Top 12 Causes of lower back pain left side

Lower Back Pain On The Left Side

By Abdulrahman Hafez

When you are faced with lower back pain on the  left side, your first thoughts are:  “What is it? What could be causing this? What’s in that area of my body?”

Your body is multi-layered with anatomical structures. Surface skin covers it all, and if you peel back the skin, you’ll next find muscles, tendons and ligaments interspersed with nerves, arteries and veins. The muscles would amaze you because they are multi-layered and around the spine, there are short muscles, long muscles, broad muscles, and even circular muscles.

Underneath these muscles, you’ll find rib bones, spinal bones, the pelvis and sacrum, and the left kidney. The colon will also be right there. If you dig around that area, you’ll find the gall bladder, the pancreas and the reproductive organs. Thus, when you have lower back pain on the left side, one of those structures is causing the pain.

Knowing this, now you can know suspect 12 causes of what could be wrong. Let’s go through them all.


  1. Muscle imbalances

Since muscles are on the outer layers, it makes good sense to first consider that perhaps there’s a muscle imbalance occurring. Usually it’s a high left or right pelvis that starts to shift all the other associated ligaments and tendons, stretching or pulling them in a direction they don’t want to go.


  1. Tight buttocks or piriformis muscles

If muscles are tight, this squeezes the blood vessels and compresses the nerves that run through those muscles. Tight muscles are not usually the root cause though, as something is making them tight; usually a high hip, twisted spine, or something else out of alignment.


  1. Injury to the back muscles, joints, or ligaments

Whenever there’s an injury to the back muscles, joints or ligaments in the lower back, this could account for lower back pain on the left side. Perhaps you fell and hurt your back on the coffee table, slipped on ice or water and fell directly on your back in that area, or a blunt object hit you right in that place. Direct damage will obviously injure tissues and cause pain.


  1. Sciatica

The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body. It starts at the level of the spine and then travels all the way down to the foot. This nerve wraps itself around or within some structures along the way. The sciatic nerve is found within the buttocks muscle so tight gluteal muscles compress it and then can cause pain.

lower back pain

lower back pain


  1. Arthritis

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints in the body. Arthritis can occur in the spinal joints where the vertebrae fit together, or in other joints. With left side lower back pain, the only joints in the area are spinal joints.


  1. Urinary Tract Infection or Kidney Infection

Infections in the urinary tract and kidney can cause pain in the low back region. The bladder and the kidneys may refer pain to the back. This means their nerves – the ones that help you sense pain – have nerve pathways that go to the back. In other words, a part of your body won’t refer pain unless it has a nerve pathway. You wouldn’t have your thumb nail referring nerve sensations to your back to cause pain!


  1. Kidney Stones

The pain of a kidney stone is a cry from the kidney via the nerve sensations traveling along the nerve pathways. This is a common cause of lower back pain on the left side.


  1. Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition where the bone density is not strong. This makes the bone susceptible to falling apart. Osteoporosis in the spine is common in people who don’t eat a good diet. It’s found in both men and women alike.


When a vertebrae collapses because it got to the point it was so weakened that it could not withstand the forces on it, it may not always collapse like a pancake. Sometimes it will collapse to one side so it looks like a triangle. When this happens, there will be great amounts of pain because the muscles have to readjust.


  1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome

The colon contains nerves that refer to the back on the left and right side. This is why pain from bowel disorders may cause pain in the back.


  1. Gynecological Disorder

The same is true for the ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes. If these organs are in distress, then they will cry out by giving you abdominal pain or pain in the back, or both.


  1. Gall Bladder Stones

And the same is true for the gall bladder. If there is pain here due to stones blocking the passage, then pain could refer to the abdomen, the low back, or both.


  1. Pancreas Issues

This organ also can refer pain to the back.


If you have low back pain, your physician will diagnose your condition with what is wrong, based on this way of thinking. He’ll get down to the cause by differentially diagnosing each one of these, ruling them out one by one.

exercises to relief the back pain on left and right sides.

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