When To See Your Doctor
Mild, short-lived pain in the lower left abdomen that goes away on its own typically does not require medical care. But pain in this area that persists, recurs, progresses or is severe should never be ignored, as this symptom might signal a serious medical problem.
According to Dr. Borkar, pain on the lower left side that comes with lower back pain, unintentional weight loss, severe or worsening abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting and blood in the stool all require a trip to your GI doctor for an evaluation.
General Health And Lifestyle Issues
If youre a woman, lower left back pain may be a symptom of a gynecological disorder.
And, if youre overweight , this could be the culprit behind any pain you have in the left side of your lower back.
Generally speaking, weight loss and a healthy diet and lifestyle can significantly reduce lower back pain.
Treatment For Upper Left Back Pain
Maintaining a healthy weight, along with a habit of cardio and strength workouts will help to prevent upper left back pain in the first place. Practicing good posture can also decrease the likelihood of this type of aggravating pain.
When upper left back pain persists, however, it may be time to consider a number of different treatment approaches.
5 Types of Treatment for Pain in the Upper Back on the Left Side:
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What Can Cause Lower Back Pain
Most acute low back pain is mechanical in nature, meaning that there is a disruption in the way the components of the back fit together and move. Some examples of mechanical causes of low back pain include:
- Skeletal irregularities such as scoliosis , lordosis , kyphosis , and other congenital anomalies of the spine.
- Spina bifida which involves the incomplete development of the spinal cord and/or its protective covering and can cause problems involving malformation of vertebrae and abnormal sensations and even paralysis.
- Sprains , strains , and spasms
- Traumatic Injury such as from playing sports, car accidents, or a fall that can injure tendons, ligaments, or muscle causing the pain, as well as compress the spine and cause discs to rupture or herniate.
- Intervertebral disc degeneration which occurs when the usually rubbery discs wear down as a normal process of aging and lose their cushioning ability.
- Spondylosis the general degeneration of the spine associated with normal wear and tear that occurs in the joints, discs, and bones of the spine as people get older.
- Arthritis or other inflammatory disease in the spine, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis as well as spondylitis, an inflammation of the vertebrae.
Nerve and spinal cord problems
When To See A Provider About One
If you have pain in the left or right side of your backthat started for no particular reason, it will most often resolve on its own orwith minimal treatment, says Dr. DeMicco. Typically, we see 50% of casesresolving within two weeks and 75% resolving by six to eight weeks.
Have you been dealing with intense pain for 10 days andover-the-counter pain relievers arent cutting it? Time to call your doctor,who may recommend:
- Stronger medicines: Prescription-strength muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory medications could take the edge off as your body heals.
- Manipulation: A physical therapist, chiropractor or osteopath could perform hands-on treatment that deliver relief.
If your pain extends beyond six weeks, your doctor willlikely recommend imaging, says Dr. DeMicco. An X-ray is usually the firststep to ensure there isnt a broken bone or some other obvious reason for thepain.
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What Is Low Back Pain
The low back, also called the lumbar region, is the area of the back that starts below the ribcage. Almost everyone has low back pain at some point in life. Itâs one of the top causes of missed work in the U.S. Fortunately, it often gets better on its own. When it doesn’t, your doctor may be able to help with several effective treatments.
Is Lower Right Left Or Back Pain A Cause For Worry
Experiencing pain on one side of your back is not necessarily more alarming than central pain. See, there are two main types of one-sided back pain – back pain that could occur on either side but just happens to be on the left or right exclusively. Most ordinary back pain tends to be more pronounced on one side. The other is back pain referred to as a small category, one that comes specifically from structures that exist only on one side.
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How Is It Treated
Treating your left rib cage pain depends on whats causing it. If its related to any type of inflammation, your doctor will likely recommend you take NSAIDs to reduce pain and swelling.
In some cases, you may need an antibiotic to clear up a bacterial infection. In rare cases, you may need surgery. For example, if a kidney stone is too large to pass through your body on its own, your doctor may need to surgically remove it.
