Heartburn Or Acid Reflux
Acid reflux or heartburn is another common cause of pain under the left rib cage. If you have eaten too much acidic food or drinks, you may feel a bloated feeling or a sharp burning sensation in your upper chest, which feels like a heart attack. According to the Mayo Clinic, heartburn may also be a symptom of a heart attack.
You can treat heartburn with medications such as Dexlansoprazole, Esomeprazole, or Lansoprazole. You should also give yourself plenty of rest and avoid food that causes acid reflux.
Muscle Strain In Back
Sometimes, you may experience pain in your lower back due to muscle strain or a pulled muscle. This could be because you slept in an awkward position, you slipped down the stairs, or jerked while moving. Such movements, like jerking or bad positioning for an extended amount of time, may tear or over-stretch your muscle. This type of injury is medically termed as muscle strain. Muscle strain is one of the most common causes of lower back pain, therefore, a doctor would most likely examine the following
- Tenderness in the area
- Muscle weakness
- Uneasiness while performing a motion exercise
While the condition can be quite painful, this type of lower back pain can sometimes recover itseld within 3-4 weeks.
Muscle Strain Or Sprain
A muscle strain or sprain is the most common cause of low back pain.
A strain is a tear or stretching in a tendon or muscle, while a sprain is a tear or stretching in a ligament.
Sprains and strains usually happen when you twist or lift something improperly, lift something heavy, or overstretch your back muscles.
These injuries can cause swelling, difficulty moving, and back spasms.
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How To Treat Low Back Pain
- Over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen to relieve pain and inflammation.
- Prescription drugs like muscle relaxants or pain relievers can provide short-term relief.
- Over-the-counter topical creams, gels, patches, or sprays with lidocaine, menthol, or capsaicin stimulate nerves in the skin, dulling pain. They can be particularly helpful for localized pain due to sore muscles.
- Hot or cold pads may help ease pain, reduce inflammation, and improve mobility.
- Core exercises that strengthen your abs and muscles lining the spine may help take the stress off the back, Rosner says. Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program to make sure the exercises are right for your condition.
- Mindfulness-based stress reduction , an eight-week program of meditation and gentle yoga, can improve chronic lower back pain.
Muscle Imbalances And Trigger Points
To help you sit, stand, walk, run and otherwise be active, the muscles, bones, and joints of the body have an uncanny way of “robbing from Peter to pay Paul,” so to speak. It’s all in the name of keeping you balanced and moving.
But for whatever reason the balance that’s established is often not the most ideal, leading to some muscles getting very tight, and others becoming overstretched and taut. In this case, you may develop painful spasms or trigger points on one side of the body or the other.
Muscles commonly affected include your quadratus lumborum which is your flank muscle and your gluteus medius which is located at the side of your hip, and plays a key role in keeping you from excessive side to side movement. Both can lead to pain on the right side of your back, depending on the nature of the imbalance.
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Constipation From Not Eating Enough Fiber
Constipation is defined as having stools which are large, hard, and difficult to pass. This leaves the person feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Many things can cause constipation, and a common one is lack of fiber in the diet.
To determine whether lack of fiber is causing the constipation, all other causes are first ruled out:
- Not drinking enough water, sometimes to the point of dehydration.
- Lack of exercise, which helps increase blood circulation and therefore motility of the bowel.
- A very low or no-fat diet.
- A need for probiotics, which replenish the “good” bacteria in the gut.
- Medications, or certain illnesses, which have a constipating effect.
- Constantly ignoring the feeling of needing to move the bowels, and delaying going to the toilet.
If fiber is needed, the best sources are fresh vegetables fresh or dried fruits and whole wheat and brown rice, because those include the fiber-rich bran. Over-the-counter fiber tablets can be tried, though laxatives should only be used if recommended by a medical provider.
Top Symptoms: constipation, constipation, pain in the lower left abdomen, pain when passing stools, feeling of needing to constantly pass stool
Symptoms that always occur with constipation from not eating enough fiber: constipation, constipation
Symptoms that never occur with constipation from not eating enough fiber: vomiting
Physical Therapy For Treating Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain needs to be evaluated by a doctor in order to find out whether an internal organ is causing it, or exactly what the source of the pain is. Imaging studies and other tests will reveal the cause of your symptoms.
Lower back pain can be relieved without medication or surgery by employing physical therapy. Here at Endeavor Physical Therapy & Wellness, our experienced medical team provides superior and individualized physical therapy programs for our patients. Our licensed and skilled physical therapists will work with you to relieve your lower back pain and to make your body stronger and more flexible.
