Lower Left Back Pain: 15 Causes, Treatments and Prevention

Most of the lower left back pain are caused by muscles or ligament strains in the lower back. Lower back pain on left side is more common when compared to the lower back pain on right side.

The severity of the pain can be dull or severe. Sometimes the pain in the lower left back may extend up to your hip, buttocks, lower thighs and the leg. Not all of the lower back pain causes are serious, you can treat most of the left lower back pain at home. Some may require medical attention.

Nearly one-fourth of every American is suffering from lower back pain. Individuals from the age group of 25 to 60 are more likely to experience this kind of pain. Just go through this article to know more about causes, treatment and prevention of the lower back pain on left side.

Causes for Lower Left Back Pain

There are many causes for the pain on the left side of the back. By knowing the symptoms of your left side of back pain you can determine when to seek medical attention.

Lower Left Back Pain

1. Lower Back Muscle Strain

A back muscle strain or ligament strain is one of the most common causes of acute lower back pain at the left side. The continuous or sudden pulling of a muscle during any physical activity can make it stretch and develop muscle tears.

Any heavy lifting or a sudden stubborn movement may strain your back muscles and ligaments. Constant strain on your back may cause painful muscle spasms. But this kind of muscle pain is dull and this may be cured easily. Pain relievers can help you out in this situation.

Even an overweighed person or a person with a weak back can also have the high possibility of having pain on the left side of lower back. This type of lower back muscle strain is not a serious medical problem. But the resulting severe lower back pain in the left side due to this strain may be intolerable and needs medical help.

The symptoms of lower back muscle strain include dull or severe pain at the lower back, pain extends up to buttocks or upper thigh, severe muscle spasms, soreness when touch, and suffer to walk or to stand.

Treatments

  • The best treatment for your lower back strain is to take complete rest.
  • Applying ice packs to the painful area for about 10 minutes several times a day.
  • You can also try applying heating pads to relieve pain from the lower back side.
  • Follow some lower back exercises to strengthen your lower back muscles.
  • For any medications, consult your doctor.

2. Pregnancy

During pregnancy, the lower left back pain is the most common symptom. The growing uterus and hormonal changes are the causes behind your aching lower back. More than two-thirds of pregnant women experience low back pain.

During pregnancy, the expanding uterus shifts your center of gravity and stretches out your back muscles. This affects your normal posture and a strain on your back. This causes pain on the left side of your lower back.

The hormonal changes during pregnancy can loosen the joints and relax your muscles around your spine. This makes you experience lower back pain while walking, standing, roll over, bending, etc.

Usually, the pain goes away after the delivery. If the pain persists after a delivery, then consult your doctor to get complete relief.

To ease your lower left back pain, do simple stretching exercises, swimming, walking, pelvic tilts and prenatal yoga.

3. Herniated Disk

A herniated disk is a disk that ruptures. In between the bones of your spine, there are numerous soft disks filled with a jelly-like substance. These soft disks cushion the vertebrae and keep them in place.

As the age increases, these soft disks break down or degenerate. This reduces their cushioning ability and leads to pain if the back is stressed. This causes sciatica and back pain on left side. A person may also experience pain in the buttock, hip, and lower leg.

There is no remedy to ease your lower back pain caused by herniated disk. After proper diagnosis, your doctor may prescribe pain and anti-inflammatory medicines and also physical therapy. In rare cases, surgery is carried out. But similar to the other back pain treatments, you have to take complete rest to get faster recovery.

4. Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is the most common cause of acute left lower abdominal pain and lower back pain on the left side in adults. Diverticulosis is the formation of numerous tiny pockets (diverticula) in the lining of the bowel. It most commonly forms in the narrowest part of the large intestine, the sigmoid colon.

The symptoms include lower abdominal pain, left lower back pain and feeling bloated. In more severe cases high fever and diarrhea may occur.

A high-fibre diet can often ease the symptoms of this disease. Painkillers and paracetamol are prescribed by your doctor and very rarely for severe cases, surgery is needed to remove the affected section of the intestine.

5. Prostatitis

The acute pain in lower left abdomen and lower back side is also due to prostatitis. It is a condition that causes infection or inflammation of the prostate gland. This disease can affect men of all ages. The prostate is a small gland found in men that lies between the penis and the bladder.

The symptoms include the pain in the pelvis, buttocks, genitals, left lower back pain, sharp pain in the lower left abdomen, urinary urgency, difficulty urinating and pain when urinating.

