Prevalence of low back pain experienced after delivery with and without epidural analgesia: A non-randomised prospective direct and telephonic survey

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Background and Aims: The most frequent concern of patients receiving epidural analgesia for labour pain relief is post-partum back pain. This survey was designed to assess the prevalence of post-partum backache with and without epidural analgesia among post-partum women.Methods: The study was conducted at a university teaching hospital and women presenting to labour room for labour and delivery formed the target population. A total of 482 women were recruited during the study period. Response rate was 95.4% and these cases were included in our statistical analysis. Two forms were designed for data collection before and after delivery; form I was filled by one of the investigators while form II was filled by a research assistant to prevent bias which included follow-up of back pain. The primary outcome variable was backache quantified with visual analogue scale score. Out of 460 women, 230 women received epidural analgesia for labour and 230 women had not.Results: The prevalence of post-partum back pain in epidural analgesia versus non epidural analgesia groups was 40.9% versus 40% on day one and 32.2% versus 35.2% after 1 week. However, after one and 3(rd) months follow-up, backache prevalence was less in epidural analgesia group (unadjusted odds ratio [OR]: 0.63; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.39-0.99) and (unadjustedd OR: 0.32; 95% CI: 0.15-0.69) respectively. The adjusted odd ratio was 0.59 at 1st month and 0.25 at 3rd month. There was no significant difference between the two groups in pain scores.CONCLUSION: There was no association between the epidural analgesia and post-partum back pain.


Indian Journal of Anaesthesia