Nothing seems to help with the pain yet.

Should be ok: After two weeks, the area where the spinal tap was done should be healed. Also, you could always call the doctor that did the spinal tap to be sure. Hope this helps, and I hope you feel better soon! ...Read more

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Severe lower back pain after spinal tap weeks later. What is going on?

Severe lower back pain after spinal tap weeks later. What is going on?

Not clear: Complications of spinal taps could cause you headaches or leg symptoms, but isolated back pain weeks later might not be related at all. Perhaps the condition that prompted the spinal tap could be the culprit. Rarely, an impromperly performed tap can be associated with ectopic tissue growth along the needle track in a very delayed fashion. ...Read more

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Nothing helps my back pain 7 years after a spinal tap what can I do? I was going to pay 250$ to go to a clinic but then what...Refer me to a surgen?

Back pain: First question is why did u have the tap and are those symptoms resolved. It's uncommon to have isolated low back pain for 7 years after a spinal tap so other causes must be looked for. You should probably see a pain specialist or physiatrist that specializes in spine as I doubt that there is a surgical issue if this pain truly resulted from the tap. What other work up have u had. ...Read more

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Would standard lab test show anything for spinal tap complications. Leg tingles headache lower back pain started a week after it was performed?

See below: Sounds like you have hypogylcorrhachia, or a spinal tap leak, which creates postural headaches, perhaps back and neck pain, and conceivably explains your tingling. If this is indeed the case, a blood patch could fully reverse these problems. ...Read more

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Is it normal to be still having back pains from a spinal tap done about 5 years ago?

No: These symptoms can only be adequately diagnosed only after a thorough evaluation by your doctor. This may include labs and other satudies. Once all of the information is in, your doctor can let you know what's going on, and what to do to help you. ...Read more

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Had a spinal tap done thursday gotta really, bad headache and spams n my upper back to where I can't move or breath till it goes away should I be seen?

Had a spinal tap done thursday gotta really, bad headache and spams n my upper back to where I can't move or breath till it goes away should I be seen?

Yes, right away!: Headache is common after a spinal tap, especially when you sit up. But there is a risk of introducing bacteria during a spinal tap which can cause meningitis. Symptoms include headache, neck stiffness and pain. You should be seen immediately to make sure you don't have meningitis! Please go to an er if you can't get in to see your doctor immediately. ...Read more

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How long does it take to get spinal tap results back?

How long does it take to get spinal tap results back?

Pretty fast: The initial results of a spinal tap usually take less than 30 min to run in most hospitals. You should have the results of the cell count and the chemistry (glucose and protein)very fast. A gram stain to look for bacteria is also done very quickly. What may take longer is the definition of the type of organism (1-5d). Special tests for multiple sclerosis or prion disease may take longer (a few days). ...Read more

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After spinal tap (lumbar puncture) done in january 2013, my back is still in a great amount of pain. What could this be?

After spinal tap (lumbar puncture) done in january 2013, my back is still in a great amount of pain. What could this be?

Not the tap: It would be unusual for a spinal tap to cause lasting symptoms. Your pain may be related to the condition that warranted the spinal tap in the first place. ...Read more

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How long can a lumbar puncture/ spinal tap headache last?

Days: Varies, but often can take a few days to completely go away. If the headaches are increasing or accompanied by other symptoms (stiffness, fever, neck pain, etc) you should see the physician that did the spinal sampling. It takes a bit of time to restore the volume of fluid drawn during that time headache (alone) are not uncommon. ...Read more

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For how long does a lumbar puncture/ spinal tap headache last?

For how long does a lumbar puncture/ spinal tap headache last?

Duration: It can last from two days to rarely a month, cured immediately most of the time with an epidural blood patch. ...Read more

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In two weeks I'm seeing a neurologist for a spinal tap im being feeling weak on my arms and legs and my back hurts...What is going on with me?

In two weeks I'm seeing a neurologist for a spinal tap im being feeling weak on my arms and legs and my back hurts...What is going on with me?

See below: There are many potential causes. I think you are headed in the right direction by seeing the neurologist. He or she will decide if further testing and/or referrals are necessary. ...Read more

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Can I go to an amusement park a day after a lumbar punture? Spinal tap was done yesterday, going to great adventure in the morning

Not recommended: After a spinal tap is done there is a small opening in your spinal canal that has to heal. I would wait 1-2 weeks before going on rides as it may lead to the opening breaking open and leading to significant symptoms of CSF leakage. ...Read more

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Had spinal tap done and it came back with over 20 WBC and obands. Is this still consistent with MS? Doctor is checking for MS mimic.

Had spinal tap done and it came back with over 20 WBC and obands. Is this still consistent with MS? Doctor is checking for MS mimic.

