Anesthesiologist Questions Back Pain

Is back pain possible after an epidural?

I gave birth to my son 3 weeks ago. Ever since my delivery, I have been experiencing back pain where the epidural was injected. Does epidural cause back pains normally?

6 Answers

There are multiple reasons for back pain after child birth, which include your position for the delivery, the baby’s head position pressing on certain nerves, and, of course, epidural, however, pain from epidural just lasts a couple of days. Imagine if epidural could cause lasting pain; it wouldn’t be the treatment for chronic back pain. FYI, in a study for back pain after childbirth, 10% of those patients with back pain after delivery never received any epidural. So, to answer your question, pain lasting more than 3wks after childbirth is unlikely due to epidural.
Half of pregnant women have low back pain after delivery, whether or not they receive an epidural anesthetic.
The fact that your body just went through an major change. Your posture has gone from a hyper lordotic (low back is more inward and belly is protuberant) to more of your "unpregnant posture" is one reason for back pain. Your muscles and ligament have stretched over 9 months and in one day you are now no longer in that position. One of the most dramatic changes in such a short period of time is right before birth and after birth. The other that comes to my mind, is when you do have an epidural performed, it depends on how traumatic it was for your low back, such as number of punctures it took the provider to successfully place the epidural. Usually there is soreness involved and a "bruised" type feeling that is located at the spot you had your epidural, and that will go away in time. If you ever feel like your pain is increasing instead of getting better always check with your obstetrician.
Not usually although there can be some minor trauma. Most back pain is from physiologic changes that occur with pregnancy. Treat it as you would otherwise with strengthening and stretching exercises and tylenol or NSAID's
The epidural may cause pain when the injection area is pressed up to a few days like any other needle puncture or cut in the skin. Your pain is more likely due to the stretching of ligaments in your back which is a natural result of the pregnancy.
NO. Epidural analgesia only causes a small "bruise" at the point of insertion. Normally this resolves in 1-3 weeks. Generalized low back pain is frequent after pregnancy and delivery and is usually caused by the softening of spinal ligaments which occurs during normal pregnancy. Many women have their first real back pains after pregnancy and delivery because and the back has to adjust to the abrupt absence of the weight of the pregnancy.