BACKGROUND: Back pain is more prevalent among women than men. The association with sex could be related to pregnancy and childbirth, unique female conditions. This association has not been thoroughly evaluated.METHODS: Using a retrospective cohort design, we evaluated the relationship between history of childbirth on the prevalence and severity of functionally consequential back pain in 1069 women from a tertiary care pain management clinic. Interactions among preexisting, acute peripartum, and subsequent back pain were evaluated as secondary outcomes among the parous women using logistic and linear regression as appropriate.RESULTS: The women who had given birth had a higher risk for functionally significant back pain compared to women who had not given birth (85% vs 77%, p<0.001, Risk Ratio 1.11 [1.04-1.17]). The association was preserved after correction for age, weight, and race. Back pain was also more slightly severe (Numerical Rating Score for Pain 7[5-8] vs 6[5-7] out of 10, p=0.002). Women who recalled severe, acute postpartum back pain had a higher prevalence of current debilitating back pain (89% vs 75%, Risk Ratio 1.19 (1.08-1.31), p=0.001). Twenty-eight percent of acute postpartum back pain never resolved and 40% reported incomplete resolution.CONCLUSIONS: A history of pregnancy and childbirth is a risk factor for chronic functionally significant back pain in women. Severe acute postpartum back pain is a risk factor for future disability suggesting that the peripartum period may provide an important opportunity for intervention. Early recognition and management may mitigate future disability.TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study was registered with clinicaltrials.gov as "Association Between Chronic Headache and Back Pain with Childbirth" (NCT04091321) on 16/09/2019 before it was initiated.
View details for DOI 10.1186/s12905-022-02023-2
View details for PubMedID 36597120