Lower back pain is so common and unavoidable that almost 60% adults will experience it at some point in their life. Lower back pain on left side is more common compared to lower back pain on right side . Lower back pain on left side can cause dull aching which may increase in intensity and may affect the hip and the leg. Some people complain this pain as a cold sensation in their leg or in their foot but some describe the pain as a hot poker sensation.

Causes and Treatments for Lower Back Pain on Left Side



Pregnancy can result in lower back pain on left side because the weight gain stresses the lumbar spine. Likewise, the hormone estrogen and “relaxin” can contribute to the loosening of the ligaments and the structure of back.

Treatment: Pelvic tilt exercises and stretches are recommended for pregnant women to relieve the pain. But do seek your doctor's advice and permission before you start any exercise. 


Aging Body

The aging process of your body can also cause left lower back pain. As you age, the protein and water content of cartilage changes, resulting in thinner, fragile and weaker cartilage. Since the disc and joints are placed in the vertebrae which is partly composed of cartilage, these areas not only undergo wear and tear but also degenerates as time passes, leading to back pain. 

Treatment: This pain is normally treated with rest, heat compress and rehabilitative exercises. Medications are also given to soothe pain, inflammation and muscle spasms.


Lower Back Strain

Lower back strain is one of the most common causes of lower back pain on left side. Lower back strain, also known as lumbar strain, is characterized as a stretch injury which affects the ligaments, muscles on the low back and the tendons. The condition occurs due to the body trauma and improper use or overuse of the back.

Treatment: Treatments for lower back strain may include giving your back a rest and taking medications that treat muscle spasm. Applying heat applications and massaging the painful area can also aid in treating lower back strain. Besides, reconditioning exercises can strengthen the lower back muscles.


Lumbar Injury

Lumbar injury or fractures can be the culprit of lower back pain on left side. Fractures that affect the lumbar spine and scrum bone are very common in those with osteoporosis and taking cortisone medications. Lumbar injury may lead to onset of localized pain, radiate pain around the waist region and pain that worsens with body motions.  

Treatment: In both young and old, the lumbar injury may take weeks to heal. So get enough rest and sleep is essential in curing lumbar injury. In some unbearable circumstances, painkillers are needed to ease this pain.



Shingles are acute infection that affects the nerves in charge of skin sensation. Patients who suffered with shingles have had chickenpox before. The virus causing chickenpox exist in a dormant state in the spinal nerve roots even after the chickenpox is healed. The back pain in the lumbar area associated with shingles can bring about skin rashes. 

Treatment: Apply lotions like calamine and take acyclovir (Zovirax) and other medications will provide great relief. Besides, Lidocaine (Lidoderm) and pregabalin are also effective in treating lower back pain caused by shingles.



Sciatica or irritation of the nerve may occur when the nerves are under pressure. The pain may lead to mild ache, burning sensation and extreme discomfort. Sitting for a long time, coughing, twisting, sneezing and straining can worsen this pain.

Treatment: Biofeedback therapy and acupuncture can ease left side lower back pain. Besides, there are many useful medications for sciatica. Oral medications like muscles relaxants are prescribed to ease muscle spasms. For chronic back pain, antidepressants and other prescribed pain medications will do the work. Physical therapy and surgical procedure are also recommended depending on individual cases. 


Prolapsed Disc

Prolapsed disc refers to any problems affecting the rubber cushion between individual bones which make up the spine. A prolapsed disk may irritate all the surrounding nerves thus resulting to numbness, weakness and pain on the back. However, some people do not experience any symptoms.

Treatment: There are several ways to get prolapsed disc under control: 

  • Over the counter pain medications like Advil and naproxen are given to those who have mild pain. 

  • Physical therapy, such as heat or cold compress and bracing the neck and lower back for a short time,  are effective in correcting the wrong position and easing the pain.

  • Surgical procedure is suggested by doctor, if all the conservative treatment did not improve the condition.


Kidney Infections

The lower back pain on left side caused by kidney infection may result to kidney swelling and sharp aching pain. Patients who suffer with these conditions are very sensitive even to the slightest touch in the flank region. With kidney infection, you may also experience high fever, vomiting and nausea. 

Treatment: Kidney infection should be treated timely with intravenous antibiotics to treat the infection and prevent further damages to kidneys.


Kidney Stones

Kidney stones occur when a stone is formed in the ureter, a slender tube that links the kidney to the bladder. If the urine flow is blocked, the urine may back up into the kidney resulting in back pain and swollen kidneys. Instead of steady and continuous pain, this pain comes in waves.

Treatment: For mild kidney stones, drinking enough water, take painkillers like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) and take prescribed medications to pass the kidney stones. For severe kidney stones, sound waves and surgeries are needed to break the stones and get them out of your body. 



Lower back pain may be caused by malignant or benign tumors. Those tumors may be  primary tumors originated in the pelvis, the bone of the spine or the spinal cord, or metastatic tumors originated elsewhere but spread to the lower back. Tumors can cause localized pain, severe pain and even loss of muscle function. 

Treatment: Tumors are often detected through imaging tests like X-rays, nuclear bone scanning, MRI and CAT scanning. If you suspect a tumor is the cause of your lower back pain on left side, visit a doctor as soon as possible.

