Causes of Low Back Pain Left Side
Most low back pain is the result of an injury, such as muscle sprains or strains due to sudden movements or poor body mechanics while lifting heavy objects. In a small number of cases, low back pain on the left side can also be the result of certain diseases, such as cancer of the spinal cord.
When dealing with lower back pain, it is important to narrow it down and understand exactly where the pain originates. Lower back pain on the left side can involve many parts of the body: the spine, including the muscles, ligaments and joints; as well as kidneys, intestines and reproductive organs.
Sprains and strains are common conditions, especially in the lower back. A sprain is an overstretched or torn ligament. A strain is a torn tendon or muscle. These can cause muscle-related lower back pain including:
- Not warming up properly prior to physical activity
- Lifting heavy objects with an improper lifting technique
- Awkward movements of the body
Symptoms of muscle-related lower back pain on the left side include:
- Aching, stiffness or tenderness in the lower back
- Restricted range of motion due to lower back pain
- Difficulty standing or sitting upright
- Lower back pain that radiates into the buttocks
- Muscle spasms in the lower back
Treatments depend on the severity of the pain and must be evaluated by a doctor. They can include physical therapy and other conservative treatments, or more involved procedures such as electrical stimulation and surgery.
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of one or more areas of the spine. This narrowing occurs most often in the lower back or neck. It can put pressure on the spinal cord or nerves that branch out from the compressed areas.
Symptoms of spinal stenosis include:
- Pain in the legs, calves or lower back when standing or walking
- Pain while sitting down or leaning over
- Leg or arm weakness
- Numbness in the legs or buttocks
- Balance problems
Treatment options for spinal stenosis include anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy and steroid injections. For more severe cases, minimally invasive surgery might be recommended.
Internal Organ Problems
Lower left back pain can indicate a problem with an abdominal organ, including:
- Kidney infection
- Kidney stones
- Ulcerative colitis
- Gynecological disorders such as endometriosis and fibroids
Your lower left back pain could be caused by a serious condition. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience:
- Unusual weakness in your lower body
- Tingling in your lower body
- Nausea or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness or confusion
- Painful urination or blood in the urine
Q. What can cause pain in the lower left side of your back?
A. The most common causes of lower left back pain include soft tissue damage of muscles or ligaments that support the spine, or an injury to the spinal column, possibly including discs or facet joints. Other causes of lower back pain on the left side include a condition involving internal organs such as kidneys, intestines, or reproductive organs.
Q. What organ is on the lower left side of your back?
A. The kidneys are organs that are located against the back muscles on both the left and right sides of the body.
Q. How do I know if my back pain is serious?
A. Seek immediate medical care if your lower back pain is accompanied by other symptoms, including:
- Increasing weakness in the legs
- Loss of bladder and/or bowel control
- Severe stomach pain
Q. What can cause lower back pain in a woman?
A. Endometriosis can cause lower back pain on one or both sides; this pain is usually felt deep within the back. Large fibroids on the back surface of the uterus can also cause back pain in the left or right side.
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