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Struggling with Severe Lower Back Pain - Connected to Menstrual Cycle?

teacherinpaintteacherinpain Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Lower Back Pain
Please help. I am ready to see the light at the end of this tunnel.

I am a 26 year old female with severe lower back pain. I have been dealing with this pain for about 5 - 6 years now.

My biggest concern right now is trying to find a correlation between my menstrual cycle and my back pain.

About 2 years ago, I noticed that my pain was more intense around the week before I started my period. Interestingly enough, as I was looking into this connection, I became pregnant. My back pain seemed to just disappear during the entire pregnancy. I felt great!

Even after I had my son, and had not started my period again, the pain was nonexistent. However, when my period started up again postpartum, the pain returned and seems worse than ever. I have again noticed that my back pain starts about a week or two prior to the start of my period. Usually, it is gone within about a week.

Is it too coincidental that the pain went away when I wasn't having my period? Thoughts?

Here is a description of the pain I have been experiencing in the past 5 - 6 years.

The pain is in my lower back, but it can sometimes go into my butt and legs - yes, I know that is the sciatica nerve. The pain comes and goes, sometimes for as short as a day or two, but other times for as long as a couple of months.

The pain also switches from my left side to my right side. It is intensified when I am flat on my back and when I sleep and wake up in the morning. Often times, I cannot get out of bed on my own. The pain limits me from walking. I have to use a cane to keep my balance.

I have been to numerous doctors, I have had numerous tests, and I have followed numerous treatment plans. No one or no test can figure out exactly what is going on and why the pain doesn't get better.

Here is a sampling of everyone I've seen:

-physical therapists
-orthopedic specialists
-back specialists

Here is a sampling of tests I've had done:

-360 degrees MRIs

Here is a sampling of medicines I've taken:

-muscle relaxers
-oral steroids
-pain relievers

Here is a sampling of treatments I've tried:

-traditional physical therapy
-aqua therapy
-steroid injection
-tens units
-SI belt
-heat pads
-cold packs
-core strengthening exercises


  • I used to suffer worse during the same time. My surgeon found that blood vessels were becoming enlarged during this time and compressing the nerves. He was able to reduce the blood vessels in those areas and greatly reduce my menstrual related nerve compression.

    If I hadn't discovered on my own ahead of time that the vasoconstrictors I used to fight migraines reduced the pain in my back, I would have thought he was full of baloney. One day I was in such bad pain and had no meds to fight it. I took some migraine medicine as a desperate attempt to get some relief and was shocked when it actually worked.

    So you aren't imagining things, it can happen. At least it did with me.

    Welcome to Spine Health,

  • have had issues with increased pain with my PMS. I do alot of heat, sometimes a trigger point injection, stretches, and wsell, sometimes just try not to move when it gets too bad, and request way too much help from my teens. As for as diagnosing and recognizing all of my spine issues, it took a diskogram to finally match my symptoms to their spinal cause! What a relief to finally have someone say: this is why you feel this way!

    Bottom line, there is no ONE way to combat this, but a combination of a few different methods (and alot of trial and error) is often what is needed.

    Good luck, and know that you are not alone!
  • I found the same thing. I had a hysterectomy 11 years ago, but my period definitely increased the pain I had....it was miserable. I also had much less back pain with my second and third pregnancy, though my first one was brutal and often unmanageable.

    Your symptoms are very similar to mine, which I've been dealing with for 25+ years. There is often no rhyme or reason why my pain is exacerbated, and just when I thought a biologic drug was helping with SI joint pain, it came back with a vengeance. It, too, switches from left to right side and also goes into my buttocks.

    The one thing that has given me huge relief is the four rhizotomies I've had; my neurosurgeon also uses steroid injections at the same time, and I can get two to six months of relief.

    Good luck - I hope you find something to help you out.

  • wngarnerwwngarner Posts: 1
    edited 03/05/2015 - 1:55 AM
    haglandc said:
    He was able to reduce the blood vessels in those areas and greatly reduce my menstrual related nerve compression.
    Hi folks! I have been suffering from miserable (an increasing) back pain for the last 5 years and I've tried everything that the original poster has and more (including a hip surgery that one ortho thought might help). My pain definitely worsens significantly about a week before my period begins and I was curious HaglandC if you remembered the name of the procedure and what type of surgeon did the procedure (neuro / ortho / anesthesiologist...)

    Thank you all for your posts, it makes me feel like I'm not insane!


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  • Chloe_hardmanCChloe_hardman Posts: 1
    edited 08/03/2015 - 4:40 AM
    I am 15 going on 16 and I get back pain really bad to the point where I'm crying, I take paracetamol and they don't work- I took my last 2 paracetamols at 12pm and tbh my back pain has gotten worse, I am lay in Bed with a hot water bottle on it but the pain isn't getting better, the pain is so sore and I have googled home remedies but nothing seems to help, I don't know what else to do.

    I'm hoping someone can help me, or give me something I can try, even to reduce the pain.

    No one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
    Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
    You don't say if you have seen your doctor if not that would be the best place to start.
    Moderator's message...Please click on link for helpful information
    Welcome to Spine-Health
  • csolarrccsolarr Posts: 1
    edited 09/15/2015 - 10:21 AM
    Replying to "teacherinpain", I know its been over 3 years since you used this but I also want to share my experience.

    I'm a 21 yo female who has never been pregnant before. I started having back pain as soon as I began my first period at the age of 11.
    Although, as I got older I noticed the back pain went from just being cramps to intense, even disabling pain.

    Sometimes it's difficult to walk, I'm always cautious about lifting heavy things (carrying my laptop).
    I have also taken prescription anti-flammatory/pain killer medications & have seen many doctors and gotten tests done.

    But nothing relieved my pain. I noticed it was also correlation with my period. My period usually last about 6-7 days and a few days before my period would begin, I would start feeling the pressure on my back beginning to act up. When my period begins, sometimes my back pain disappears altogether. But more recently it's hurting me throughout my period and even a few days after.

    Honestly, marijuana is the old thing that I found to relieve my pain. Like I said before, I have tried prescription pain killers and anti-inflammatory but these drugs only made me feel "drugged/groggy" and I didn't have any back pain relief. I know many people are not open to using marijuana for medical purposes, but I want to let others know that this definitely helped me out with my pain.

    I'm scheduling an appointment with my doctor soon to see if there is anything else I can do for my pain, or if this intense pain is even "normal." Hope this comment helps some other women out there.


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