This disease is treated with antibiotics, painkillers, and alpha-blockers. A doctor’s care is a must to get complete recovery.

6. Ureterolithiasis

Ureterolithiasis or Nephrolithiasis or Kidney stones are common urinary tract disorders. But this also causes sharp pain on left side of the back.

Kidney stones can form in your kidneys when the materials in your urine become too concentrated. These stones stay in your kidney or move down your urinary tract and pass out from your body.

The symptoms include a sharp pain in lower abdomen or lower back pain left side above hip. The pain would become more intense over time and lasts for few minutes to hours.

Some other associated symptoms are the pain while urinating, cloudy urine, frequent urge to urinate, and urine smells bad.

Your doctor would ask your medical history and conduct some urine tests to find the correct solution to remove the kidney stones. Most of the times medications are enough to dissolve the stones and sometimes minor surgery is needed to remove it.

7. Ankylosing Spondylitis

The pain in left lower back is also due to Ankylosing spondylitis. It is a type of arthritis that affects the spine. This leads to a rigid spine. The causes of this disease are unknown. But most of the affected people carry a gene called HLA-B27.

The symptoms include pain and stiffness from the neck down to the lower back, muscle pain and stiffness, and bony fusion.

This disease can be treated with physical and occupational therapy, antibiotics and pain relievers. Exercises can reduce stiffness, strengthen the muscles around the joints and prevent or minimize the risk of disability. Surgery is a rare option to treat this illness.

8. Skeletal Irregularities

If your spine curves abnormally, lower back ache can occur. A condition called Scoliosis, in which your spine curves to one side of your body, may lead to lower back ache on both left and right side.

A good posture is necessary to get relief from right or left side lower back pain.

9. Arthritis

Sometimes Osteoarthritis also can affect the lower back. Arthritis in the spine can lead to a reduction of the space around the spinal cord, an illness called spinal stenosis. It can cause sharp pain in the back left side.

10. Ruptured or Bulging disks

This can cause lower back pain at both left and right sides. Your disks act as cushions between the bones in your spinal cord. The very soft material inside a disk can rupture or bulge and press on a nerve. This kind of lower back ache is often found when you undergo spine X-rays.

11. Obesity

Are you overweighed? Then you have higher possibility to have a pain in the lower left side. Obesity is another major cause of lower back problems.

According to the Journal of American Epidemiology, the overweight, and the obese people had a higher occurrence of the lower back ache than the healthy people.

The overweight may stress your back muscles and increase the load on the spine. This leads to poor posture. Obviously, this poor posture leads to lower back pain.

12. Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary tract infection (UTI) are the common infections that can affect the kidneys, bladder, ureters and the tubes connected to them. It is more common among women than men. So, UTI is the most important cause for the lower left abdominal pain and left lower back pain in women.

The 90% of the UTI is due to the E.coli bacteria.

The symptoms include a burning feeling when you urinate, urinary urgency, pain in the lower abdomen and the lower left back side pain, the pressure in the lower left abdomen, dark or bloody or cloudy urine, fever or chills and tiredness.

UTI is treated with antibiotics.

13. Endometriosis

This is the most common cause of the sharp pain in the lower left side of back and abdomen of female. The women suffering from this disease may experience sharp pain in the pain in the lower left side of the abdomen.

Endometriosis is the abnormal growth of cells similar to those that form the inside of the uterus, but in a location outside of the uterus such as in the pelvis, on the ovaries, or on other abdominal cavities. It is more common in women who experiencing infertility problem than others.

Most women do not experience any symptoms. The most common symptoms are pelvic pain, pain in the lower abdomen before and during menstruation, painful menstruation, lower back pain during the menstrual cycle, the pressure in the lower left abdomen, lower left stomach pain, painful intercourse, infertility and painful bowel movements.

Hardly, this disease has no cure. But medications and surgery are useful in reducing the symptoms.

14. Ruptured Ovarian Cyst

If you have lower left side pain? Then it should be the result of a ruptured ovarian cyst.

The ovarian cysts (sacs of fluid in the ovaries) are very common among women and they usually go away on its own without any treatments. It causes sudden sharp pain on either side of your lower abdomen (depends on which ovary had the cyst) and lowers back.

The ovarian cysts can form in the ovary, causing cramping but no period. The two reasons for the cysts are as follows,

  • When a follicle cyst does not release an egg during a menstrual cycle.
  • When a fluid-filled cyst that develops in the sac after the egg is released.

The other symptoms are spotting, pain in your lower abdomen, thighs, and lower back.

15. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

This is one of the bacterial infections that spreads by sex. Generally, it affects the parts of the body which help you conceive and grow a baby such as a womb, cervix, vagina and fallopian tubes. You may experience cramps on both sides of your lower abdomen and lower back. It can occur any time of the month.

The symptoms associated with the pelvic inflammatory disease are spotting, abnormal vaginal discharge, cramping in the uterus, cramps or pain in the abdomen, menstrual cramps but no period, burning sensation during intercourse and when passing urine, period like cramps, burning sensation in lower left abdomen, heavy and longer periods, left lower quadrant pain, fever, nausea, and vomiting. A doctor’s care is a must to treat this disease.

Other Common Causes of the Lower Back Pain

Sports activities and accidents are the most common causes of lower back pain. But occasionally, even simple movements or activities too can trigger back ache. The common causes linked to lower back pain include:

  • Bad posture while standing or sitting.
  • Hunching in chairs.
  • Lifting incorrectly.
  • Pushing, pulling or carrying heavy objects can cause pain in lower left back and hip.
  • Overstretching can hurt your lower back.
  • Sitting or driving in a fixed position for a long time.
  • Overusing the muscles –for example, during exercise or sports activities.
  • Bending or twisting awkwardly.
  • Traveling for long hours may cause a backache. But this condition does not need any medical treatment. You can automatically recover from a backache caused by traveling in one or two days.
  • Heavy Workouts or exercises can sometimes cause a back ache due to the continuous muscular movements.
  • Frozen shoulder– Back pain caused due to inflammation in the shoulder.
  • Aging is one of the most common causes of a lower backache on both left and right sides.

How to Prevent Lower Back Pain?

Is there any way to prevent lower back pain before it occurs?

Yes! Here are the simple ways to prevent lower backache.

1. Lose Your Weight

Overweight or Obesity is one of the major cause for most of the health problems. Overweight puts excess stress on your spinal cord and thereby increases back ache. So keep watching your weight always.

You can reduce your weight by following these 10 weight loss tips. And also I recommend that you should burn your excess fat.

2. Follow Good Posture

Good posture keeps the spinal cord in the normal shape. Good posture is important to maintain good body shape and relieve from most pains.

Back pain relief postures

Sleeping position

  • Avoid poor sleeping positions to get rid of the neck, shoulder and back pains.

Sitting position

  • Use lumbar support chairs
  • Place a pillow or rolled towel at your lower back.

3. Avoid Sudden Movements

Sudden movements may cause muscle stress. Avoid it to prevent strains.

4. Reduce Stress

Stress is an important factor for all kinds of health problems. You can go for some relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, melody songs, etc to reduce your stress

5. Regular Exercises

If your back pain is caused by overweight, then you should do regular exercises.

You can do anyone of the following methods regularly.

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Stretching
  • Simple workouts

6. Yoga for Lower Back Pain

Yoga has several stretching methods, breathing exercises and relaxing methods to heal you from a backache.

It improves your muscles flexibility and reduce the lower back pain.

According to the research paper published in the JAMA Internal Medicine, those who perform yoga and stretching can get two times faster relief from pain than others.

7. Quit Smoking

Smoking not only damages the lungs but also causes back pain.

A study in The American Journal of Medicine proves that the smokers are more likely to get back pain than those who never have the habit of smoking.

In another study published in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, it is proved that those who quit smoking feel better reductions in pain than the current smokers.

So here I strongly recommend you to quit smoking to prevent back pain.

8. Avoid High Heels

Avoid high heels. It can disturb your center of gravity and strain your back with unbalanced weight.

Hope you follow these above methods to prevent back pain. If you have lower back pain, then follow these home remedies to get recover from it easily.

In a Nutshell,

Most of the lower left back pain are caused by muscles or ligament strains in the lower back. Lower back pain on left side is more common when compared to the lower back pain on right side.

The severity of the pain in the lower left back can be dull or severe. Sometimes the pain may extend up to your hip, buttocks, lower thighs and the leg. Not all of the lower back pain causes are serious, you can treat most of the left lower back pain at home. Some may require medical attention.

Consult your doctor if you have severe back pain on the left side of your body to get complete recovery.

About the author

Amanda kelly

She is specialized in alternative medicine. As a nature lover, she has a wealth of knowledge on home remedies for a large number of health problems. she has been trying these remedies for many years and you would like them as well. She has experience editing for both the scientific community and the general public. She joined AskMyHealth in 2015. She loves to hike, use her standup paddleboard, and enjoy all life has to offer.

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