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What causes cyclical sciatica?

I am hoping someone may be able to answer my questions about having sciatica on and off. A brief history. Started with sciatica right leg Jan 2012. Followed conservative treatments, but was unable to move and severe leg numbness and foot drop so had microdiscectomy July 2012 L5S1. Although prior MRI showed small herniation, during surgery, disc had leaked fluid and was in small fragments (don't know technical terms) so surgeon had to remove all fragments not attached to disc and left around 30-40% disc. Sciatica disappeared immediately posy surgery!

In last 3 years, I've been experiencing chronic back pain and sciatica, but in last year have noticed it has a pattern. It is not constant and is linked to my monthly cycle. For 2 weeks around the time of the month, my back feels unstable and will often lock up, sometimes causing sciatica. I recently went on a contraceptive pill and had no periods. No pain once! Now I've come off it and back pain/sciatica has come back worse than ever. For last two weeks, been in bed in agony with loss of sensation in right leg again. My physio believes that my disc is slipping in and out ( sorry again not technical) but causing sciatica on and off. I know people can have pain on and off for many years, but can it be this cyclical and could it be due to instability in the spine?
Have any other women experienced a link between monthly cycles and sciatica?
Thanks for your responses,


  • Hi Lily! I see that this is an old post, but I'm hoping that you've found out what was causing your cyclic pain. I am in a somewhat similar situation and have been fornthree years now. I actually just had a hysterectomy a few weeks ago to see if that would stop my pain. So far it hasn't, but doc wants to wait for my swelling to subside before we know for sure. Can you please tell me if you were able to get any information on what was happening to you? Thanks!!


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,755

    This is an old discussion created by a member no longer on the forum so I have to close it.


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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