Factors Associated with Back Pain after Childbirth


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Abstract

BackgroundBack pain after childbirth is a frequent complaint. The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of back pain 1–2 months post partum and to identify the factors, including epidural anesthesia for labor and delivery, that may predispose to it.MethodsWomen delivering a viable singleton infant were interviewed 12–48 h after delivery for a history of back pain that occurred before, during, or both before and during the recent pregnancy and for details of their delivery experience. Two months later, the women interviewed were sent a follow-up questionnaire regarding the occurrence of back pain 1–2 months post partum.ResultsFollow-up data were available for 1,042 (88%) of the 1,185 women originally interviewed. The Incidence of post partum back pain in women who received epidural anesthesia was equivalent to those who did not (44% vs. 45%). Through stepwise multiple logistic regression, post partum back pain was found to be associated with a history of back pain, younger age, and greater weight. However, new-onset post partum back pain was found to be associated with greater weight and shorter stature. No statistically significant association was found between post partum back pain and epidural anesthesia, number of attempts at epidural placement, duration of second stage of labor, mode of delivery, or birth weight.ConclusionsThe overall incidence of back pain 1–2 months post partum in this population was 44%. Predisposing factors were a history of back pain, younger age, and greater weight. Predisposing factors for new-onset post partum back pain were greater weight and shorter stature. Epidural anesthesia for labor and delivery did not appear to be associated with back pain 1–2 months post partum.

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