Understanding Epidural Pain
Pregnancy can cause back pain, but if you had an epidural during labor, you may have additional back pain and discomfort. An epidural anesthesia is an anesthetic administered on the lower black. Its main purpose is to numb and block pain in the lower half of the body. For this reason, an epidural is usually used for pregnant women to help them deal with the pain during labor.
Does an Epidural Cause Back Pain?
According to the American Society of Anesthesiologists, there is no credible evidence that an epidural can cause permanent back pain.
Back pain is a common case for women after giving birth, even for those who did not get an epidural. Therefore, it can be difficult to determine whether back pain after birth is caused by the epidural or by the pregnancy itself. This is because the bones and ligaments in the pelvis shift as you get pregnant to support the weight of your tummy while your baby is inside. After giving birth, your body will return to its original alignment, and this will cause back pain.
Although an epidural does not cause permanent back pain, you may experience temporary epidural back pain after birth as one of the anesthetic’s side effects. However, the back soreness caused by an epidural will usually go away after a few days when the medication wears off.
Back Pain and Other Side Effects of Epidurals
An epidural is very safe and serious complications are only very rare. However, just like any other kinds of medications, epidural back pain after birth and other potential side effects may be experienced by the patient. Here are some of these side effects:
An epidural can cause soreness on the back, usually in the area where the anesthetic was injected. However, the back pain and soreness should not last for more than a few days. Based on recent studies, there’s no evidence that an epidural can cause permanent back pain.
Decreased Blood Pressure
A drop in blood pressure is common among women who go through an epidural during labor. Your blood pressure will be closely monitored after giving birth, and fluids and medications may be administered to help keep your blood pressure normal.
An epidural is applied on the lower back. In rare cases, the needle may pierce the covering of the spinal cord which can cause headache. The headache may last for a few days, but if it persists longer, you can contact your doctor for treatment.
Remedies for Epidural Back Pain After Birth
While back pain after giving birth or after having an epidural is common and normal, there are some remedies you can apply to help you deal with the back pain and discomfort. Here are some things you can try:
- Hot and cold therapy
- Mild exercise
- Medical remedies
Generally, back pain after giving birth subsides within 6 months after delivery. However, epidural back pain after birth should not last for more than a few days. If the pain gets worse or doesn’t go away even after a few weeks, consult your doctor.