Epidural & Delivery
December 17th, 2017 by Miami Back & Neck Specialists
Low back pain is very common after pregnancy and may affect up to 90% of pregnant women. A common statement female patients have for Dr. Brusovanik is “my back pain began after my epidural during labor”. There are multiple studies that have found that there is no significant difference in the prevalence of back pain among those females who had epidurals for labor and those who did not. The belief that an epidural given for labor pains can cause chronic back pain is rather common, even among medical professionals.
An epidural anesthesia during labor is a procedure involving a needle which is inserted in the epidural space (outer layer of spinal canal) of the lumbar spine. An epidural anesthesia is the most common method of pain relief during labor and more than 50% of women giving birth at hospitals use epidural anesthesia. Many studies have shown that if low back pain is experienced at the later stages of pregnancy, the patient tends to attribute her pain to the epidural given for labor.
There are several factors which have been shown to attribute to back pain after childbirth, with and without an epidural. The most common cause is gestational back pain, which can affect about 40-90% of pregnant women. Gestational back pain is believed to be attributed to the hormone called relaxin, which is produced during pregnancy to loosen the ligaments of the spine and pelvis making the joints more flexible to open up the birth canal for childbirth. The spine may potentially become more susceptible to lumbar muscle strain or disc injury.