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Did Labor Epidural Cause Chronic Backache?

Did Labor Epidural Cause Chronic Backache?

by: Dr. Pooja Mehta
Sr. Consultant - Obstetrics & Gynecology

Now the ladies can deliver without pain. This has been made conceivable by epidural anesthesia which suits those patients who can’t endure labor pain. The technique of painless delivery called as Epidural Analgesia or Epidural Anesthesia is a popular technique used by women, if advised by the doctor, during labor. It gives relief from unbearable labor pain during deliveries. This procedure is totally fine for both – the baby and the mother. The thought and perception of pain during labor and delivery varies between people. Epidural anesthesia is a progressive method in pain management during labor, which guarantees that a pregnant lady has a comfortable labor. It is a regional anesthesia in which a sedative medication is infused close to the spinal cord in the spinal canal.

Back pain due to epidural injection:
After labor with an epidural, one may encounter short-term back pain at the catheter site where the medicine was infused. Accordingly, most ladies tend to relate labor epidural analgesia with chronic or long-term back pain. The studies found no significant differences in the incidence of long-term back pain among women who received epidural pain relief and women who received other forms of pain relief. Instead, the backache, if any, developed because mothers receiving epidural analgesia were less sensitive to back stressing postures and hence allowed the poor back positions to remain for prolonged periods, resulting in back strains post delivery. Another possible explanation for the back pain experienced post delivery could be an injury to the back muscles and tendons during insertion of the epidural needle at the catheter site. However, this is relatively uncommon and usually, the pain is short-term. In aggregate, in light of studies conducted, there is no association between back pain and epidural usage, and the epidural pain relief during delivery does not expand the danger of long-term back pain. Back pain post delivery is more likely attributed to the pre-existing prenatal backaches due to mechanical and structural changes in the spine which are a result of normal physiological changes during pregnancy.

Other side effects of Epidural:

  • A dip in the mother’s BP during labor can lead to a slowing down of the heartbeat rate in the baby, and if it doesn’t return to normalcy despite drugs/fluids, a Cesarean has to be carried out.
  • An epidural is likely to cause numbness in the lower parts of the body after delivery. You may need help while walking because of the numb feeling.
  • There is also the risk of a mother-to-be experiencing severe headaches because of the fluid of the spine leaking.
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