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What causes upper back and arm pain after lumbar puncture procedure?

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Neurologist, Surgical
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 2876 Questions
I am having upper back and arm pain after my spinal lumber puncture. the pain is going up to my hand. Is this normal m
Thu, 19 Apr 2018 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Erion Spaho 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Some adverse effects may be encountered in the first days.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and thanks for using

I have read your question and understand your concerns.

In some cases, a lumbar puncture may result in undesirable adverse effects in the first couple of days.

It is okay to have more fluids, but most important is to rest for two or three days.

You can use simple painkillers such ibuprofen also.

If your symptoms persist more than 72 hours after the lumbar puncture, you should be evaluated by the Doctor that performed it and probably you may need a spinal MRI to understand better what's going on.

Hope you found the answer helpful.

Let me know if I can assist you further.

Kind regards.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes upper back and arm pain after lumbar puncture procedure? 45 minutes later


My doctor gave me one day off of work. I am supposed to go back to work tomorrow.
I've read that the pain is usually in the lower back, is the upper shoulder and hand pain typical? I have also been vomiting and can't hold a lot of fluids down. Is this also a side effect.

Thank you for the reply.
Answered by Dr. Erion Spaho 8 hours later
Brief Answer:
Vomiting is a possible adverse effect too.

Detailed Answer:
Welcome back.

Vomiting is also a possible side effect of lumbar puncture, and together with pain in your upper shoulder and hand, are probably caused by the temporary lowering of the cerebrospinal fluid pressure.

This pressure lowering may cause small spinal cord displacements inside the spinal canal.

I think you may need more than one day off from the work.

Please discuss with your Doctor about your issues if no improvement in a couple of days.

Hope I helped you.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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