Back pain on the lower left side is common, and has several causes. The two types of pain people describe suffering in their lower back are acute back pain and chronic back pain. Acute back pain is described as a sharp burning pain, while chronic back pain is a dull and aching pain. There are two general causes for pain in the lower left side of the back: neuropathic pain is caused by nerve tissue damage, and nociceptive pain is pain that occurs outside the nervous system. A pinched nerve is an example of neuropathic pain, and a condition such as arthritis is nociceptive pain.
Common causes of back pain in the lower left side can include muscle imbalances, muscle strain, or an injury to back muscles, ligaments or joints. Compression of one of the lumbar nerves, the sacral nerve or the sciatic nerve may also be cause of lower left back pain. This may be indication of a series of symptoms called sciatica. If pain in the lower left side of the back is particularly severe, it may be an indication of a herniated or ruptured disc.
If you are not familiar with muscle imbalances, or muscle balance therapy, you definitely want to start here:
Alongside the common causes listed above, pain on the lower left side of the back can as well be a tightening of the sacroiliac joint, spinal joints and buttocks. The protection around the sacroiliac joint is less effective than other back joints, as the sacroiliac contains no disc. When a tightening of the sacroiliac joint occurs, a person may experience pain in the buttocks as well because as the sacroiliac joint tightens, so do the surrounding muscles and ligaments.
Pain on the left side of the lower back can be caused by other conditions as well. This pain can be symptomatic of conditions such as a urinary tract infection, irritable bowel syndrome, osteoporosis, spondylolysis, gall bladder stones, kidney stones or a kidney infection. If the person experiencing the pain is female, it may be a symptom of a gynecological disorder. It should be noted that being obese might cause pain in the left side of the lower back as well.
If a person suffers from lower left back pain for more than a day, it is recommended that they contact their primary care physician. It is incredibly important that the cause of back pain is diagnosed before treatment can begin. The doctor may utilize X-rays, MRIs, CT Scans, Mylelograms or Bone Scans in order to diagnose the cause of back pain in the lower left side. Treating back pain can involve taking pain relievers, starting an exercise program that focuses on the lower back, or attending physical therapy. If going to a doctor is not an option for you right now, use the resources below to identify home treatment options.
There are several courses of action a person can take in order to prevent back pain on the lower left side:
- While walking and sitting, keep a relatively upright posture
- When lifting objects (heavy or light), always lift with the legs-never bend from the waist
- Exercise; focus on working out the muscles in the core (abdomen and back)
- Daily Stretching
If experiencing back pain, consult a doctor before beginning treatment.
Written By: June 29,2011