Last updated February 2016
Lower Left Back Pain Causes & 3 Steps to Self Cure
Lower left back pain is commonly seen in my Clinic and can often be easily treated. When I see a patient for the first time and he or she mentions that the pain is in the left side of the back or even on the right side, my first thought goes towards a facet joint locking or muscular pain. These are the more common causes of left lower back pain...
Before going into more detail let's look at the 2 main categories of back pain:
1) neuropathic pain (pain that can be pinpointed) - which is caused by nerve tissue damage
2) nociceptive pain (pain that has no apparent cause) - which is pain that occurs outside the nervous system, but is soft tissue related (like ligament strain, muscle strain etc.
There is another type of pain, emotional pain, but you can read more on that in the article '3 Types of Pain'...
An example of low back pain that can be pinpointed is an injury during heavy lifting.
Common Causes of Lower Left Back Pain
The main causes of lower back pain left side can have the following scenario. Imagine that the bigger stronger muscles in your hips and upper legs getting tight and pulling on your smaller weaker lower back muscles. Remember, bones are just chunks of calcium, so bones only go where the muscles will pull or hold them.
So if the big strong muscle groups that attach to the bones of your pelvis are pulling on those bones, then your lower back muscles that also attach to those bones are going to loose the 'tug-of-war'...and then you will experience back pain.
In this case to get back pain relief it is often as simple as releasing the muscle groups that are tight...
The following are the most common causes of left sided lower back pain:
1) muscle strain
2) injury to back muscles, ligaments or facet joints (spinal joints)
3) compression of one of the lumbar nerves, the sacral nerve or the sciatic nerve
4) tightness Sacro-iliac joint (SI-joint)
5) herniated disc or slipped disc
6) osteoarthritis of spinal joint
There is another common cause for lower left back pain, which is back pain in pregnancy. Most of the above conditions can be easily treated or self treated at home. Although slipped disc and spondylolisthesis are not that straight forward to treat. But over all pain in the back on left side (or right side) can be treated effectively in most cases in the comfort of your own home...but there are more serious causes that need medical attention, although very rare...
Serious Causes of Left Lower Back Pain
Lower left back pain can be a sign of a serious underlying disease that needs immediate medical attention. here are some of the well known serious causes...
If you have excruciatingly intense left sided lower back pain and at the same time that pain moves around to the front of your abdomen then it may indicate you have kidney stone. As William Shatner (Captain Kirk) said of his kidney stone experience...
"The purity of the pain was unbelievable!"
If the pain is that bad then please seek out a medical doctor. If the back pain lower left side is not extremely intense but still wraps around to your abdomen then you may have a kidney infection. Kidney infections, kidney trauma, and kidney stones all require medical attention and treatment and can lead to further complications if left untreated.
Lower left back pain can also be the result or symptom of a viral condition, like shingles. In this case, the virus attacks and affects nerve endings, many of which are located in the equine cauda in the lower back. Irritation of these nerve endings can be excruciating and may not be treatable with over-the-counter pain killers. If you are unsure it may be important to see your physician immediately for medical treatment.
Ovaries & Uterus
In women, lower left back pain can also be the indication of disease and problems in the reproductive organs. Lower back pain can be due to:
- uterine fibroids
- ovarian cysts, or
Women can often experience lower back pain during pregnancy also. This happens because of the increase in weight and stress on the hips and lower lumbar region. Pressure may also be exerted on the lumbar spine due to the baby’s positioning.
Other reasons of lower back pain during pregnancy are the increased production of the female hormones estrogen and relaxin that loosen ligaments throughout the body, including the spine.
A tumor can cause pain in the left lower back region of the body. It can be compared to the inflamed kidneys or other organs, as a tumor can apply pressure on the nerve endings in the body causing back pain potentially. Tumors can be either benign or malignant, but in this case medical testing is needed to diagnose correctly.
In case the cause of lower left back pain is non serious treatment can be started in the comfort of your own home with the following exercises...
3 Steps to Healing Lower Left Back Pain or Right Side
Initially I was planning to create some videos showing you various exrecises I stumbled upon some videos on Youtube. So I thought I share these here instead, providing me with more time to create other helpful content for you...
These below videos are based on tightness in structures that can play a role in causing left sided low back pain:
Step 1 - Release Tailbone and Hip Bone
Step 2 - Inner Hip Release
Step 3 - Outer Thigh, Side of Leg Release
The above 3 steps can help you to fully heal your back pain, but if in case after you have performed these exercises and still have not fully recovered, it may also be important to rebuild and increase muscular strength in the core, legs, buttocks, and lower back.
The Most Effective Treatment for Left Sided Lower Back Pain
The treatment that I prefer to use and recommend to my patients & readers is the use of inversion therapy, which can be done from home. Please have a look at the following short video that explains more...
You can find out more about the benefits of using an inversion table
Please remember, as I always make very clear on this site and tell my patients in my Clinic...treating lower back pain is rarely a short-term process but rather requires long-term commitment to good health and future injury prevention.