According to previous studies, an association between epidural during labor and lower back pain. However, a new study shows no evidence of a link. Researchers in Staffordshire, England found no significant disparity in long-term backache, measurements of mobility or responses to questions about everyday tasks that may be more difficult in the presence of lower back pain.
Researchers studied 135 women randomized to receive epidural and 140 randomized to receive another form of labor pain relief. They conducted a follow-up study 24 months after delivery. The incidence of self-reported lower back pain during or after pregnancy was high. There were no significant differences in the timing of onset. Back pain was common in both groups but more women reported severe pain in the epidural group. Pain lasting more than one year, persistent pain, and recent pain were all more common among women who had not had an epidural.
According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 55 percent of pregnant women in the United States receive epidural analgesia to relieve the pain of labor. About 120,000 women in England use epidural analgesia each year. During the procedure, a needle injects a pain reliever into a space next to the spinal cord in the lower back.