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Back Pain After a C-section

Back pain shortly after a C-section is one thing but sometimes it can last years. Long-term postpartum back pain is a very real problem amongst most moms.

Please note that we only take a limited amount of patients per month for this specific program.


If you would like to find out more about the Pain-Free Mommies Program, and if there is any space available please call our offices on 079 232 8247 and ask to speak to Dr. Tina. If we are full, we will add you to the Waitlist for the following intake.

What are the main causes of back pain immediately after a C-section, as well as the long-term effects?

Hormonal Changes


Something most moms don’t realise is that there are several pregnancy hormones that are released during pregnancy, one of these is called Relaxin. Relaxin, just like the name implies is a hormone that relaxes all ligaments and joints in the body so as to allow you to easily push out your baby. Now, this hormone is released whether you are having a natural birth or a C-section, so as this hormone flood your bloodstream all ligaments and joints become very loose and even the slightest movements done incorrectly can cause a sprain in the lower spine and mid-back leading to back pain.

Weight Gain

During pregnancy, it’s normal for your weight to increase but most moms may still carry that extra weight for months after giving birth. The extra weight puts additional pressure on your spine causing back pain. This is mainly due to your spine being loose and unstable due to the Relaxin hormone that was released.

Carrying/bathing and changing your baby

In the first few months after delivery moms are continuously having to bend down, whether it is to change their baby’s clothes or nappy or even bathing their baby. When you bend forward, the muscles in your back tighten up to protect your weakened spine, and this can cause a lot of back pain.

Spinal block/Epidural given before C-section


Usually, a Spinal block or epidural is given just before a c-section to numb the lower body. This can also cause the muscles around the spine to go into a spasm causing back pain.


C-section Incision


During a C-section, the incision made in the abdomen can cause the abdominal muscles to become weakened which can cause back pain. Even though the actual muscle is not cut the tissues holding the muscles together are cut and this can cause muscle weakness.


Scar tissue


The normal response of the body to any incision is to build scar tissue around the area as a protective mechanism. This scar tissue is usually tougher and therefore restricts proper movement and muscle function. This causes weakness in the core muscles and leads to back pain.

Usually, short-term back pain is expected after a C-section, however, when your back pain persists for more than 3 months after your C-section it is considered to be chronic and usually needs a specific treatment plan to resolve completely. It’s important to remember that back pain is not an inevitable result of having a C-section, and should not be ignored.


Using painkillers to mask your back pain is not ideal in the long term as issues may worsen, leading to early spinal degeneration.