If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment with us, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at 284-7192 or by filling out our easy-to-use appointment request form online now. We proudly serve Austin, Round Rock, Manor, Pflugerville, Cedar Park, Bee Caves, and Hutto and we look forward to helping you enjoy less back pain and more living!
How To Treat Lower Left Back Pain
One of the best ways to treat lower left back pain or pain on the right side of your lower back is to apply a heat pad. Heat helps to increase blood circulation to the sore muscles and ligaments to speed up the healing process. This type of pain-relief treatment for lower left back pain can be used to relieve back pain caused by strained muscles, inflammation of internal organs, or back pain associated with a womans menstrual cycle.
For information on when to use cold or heat pack for muscle strain and injury, please read my article on using cold and heat therapy for muscle pain and stiff joints.
Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD says that heat packs are a great way for relieving lower back pain, upper back pain, muscle spasms, abdominal cramping, fibromyalgia, stiff joints, and easing reduced joint movement in the lower back.25
How to Use:
This is how to make your own heat pack at home to ease lower left back pain:
Muscle Strain In Lower Left Back
Muscle strain is another type of injury that can cause left-sided lower back pain and affect your daily activities. The resulting pain from the lower back injury can be mild to severe, depending on the extent of strain to the muscles, tendons, or ligaments of the lower back.
According to research published in the journal BMJ, low back strain and pain in the lumbar region is the leading cause of missed days at work and is becoming a global epidemic. Many medical professionals point to carrying heavy bags as a common reason for lower back pain at work.5
Dr. Melissa Conrad Stöppler on MedicineNet says that acute lower back pain on the left side can be lumbar strain caused by overuse of the back muscles, incorrectly lifting heavy items, or carrying heavy bags. This results in microscopic tears in the tissues in the lower back. This causes back pain in the lumbar region when walking, getting up from a chair or bending over.3
To treat acute and chronic back pain, you can find some useful ideas in my article on how to get rid of muscle soreness. You should also try to improve your posture to prevent back pain causing discomfort in your daily activities.
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Lower Right Back Pain Symptoms
The back provides both strength and stability to the entire body, leaving it vulnerable to many kinds of injury. It’s possible for even severe back pain to be confined to just one side of the back. When the pain is entirely on the lower right side, it may suggest a specific type of injury or illness, and it’s important to have it examined. Low back pain is also called lumbago or sciatica.
Muscle Sprain Or Strain
This is the most common cause of pain, particularly of the right or left side of your lower back, says Dr. Gharibo. It often pops up because of poor posture, body mechanics, and deconditioning .
Lifting something incorrectly or attempting to lift too much weight can lead to lower back pain, Dr. Gharibo says. You might feel a spasm when this happens, like your muscle is contracting quickly and painfully.
If you experienced an event that led to a strain or spasm, the obvious next step is to avoid repeating that same activity. Lying down for a short period of time will take the pressure off of your spine, which may help relieve some of the discomfort, according to Dr. Gharibo.
If you dont have conditions that stop you from taking certain medications, Dr. Gharibo suggests taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, too. He recommends acetaminophen and ibuprofen taken together to help aid the aches. If one pill doesnt work, two may better control the issue, he says.
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Sharp Lower Left Back Pain From Kidney Stones
Internal organs, such as the kidney or colon, can cause sharp pain to manifest in the lower left back. Patients may feel sharp lower left back pain when a stone moves inside the left kidney, or moves through the thin tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder. Once a kidney stone begins to move through the ureters, patients may notice a combination of symptoms, which include:
- Sharp lower left back pain, below the ribs
- Fever and chill
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Pink, red, or brown urine
- Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
- Stinging pain when urinating
Kidney stones form when a patients urine contains more crystal-forming substances such as calcium, oxalate and uric acid than the fluid can dilute. Alternatively, a patients urine may lack substances that prevent crystals from sticking together, thereby creating the ideal setting for kidney stone formation. Understanding the type of kidney stone affecting a patient can help with treatment and prevention. The types of kidney stone include:
- Calcium Stones: the most common type for metabolic conditions
- Struvite Stones: formed in response to an infection and may be asymptomatic
- Uric Acid Stones: formed in people who dont drink enough fluids or lose too much fluid, eat a high-protein diet, or have gout
- Cystine Stones: formed in people with a hereditary disorder that causes the kidneys to excrete too much of certain amino acids
How Is It Diagnosed
Diagnosis comes through several options which are usually done in combination for a more accurate diagnosis. Your doctor will start with a physical exam which may include pressing in the area of your hip or your buttocks and moving your legs.