When To See A Doctor For Pain In Lower Left Back
Diagnosing the underlying cause of lower left back pain can be a challenge. Therefore, if you have back pain that lasts for more than 2 days and you cant get relief using home remedies for back pain, you should see a doctor.
According to Dr. Louise Chang on WebMD, some of the warning signs of lower left back pain that means you should see a doctor include the following:26
- Lower back pain or middle back pain accompanied by a fever.
- Trauma to your back that causes pain that lasts for more than a few days and doesnt get better.
- Numbness in your legs or constant tingling feeling down one or both legs.
- Loss of bowel or bladder function as a result of a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or fracture to the spine.
- Lower back pain on either side of your body that interferes with your daily activities or sleep.
- Lower back pain that becomes chronic and last for longer than 6 weeks.
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What Is The Prognosis For Low Back Pain
The outlook for low back pain absolutely depends on its precise cause. For example, acute strain injuries generally heal entirely with minimal treatment. On the other hand, bony abnormalities that are irritating the spinal cord can require significant surgical repair and the outlook depends on the surgical result. Long-term optimal results often involve exercise rehabilitation programs that can involve physical therapists.
Lower Left Back Pain From The Spinal Column
Lower left back pain can also be caused by damage or injury to the structures in the spinal column, including the vertebrae, spinal joints, and connective tissues. The most common issues of the spinal column include:
The first course of action for these conditions is usually non-surgical treatment, including manual manipulation, massage therapy, physical therapy, and/or over-the-counter or prescription pain medication. Treatments vary according to the condition and the patientâs symptoms. Surgical treatment is considered when back pain is so persistent or severe that it interferes with a patientâs ability to function.
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Less Common Sources Of Lower Left Back Pain
Other conditions causing lower left back pain may include either local problems with the spine or far-reaching conditions affecting the overall musculoskeletal system, such as:
- Degenerative spondylolisthesis, in which one vertebra slips forward over the one below it due to normal degenerative changes in the spineâs discs and joints. It is common for this condition to cause radicular pain on one side of the back.
- Chronic pain syndromes, such as fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome, which cause full-body musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness in areas called trigger points.
Read more about chronic pain syndromes on Arthrits-health.com.
Other possible causes are relatively rare, such as a spinal tumor, fracture, or an infection in the lower left spine.
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Who Is Most Often Affected
People who are most likely to experience lower right back pain include the following.
- Right-handed individuals: When the right hand is dominant, this causes the right side of the body to receive more use and become stronger. This can throw the body out of balance and cause additional strain and injury on the right side.
- People over 50: Wear-and-tear of the spinal discs are more common among those in this age group.
- People under 50: Ruptured spinal discs are more common among those in this age group.
- People who play a strenuous sport
- People who sit often
- People who are overweight or obese
- Workers who lift heavy objects
- Anyone in a car accident
Is Lower Right Back Pain Serious
Lower right back pain can vary in severity. You will probably have the best idea of your pain level and when you should see a physician.
- Not serious: Mild pain may come on fairly suddenly after exercise and responds to rest and over-the-counter pain relievers.
- Moderately serious: In some cases, an injury that at first seems minor can become worse over time. Back injuries can easily become chronic if not treated quickly.
- Serious: If your back pain interferes with your normal activities and is becoming severe, you should see a physician as soon as possible.
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Other Causes Of Lower Left Back Pain
Does the pain in your lower left side extend through your buttocks?
This might be a sign that you have a tightened sacroiliac joint. Thats the joint that connects the base of your spine to your pelvis.
The protection around the sacroiliac joint is less effective than other back joints.
Thats because your sacroiliac doesnt have a disc. When a tightening of the sacroiliac jointoccurs, you might feel pain in your buttocks, too.
Because as your sacroiliac joint tightens, so do the surrounding muscles and ligaments.
If it is your sacroiliac joint, many people find relief with chiropractic adjustments.
