Quantitative evaluation of low back and labor pain. Memory of pain experienced during labor and the intensity of low back pain in older women with discopathy
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Online publication date: 2014-02-04
Health Psychology Report 2013;1(1):63–71
The aim of this study was to determine the intensity of previously experienced labor pains in the context of self-evaluated intensity of discopathy-related low back pain in female patients.

Participants and procedure
The retrospective study included 57 women who received neurosurgical consultation under ambulatory conditions. The intensity of low back pain experienced by every patient was scored using the 11-grade Numeric Rating Scale (NRS-11; ranging from 0 to 10 points). Simultaneously, an obstetrical history was collected from every patient (year of delivery, intensity of labor pain assessed with NRS-11).

Overall, 57 women, aged between 27 and 88 years (mean 52.8 ±15.6 years), were examined. The age at delivery ranged between 17 and 35 years (mean 25.6 ±5.6 years). The patient-reported intensity of pain in the lumbosacral spine, assessed with NRS-11, ranged between 5 and 10 points (mean 7.9 ±1.7 points), while the intensity of labor pain ranged between 3 and 10 points (mean 8.6 ±1.9 points). Labor pain was perceived as more significantly intense than low back pain localized in the lumbosacral spine. In four cases (7%), the intensity of low back pain was re-scored upon asking about the intensity of previous labor pain.

Labor pain experienced during full-term vaginal delivery is characterized by significantly higher intensity as compared to low back pain. The memory of pain experienced during previous labors can attenuate the intensity of discopathy-related low back pain.
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