Can my back pain get worse after my spinal anesthesia?

No, the epidural injections are considered treatment methods for back pain.

The evidence to link acute backache after epidural or spinal anesthesia is not conclusive. There are many advantages of spinal anesthesia over general anesthesia from a risk-benefit point for the patient. The acute pain that occurs after spinal injection usually resolves with simple measures such as hot and cold massage, mild analgesics like paracetamol, or topical NSAIDs ointments may be prescribed.

One is considered a good candidate for spinal or epidural anesthesia even with pre-existing back pain because these techniques offer significant advantages such as:

  • decreased blood loss
  • improved surgical conditions
  • better control of postoperative pain
  • and reduced risk of blood clot formation

Reasons for back pain in spinal anesthesia

Occurring in approximately 13% of those receiving a spinal anesthetic, a post-spinal backache may occur secondary to a localized inflammatory response, often associated with a degree of muscle spasm. The backache is usually self-limited, lasting from a few days up to a week.

Some patients may have back pain after spinal or epidural anesthesia, but this is not because of aggravation of spinal disc problems. Transient neurologic symptoms (TNS) may be one of the causes of postoperative back pain. You can expect complete relief from TNS within a few days by taking anti-inflammatory drugs. In some patients, back pain may aggravate for a short term because of preoperative interruption of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

The back pain improves once these medications are resumed after surgery. Proper positioning and the use of padding during your surgery will also decrease the risk of postoperative back pain.

Disclaimer: We do not assume responsibility for the use of the provided information or its interpretation. Our efforts are towards providing current and reliable information; however these should not be considered, or used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.