The Southeastern Spine Institute

pregnancy and bad back Pregnancy and bad back issues seem to go together almost as much as a hand in a glove. As your body continues to adapt to the new life inside of you, it also has to make several adjustments that enable you to deliver a healthy baby.

In the early stages of pregnancy, your body begins to produce a significant amount of a hormone called relaxin. Relaxin helps your ligaments and joints loosen to meet your child’s ever-growing demand for space. Unfortunately, relaxin can also cause the ligaments supporting your spine to loosen, causing issues with the stability of your back.

If Previously Compromised…

If your back was already compromised leading into your pregnancy, the loosening of your supporting ligaments can end up being a considerable source of pain and discomfort. Pre-existing back issues or previous procedures can drastically increase the level of pain you experience. Pregnancy and bad back symptoms are a dreadful combination that effect between 50 and 80 percent of all expecting mothers.

With numbers that high, it doesn’t hurt for you to contact a spine specialist to start asking questions. The most commonly asked questions include:

  • Can you have a vaginal birth following back surgery?
  • Are you able to have an epidural or spinal anesthetic during delivery?

Vaginal Birth

Pregnancy and bad back concerns can impact your day-to-day activities. The good news is that even after back surgery, almost all women are still able to deliver vaginally. There are a very few and specific circumstances following surgery on your back that can make a Caesarean section necessary. Your team at the Southeastern Spine Institute works with your gynecologist to ensure the best care possible.

There’s little conclusive evidence to support the idea that natural labor has negative effects on back pain. But labor is hard work! Your spine specialist can work with you to determine the best positions to reduce the strain that giving birth places on your back and spine.

Epidurals and Pain Relief

It’s still possible for you to have an epidural or a spinal after back surgery. Most women have no problem or complications from either procedure. In very specific cases, scar tissue can keep your anesthesiologist from being able to access the proper place on your spine, but that’s rare.

Scar tissue can in some prevent the coverage of your epidural from feeling even. One side may feel noticeably more numb than the other. If your epidural feels uneven, it’s not recommended to proceed with a Caesarean section without another form of anesthesia.

Stay Safe

Pregnancy and bad back pain can certainly make you uncomfortable. To stay safe, however, make sure you avoid certain over-the-counter pain medications altogether. These include:

  • Aspirin and all products that contain aspirin or are made from it. The salicylic acid found in almost all acne washes is made from aspirin, for example. Aspirin can cause thinning in your blood and in your baby’s blood as well.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen. These common painkillers can promote heart defects in your developing baby.

Pregnancy and bad back problems are both manageable with proper medical attention and guidance. Contacting a spinal specialist early on in your pregnancy can spare you from unnecessary discomfort that can cast a shadow over such a joyous time in your life.