Back Pain Following Your C-Section
Lower back pain is unfortunately a very common symptom following a Caesarean section and is often a result of the epidural or spinal anesthesia. Of the four million babies born each year, nearly a third are born via C-section, with a majority of those surgeries requiring pain medication which is administered around or into the mother's spinal fluid. Generally complications occur shortly after the epidural or spinal anesthesia has been administered, and can include shivering, blood pressure which is lower than normal, tingling or numbness in the back, back pain and headaches.
Scar Tissue as a Cause of Back Pain
Many women have severe lower back pain during their recovering from their Caesarean section which radiates from the sacrum, upper buttocks and the crest of the hips. Often, following a C-section, a woman may have resulting scar tissue above the pubic bone; when this scar tissue is stretched or pulled, it creates pain at the lumbar vertebrae T12-L5 (basically, the lower back). This scar tissue can have other effects in the form of lower digestion problems including irritable bowel syndrome, again because of the tightening created when the scar tissue pulls within the abdominal cavity.
More Reasons for Back Pain
Another reason for back pain following a C-section occurs because the upper layer of skin accumulates in the spine during the surgery, leading to back pain following the surgery. There is a type of shifting of balance from the abdominal muscles to the back muscles, overextending the pelvic muscles, and disturbing your fragile spinal bones. Back problems can inadvertently be compounded by new moms who may not practice good posture while breastfeeding, and end up sitting hunched over, straining both neck and back muscles. The intense exhaustion and stress you are probably experiencing from taking care of a newborn's needs around the clock can also make it much harder to recover from back pain following your C-section.
Ways to Ease Your Back Pain
If you are suffering severe back pain following your C-section, it's a good idea to see your doctor and have a thorough check up to rule out anything potentially serious. If the doctor is unable to find a concrete reason for your pain, then you should start some serious home remedy treatments, such as making sure your mattress is not too soft and has an even surface. If you are in the market for a new mattress, then look into a memory foam mattress or an air mattress. Use hot and cold treatments alternatively; lie on a heating pad for half an hour, then replace the heating pad with an ice pack. Taking a hot bath with Epsom salts added can bring relief to a sore back.
Exercise for Back Pain
Pilates is a good exercise for back pain following a C-section as these types of exercises strengthen the abdominal muscles which were strained during surgery. Stretching the back muscles are perfect for recovering from a C-section and can begin to ease your back pain. Wait until you have clearance from your doctor before doing any strenuous abdominal exercises as you could tear your stitches or cause internal injuries if you do too much too soon. Gentle stretching exercises and yoga are both good for lower back pain, as well as pelvic tilts. Pelvic tilts are accomplished by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Tilt your tailbone toward your belly button while keeping your hips on the floor in a subtle movement. At the top of the tilt, tighten your butt muscles, then release. Repeat 8-10 times, however wait at least 8-10 weeks following your C-section to do this type of exercise.
If you are not finding any relief from your home remedies, then you might want to try a chiropractor or acupuncturist to see if you can get some relief from your back pain. You can take Tylenol or Advil, however if you are breastfeeding keep the dosages low.