In order to identify that the pain in in your sacroiliac joint and not somewhere else in your lower back, your doctor may decide inject a numbing medication directly into the joint. However, this is not always an accurate test since the medication can spread to other areas.
You doctor might also send you for an X-ray to confirm. An MRI might be used if your doctor thinks you might have ankylosing spondylitis.
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What Else Could It Be
These lists of possible causes for LLQ are by no means exhaustive and there are many other conditions that can cause pain in the LLQ. Problems in your spine or back could be ‘referred’. Referred pain in this situation means that it is coming from your back but you are feeling it around the front. Muscular pulls and sprains can also affect you in the tummy area. If this is the case, moving the particular muscle would make the pain worse, whereas if you were to lie completely still, it wouldn’t hurt.
Pain Coming From A Problem With Your Heart
Problems with your heart more usually cause a pain in your chest. However, again the chest and tummy cavities are very close together and sometimes it may feel more as though the pain is in your upper tummy. Heart problems which might do this include:
- Angina. Pain usually comes on as you exert yourself and settles when you rest.
- A heart attack . Pain is sudden and crushing. There may also be pain in the left arm or jaw, and you may feel generally very unwell and/or short of breath. Call an ambulance immediately if you think you are having a heart attack.
- Pericarditis. This is an inflammation of the surrounding sac of the heart. More typically it gives you chest pain, usually with a fever.
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Back Pain Culprit: Chronic Conditions
Several chronic conditions can lead to low back pain.
- Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, which can put pressure on the spinal nerves.
- Ankylosing spondylitis inflames the joints of the spine, and sometimes the shoulders, hips, ribs, and other areas too. It causes chronic back pain and stiffness. In serious cases, spinal vertebrae start to fuse .
- Fibromyalgia causes widespread muscle aches, including back pain.
When To Worry About Back Pain Thats Only On The Left Or Right Side
Unless you experienced an obvious cause, like a fall, you probably arent dealing with a fracture that requires special care, says spine specialist Russell DeMicco, DO. Rarely do you need to worry just because your pain is only on the left side or right side of the back.
The exceptions are:
- Age: An older adult may experience a minor injury that results in a more serious condition either because they have low bone density, or they developed arthritis that causes pain.
- Athleticism: Athletes may experience greater musculoskeletal wear and tear than the general population. Theyre often more vulnerable to fractures, herniated disks or arthritis.
Symptoms Of Low Back Pain
These might range from a dull ache to a stabbing or shooting sensation. The pain may make it hard to move or stand up straight. Pain that comes on suddenly is âacute.â It might happen during sports or heavy lifting. Pain that lasts more than 3 months is considered âchronic.â If your pain is not better within 72 hours, you should consult a doctor.
Lower Left Back Pain: Causes Treatments And When To See A Doctor
Lower left back pain is a condition that affects many people young and old. Very often, lower back pain affects just one side of your body and can cause discomfort ranging from mild aches to agonizing sharp pain. Lower back pain is also called lumbago because it causes discomfort in your lumbar region or lower back. This is the area in your lower back that is above your hips and below the bottom of your back rib cage. Muscle injury, nerve damage, or problems with internal organs can all result in pain in the lower left back side.
Lower left back pain may also cause other painful symptoms on the left-hand side of your body. For example, if pinched nerves are causing you pain in your lower left back, you might have a tingling sensation or shooting pains down your left leg. However, it can be difficult to diagnose the exact cause of lower back pain on the left side. Kidney infections and kidney stones can cause pain that radiates to your left lower back or right back. Also, many women experience back pain in their left lumbar region because of problems with their reproductive system.
In this article, you will learn about various causes of lower left back pain. You will also find out what to do if you suffer from aches and pains in your left back area below your ribcage.
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Internal Organs And Back Pain
If you havent had any injury in the recent past or if your spinal column is perfectly intact, then a doctor might take a look into your internal organs. Although this is a rare case, pain in your lower left hand side back may be provoked by a variety of internal organs related problems, including kidney stones, kidney infection, pancreatitis, ulcerative colitis etc.
Symptoms of this type of pain may vary. The reason for this is because these symptoms will depend on which organ is ultimately being affected. In order to identify this underlying problem, a doctor might take a look at your medical history and perform medical tests such as CT scans, blood tests or X-rays.