When to See a Doctor

In most cases of lower back pain on left side can heal on its own and may not require a doctor’s visit, however, you have to visit your health care provider if:

  • Your back pain is severe;

  • The pain gets worse at night;

  • Back pain is accompanied with unexplained weight loss,  chest pain, high fever, chronic back pain which does not ease after rest;

  • You have numbness in the genital area, loss control of the bladder or bowel.

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  • ElizaOct.19 12:12
    time to time I get severe back pain on the left side and when I massage it swells
  • HelenOct.15 01:12
    i have pain on left lower side and back it hurts when i set its hard to get back up?
  • Janis GreerOct.11 23:07
    I have lower back pain on my left side when I walk it's fide but when I sit down it starts to hurt but when I lay down it hurts worse and its like a sharp pain shooting up my left side in my back.
  • regOct.4 01:36
    I have a back pain on the lower left part, feels like a bone is not on the right angle or what , hard to explain. And every morning my wrist hurts too, is it arthritis? i had difficulty sleeping because of my back pain.
  • MelinaSep.9 06:51
    My lower back pain is UNBEARABLE. I can't sit properly, I can lay down properly, but when I walk it isn't there (unless it's right away from sitting down to standing up) I've tried massaging it thinking it was a pinched nerve but I can't pinpoint the area. So it must not be muscle tissue unless it's where I can't reach it. I've gotten my other half to try and crack my lower back, in hope of it feeling so much better but no crack, and I can't pinpoint it. I lose sleep over it, and I can't for the life of me, be comfortable in any way. I'm losing my mind.
  • limor noy (h)Aug.20 21:46
    i forgot DRINK TONS OF WATER! avoid soda, avoid all sugarie stuff... u be the doctor and see what works. the other day i burned my slef on my hand so i put vinegar, but it burnt. then i cut a lemon and rubbed it on my hand. that gave me an idea. i went to the store bought a couple of lemons rubbed it on my back and front and my feet and face and after a while i showered and i felt good! however the next day i ate a lot of non gluten food and now am in horrible pain. steps to remove the pain which i do. 1. ice it. 2.rice it on a sock. freeze it the sock with the rice and put on back. 3. rub lemon on it or have someone do it, if u can tolerate lemon, some can not. 4. cleanse u rself. ask doctor if that is okay. 5. have bowl movement. 6. laugh don't cry. 7. pray. 8. the chair u sit on and the bed may cause the back problem, 9. the clothes u wear. 10. someone did something to u and u had no idea and they drugged u and u woke up to this sharp pain? 11. drink tons of water. 12. cook food don't fry! 13. check which food if any u r intolerant to. 14. receive a lot of love from people and if the r against u then look at the animals birds cats dogs anything and u will be rewarded with a chip a bark or a meow. 15. fill in the blank. 16. take luke warm showers i think. 17. feel better and good luck.
  • limor noy (h)Aug.20 21:33
    some times the pain can be because of no bowl movement or metal in the teeth once u do a cleanising on the body and remove the metal if u have on u r teeth u should feel better. i am gluten free, though i was tested but i was told i could eat all the gluten i want, yet when ever i do i have this pain so now i have eaten for it is cheap non gluten food and i am in horrible pain. since i live alone and have no friends to help me i hope everyday will be better. i have put ice on the pain and have done some exercise that i learned in p.t for my leg...hopefully it will go away. so...do a cleanising diet ask dr. first. 2. go gluten and see if the pain goes away. 3. do back exericise. 4. smile, laugh it takes away the pain, anger increases the pain. 5. at least u have someone to help u i got none, people just stare at me when i have pain, be happy u ain't me. and hopefully everything will go away slowly
  • amaan797Aug.20 14:23
    I have pain in the extreme left of my lower back it is not the tip of waist but just beside and bit higher it it is not muscle pain neither it feels like it is in my bone it feels like it's somewhat in between them both it hurts when I walk after sitting for a while but it goes away if I walk a bit but for that time it hurts just too much i stop my breath and make pressure this helps reduce the pain this happens if I walk for a while and then sit as well it hurts but goes away if I sit for a while this happened before and I thought it was because of how i sit so I started sitting straight but at the same time I was having medication for muscle flex so i don't know what this is I would like to know what this is because not knowing makes me even more worried
  • TjhensonJul.31 14:18
    I'm having a lower left back pain and also my left leg has a pain to. I'm expecting this is a kidney infection or what? I drink a lot of water and coconut juice, should I go for unrine test? I don't feel like vomiting, light headed, or having a fever. What should I do? I couldn't move that much because of the pain.. My left leg feels like a bit heavy and a bit warm/cold. Feels weird on my left leg..
  • Samantha JansenJun.30 05:23
    I went to doctor for this pain, suspecting it had to be my kidney, and I have a kidney infection. The pain was on the left, it shoots most of the way up my back. I took 1 round of antibiotic, no improvement, urine was worse, went back and they switched medicine and are now saying I need to finish this antibiotic before I come back. I was given muscle relaxers, no relief. I noticed today there's a small bump that sticks out in the same place that hurts when I press on it. I don't think that could be related to my kidneys?
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