Lower Back Pain on Left Side

Lower back pain on left side is nearly inescapable and the range of possible causes is rather broad. Self-diagnosis is risky and a much better technique is to look for the suggestions from a doctor.

Low Back pain is a common and almost inevitable phenomenon. Nearly 60% of adults will experience an episode of severe back pain at some time in their lifetime. Left sided lower back pain is actually more typical than right-sided lower back pain.

Symptoms of lower back pain include a dull or aching pain often stressed by periods of quick increase in intensity. The pain can travel down the hip and into the leg. Some will note a numb of cold sensation in the leg or foot while others explain a hot-poker type sensation.

There are a variety of causes and contributing aspects that set off back pain. People are often annoyed that a precise cause for the pain can not be discovered despite x-rays, blood tests as well as advanced imaging like CT or MRI. Don’t let this get you down as physicians are likewise often left puzzled on what is triggering the pain. The reality is that lower back pain is frequently multifactorial in cause.

Medications can help alleviate the pain, but ask your doctor for a recommendation to a back specialist if the cause is not obvious and your symptoms continue.

Causes of Lower Back Pain on Left Side

A range of problems can lead to lower back pain. Some prevail stress and overuse type injuries while others are serious and possibly harmful. It is a good idea to visit your doctor who can totally examine you and examine for a potentially more serious cause.

Lower Back Strain

A group of muscles and ligaments run the length of the spinal column and provide support and motion of the spinal column. Stretching too far or overdoing an exercise can strain these tissues. Small tears can even take place in the tissue triggering more pain. Back strain can also happen as an effect of falling, excessive bending or twisting or lifting heavy items. Weight problems and absence of core body strength contribute to low back strain.

Lower Back Pain on Left Side

Many explain the pain of a low back strain as tightness and pain that intensifies with movement, coughing, chuckling and sneezing.

Treatment of a low back strain starts by applying ice for 20 minutes a number of times a day. OTC anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen and Tylenol can supply relief of pain. Follow the package guidelines and take these medications with food. Going to a physical therapist can frequently help when a back strain is not improving as expected. Your doctor can suggest a series of gos to with a physical therapist to assist you recover.


Low back pain, especially on the left side, prevails in pregnancy and takes place for numerous reasons. As the baby grows in size, the uterus can compress pain sensitive structures including nerves. It is not unusual for pregnant patients to suffer pain traveling down the butt and leg due to compression of the sciatic nerve. Hormone changes result in softening of ligaments and this develops extra strain on the pelvic and low back ligaments. The extra weight of the growing baby and mom serve to compound the problem.

To minimize the effects of low back during pregnancy, follow these useful pointers. First, work to preserve great position. This will help reinforce the core muscles and keep the center of mass where it belongs, according to iytmed.com. Change positions frequently and stand with weight balanced over the feet as opposed to one leg. Prevent wearing shoes with anything but a minimal heel. Embrace a side lying position whenever in bed or resting. Add a pillow in between the knees to assist ensure proper spine positioning to lessen strain on the lower back. Keep exercise during pregnancy and use ice or heat to relieve discomfort and pain. In severe cases, a see to a physical therapist might help.

Herniated Disc and Sciatica

Discs are structures that provide the cushioning in between the bones of our spinal column. Gradually they wear out, shrink, bulge and even rupture. When this happens the disc material of is dislodged of its typical position and leads to compression of a surrounding nerve. Nerves are extremely sensitive to pressure and extreme pain is typically the result of a herniated disc. When a disc in the lower back compresses the sciatic nerve the condition that results is called sciatica. The pain is generally felt down the buttock, hip and all the method down to the lower leg or foot. Numbness and severe pain can be disabling.

Treatment of low back pain from a herniated disc begins with a conservative approach using physical therapy, OTC painkiller and modifying daily activities to limit pain. If a person currently has numbness or loss of strength, a more quick course of treatment is recommended and may include corticosteroid injections and advanced imaging such as MRI.

For many patients, the pain related to a lumbar herniated disc will fix with time. The primary goals of preliminary treatment are to eliminate pain and return the patient back to their normal level of everyday performance. Extra treatments can include massage therapy or chiropractic care. Surgery is generally a last option however may be needed if numbness and loss of strength are not rapidly brought back by conservative therapy.

