I had a lumbar puncture last Wednesday as part of testing to diagnose my possible MS. (4 attacks of fatigue/tingling/vertigo, MRI showing some lesions, recently aching and tightness in hips, legs & back that my neuro didn't think was related, but that I do. Especially given what has happened....read on)
Within several hours of the tap (which went fine, though it was "bloody" since the doc nicked a vein) I started developing extremely painful muscle spasms in my back and neck and shoulders, to a lesser extent my hips/buttocks. I went to the ER the next morning and they gave me painkillers and Neurontin. Now the spasms have lessened, but I'm still very achey, and have a mild headache which worsens when I'm sitting or standing. (Spinal headache?) I've spent most of the last 6 days in bed, drinking fluids, resting, getting massages from my saintly husband.
Both the ER doc and the neuro who did the tap were puzzled by the muscle spasms, and said that it was unusual. (??) They suspected that the tap triggered what is basically a flare-up of my MS (or whatever it is I have...). As I mentioned, I've had some mild cramping and aching in my back and hips/thighs over the past couple of months, so they think that the tap may have exacerbated that.
Would you agree with their assessment? Can a tap trigger a flare-up, or is this just a natural reaction to trauma to the meninges that anyone -- even someone without MS -- could have?
Back aches and pain are reported to occur relatively commonly after an LP
the mechanism is unclear but may be related to spinal fluid collecting around the LP site (the deep part) and putting pressure on nerve roots
alternatively there will be some pain from tissue damage from the needle but this is usually self-limiting
A spinal headache is from persistent spinal fluid leakage around the site, and can be helped by fluids, caffeine, and if necessary a patch can be administered. In most cases, it is self-limiting (that is, stops by itself within days to weeks)
all the above are the most likely explanations for your post-LP symptoms
there is no known relationship between LPs and MS exacerbations
talk to your neurologist about the pain and headaches - they should be able to deal with the possibilities above
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