Possible MS: Oligoclonal bands can be seen in several other conditions, and your doctor is correct to search for other explanations, especially in view of high WBC count in spinal fluid. Infections such as syphilis, HIV, and Lyme disease are a few of the problems to be excluded. ...Read more

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How high does a fever have to be to take a 3 month old back to the emergency room? Just left the emergency room at 10pm last night they done a spinal tap and blood work and urine test. He is only three months old I can not give any tylenol fever is 99.9

How high does a fever have to be to take a 3 month old back to the emergency room? Just left the emergency room at 10pm last night they done a spinal tap and blood work and urine test. He is only three months old I can not give any tylenol fever is 99.9

Assuming: Assuming the er physician felt your infants fever was due to a viral illness, you can observe at home if your infant is alert, eating well, having his usual number of wet diapers every few hours, no breathing difficulty and not fussy or irritable. 99.9 is not considered a fever. No need to give tylenol (acetaminophen) for 99. Always call your regular physician to see if a trip to the er is needed. ...Read more

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Does lumbar puncture go into muscle and/or near discs? One year later and still back pain that did not have before. Wonder if procedure was done right

Does lumbar puncture go into muscle and/or near discs? One year later and still back pain that did not have before. Wonder if procedure was done right

Unusual: The pain you are experiencing is not usually associated with a lumbar puncture. It is usually limited to a couple days to a week or so. A routine lumbar puncture should not damage muscle or a disc as the needle only penetrates the midline lumbar spine deep enough to obtain a small sample of the fluid. I suggest seeing your doctor, he or she can help pinpoint the cause of your pain. ...Read more

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I had a lumbar puncture done 4 weeks ago. I am having horrible back pain, headaches, numbness, weakness and pain in my legs and hips.

I had a lumbar puncture done 4 weeks ago. I am having horrible back pain, headaches, numbness, weakness and pain in my legs and hips.

Need evaluation: The issues start with why you had the lumbar puncture. What were they looking for? Why was it done?

Then, how long after the LP did the syndrome evolve? Changing?

Do you have objective fever (actually measured fever)?

Have you had a lumbar MRI scan? What did it show?

Do you tend to get pain (background headaches, other pains, recurring pain problems)?

Go for further evaluation. ...Read more

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Lumbar puncture done 3+ years ago & still no one can massage/press on that site + about 2-3" around it. Now right foot and calf numb+lower back pain.?

Lumbar puncture done 3+ years ago & still no one can massage/press on that site + about 2-3" around it. Now right foot and calf numb+lower back pain.?

2 events?: Three years later, and ow there is foot numbness? For a problem like this, it is wise to start the evaluation over, with an interview, exam, and perhaps some testing, such as a nerve conduction test. It is conceivable the local pain was from a local injury, but it should not have caused foot numbness 3 years later. ...Read more

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My daughter had a spinal tap done but it didn't show anything till day 10. So they said not spinal megitis but she has ever sign? Help please

My daughter had a spinal tap done but it didn't show anything till day 10. So they said not spinal megitis but she has ever sign? Help please

Meningismus: I'm not sure what became positive at 10 days. If it was a bacterial culture one could assume that this is meningitis or it might be a contaminant. If the culture is negative, this could be interpreted as spinal meningitis which is usually self limiting.
She should follow up with her doctor. One should monitor her and re-evaluate if she worsens. ...Read more

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I had a spinal tap done and the red blood cell count in CSF was 2000+ marked as elevated. What does this mean? It should be 0 accordinh to sheat

I had a spinal tap done and the red blood cell count in CSF was 2000+ marked as elevated. What does this mean? It should be 0 accordinh to sheat

Bloody tap or bleed: Since you're able to type this question coherently, I gather that your health didn't suffer after the lumbar puncture, so that would probably rule out a cerebral bleed (hemorrhage) as a cause of the blood cells in CSF. Most likely the RBCs came from a "bloody tap" - trauma to blood vessels of the back from the needle. Normally, no vessels are damaged, but doctors are not perfect! Hope all is well. ...Read more

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How is a spinal tap procedure done?

How is a spinal tap procedure done?

Carefully: Generally, the patient is placed on their side, the area in the lumbar region is then sterily cleaned. A local anesthetic is infused in the region of the planned procedure. Finally, a needle is introduced and advanced into the sub-arachnoid space till spinal fluid is encountered. Usually, an opening pressure is measured and spinal fluid is sent for analysis. ...Read more

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For how long do spinal tap side effects last?

Spinal taps: Usually the symptoms and of headache and back pain resolve fairly quickly, usually within 24 to 48 hours. If the symptoms seem to be worsening bed rest is the best treatment. ...Read more

Dr. Heidi Fowler
4,740 Doctors shared insights

Back Pain (Definition)

Pain in the back is a symptom that can be due to a number of causes including musculoskeletal or neurological problems or due to problems ...Read more