Kidney Infection

Kidney infections can cause serious low back pain. The infection typically starts in the bladder and takes a trip approximately the kidneys creating swelling, inflammation and pain. Fever and nausea can also accompany a kidney infection. The pain can be dull or extreme and lies in the flank area along the spinal column and above the hip. The pain is worse with movement or palpation of the area.

Kidney infections need a see to a doctor for antibiotic treatment. Sometimes, hospitalization is required for intravenous antibiotic therapy. Make certain to complete all the antibiotic medication and reconsider with your doctor if all symptoms have not resolved.

Sometimes, kidney infections can return and end up being chronic. This is typically the result of an underlying medical condition or structural issue with the urinary tract. In this case your doctor may refer you to a urinary surgeon or kidney expert.

Kidney Stones

Kidney stones can cause quick onset of agonizing pain. Some call kidney stones “giving birth for men” as the pain can be that severe. The pain can radiate around the flank into the lower abdomen and down to the groin. A sensation of urgency to urinate prevails for those experiencing a kidney stone. Blood might appear in the urine as a repercussion of the stone relocating the urinary tract passages.

Pain control is the first concern in treating kidney stones. A mix of anti-inflammatories and narcotic pain medication is often required. Hydration is essential; drinking plenty of water and avoiding dehydration can help pass a kidney stone and prevent new ones from forming. Large stones might get captured up and not pass on their own. In this instance a variety of medical treatments can be used to help pass the stone. A medical professional (Urologist) will choose the best course of treatment. Choices include surgical removal of the stone by going through the urethra or use of sound waves (lithotripsy) or a laser to break up the stone into smaller pieces so it can pass spontaneously.

Spine Stenosis

This condition results when the back canal starts to narrow and encroach on the spinal cord. This procedure occurs in older people and is a result of arthritis, disc herniation and bone spur formation. Common symptoms include back pain, numbness, weakness or loss of strength.

Initial treatment for back stenosis resembles that of herniated disc management. Pain control can be achieved by using non-steroidal medications, muscle relaxers, antidepressants and narcotic medications. Physical therapy can help keep strength and movement as well as enhancing balance.

A trial of steroid injections can supply long lasting relief for many, however occasionally surgery is needed. Your doctor might refer you to a spinal column surgeon if conservative treatments are not working, the pain is paralyzing or if you are experiencing loss of strength and weakness. The surgery focuses on removing the pressure put in on the spinal cord.

Other Possible Causes

A variety of other medical conditions frequently cause lower back pain on the left side and seeing your doctor is the best method to figure out the cause. Examples include: ovarian cysts and fibroid growths, gastrointestinal problems such as irritable bowel, peptic ulcer disease or inflammation of the pancreas. Conditions that lead to imbalance or deterioration of muscles can result in unusual mechanical forces being put on the spine and surrounding tissues.

Prevention for Lower Back Pain on Left Side

Proper biomechanics are important for a healthy back and to prevent low back pain. Keep appropriate position while sitting and standing methods keeping the head, shoulders and back in alignment with each other. Avoid slouching and dropping while sitting at your desk. Change sleeping position and place a pillow in between your knees while sleeping. Additionally, use a small towel or low back pillow for included support. Avoid high-heeled shoes. Workout regularly and work to maintain a healthy body weight. Cigarette smoking negatively affects a lot of areas of health and stopping smoking has been shown to decrease the incidence of back pain and osteoporosis.

When to See a Doctor

Back pain can be a sign of a serious medical condition that potentially could become harmful. Look for instant medical attention if any of the following occur in association with low back pain:

  • unexpected severe abdominal pain
  • fast loss of strength, fever or chills
  • recent weight loss or night sweats
  • difficulty controlling bowel and bladder function

Any of these might represent a serious or life threatening procedure such as rupture of the abdominal aorta, cancer or overwhelming infection.



Updated: September 20, 2016 — 1:06 am

The Author

Reyus Mammadli

Healthy lifestyle advisor. Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.
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