If youre experiencing lower left back pain or left side back pain, youll want to keep a few other conditions in mind. Things like:
Lower Left Back Pain From Your Internal Organs
If muscle strain or an issue with your spinal structures is not identified as the cause of your symptoms, your doctor will likely then look at your internal organs. Although it is less common, your lower left back pain may be provoked by a variety of problem with your internal organs, including:
Muscle Strain Or Sciatica
Muscle strain is often the cause of back pain from heavy lifting or vigorous exercise. But sometimes itâs due to small jelly-filled disks meant to protect the space between vertebrae. When one of these disks bulges or breaks, it can push on a nerve. When itâs the sciatic nerve, pain runs from the buttock down one leg. This is sciatica.
When To Seek Medical Care For Back Pain
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has identified 11 red flagsthat doctors look for when evaluating a person with back pain. The focus of these red flags is to detect fractures , infections, or tumors of the spine. Presence of any of the following red flags associated with low back pain should prompt a visit to your doctor as soon as possible for complete evaluation.
- Recent significant trauma such as a fall from a height, motor vehicle accident, or similar incident
- Recent mild trauma in those older than 50 years of age: A fall down a few steps or slipping and landing on the buttocks may be considered mild trauma.
- History of prolonged steroid use: People with asthma, COPD, and rheumatic disorders, for example, may be given this type of medication.
- Anyone with a history of osteoporosis: An elderly woman with a history of a hip fracture, for example, would be considered high risk.
- Any person older than 70 years of age: There is an increased incidence of cancer, infections, and abdominal causes of the pain.
- Prior history of cancer
- Unexplained weight loss
The presence of any of the above would justify a visit to a hospital’s emergency department, particularly if your family doctor is unable to evaluate you within the next 24 hours.
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How Long Does Lower Back Pain Usually Last
Lower back pain can be categorized as acute, subacute or chronic. Acute episodes of lower back pain usually last from a few days to 4 weeks and subacute lower back pain lasts between 4 to 12 weeks. However, according to the National Institutes of Health, about 20 percent of people with acute back pain go on to develop chronic back paindefined as pain that lasts 12 weeks or longer. Even in these cases, there are many different treatment options to help relieve lower back pain symptoms.
When your back is really killing you, you might worry something is seriously wrong. The same goes for back pain that seems unending. The good news is that while back pain is a major inconvenience, it is rarely an urgent medical issue. In fact, most of the time you dont have to treat it. Back pain usually resolves on its own unless you have a major underlying issue.
What Does Pain In Left Lower Side Of Stomach And Back Mean
Pain in left lower side of stomach and back is quite a challenge to diagnose. The left lower side of your abdomen is also referred to as Left Lower Quadrant in medical terms. While dealing with abdominal pain, common as well as serious clinical conditions must be kept into mind.
1. Colitis The parts ofthe colon on the left side are the splenic flexure and the descending colon. Inflammation and infection of the inner lining of the colon is called Colitis. Colitis may be acute or chronic.
Causes Cause of colitis is widespread it could be infective, autoimmune, caused by the use of medications, drugs, alcohol or certain food substances.
Signs and Symptoms Severe abdominal pain and tenderness. Fever, loss of appetite, weakness and occasionally bloody diarrhea may be seen.
2. Diverculitis This is an inflammatory condition of abnormally formed diverticuli in the wall of the colon. Obesity, hereditary factors, lack of exercise, low vitamin D levels, smoking and alcohol abuse and use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are probable risk factors for developing diverticulitis.
Signs and Symptoms Acute onset of pain in the left lower side of stomach. There may be fever, diarrhea or constipation and bloody stools will be seen in complicated cases of diverticulitis.
3. Inflammatory Bowel Disease This term covers two major entities affecting the large and small intestine-Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis.
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.
Pain In Lower Left Side Of Stomach And Back Causes Treatment Remedies
Pain is an unpleasant subjective sensation which is capable of causing significant discomfort. Pain in any part of the body can also often disable a person can disrupt his/ her daily routine activities.
Stomach pain, for the matter, is one of the most common complaints with which people present to the clinic. It also accounts for the maximum number of leaves for both children as well as adults. Similarly, back pain is also one of the most commonly occurring complaints especially among the adult population. According to a study, an estimate of about 60-80% population experience back pain at least once in their lifetime.
Back pain can be due to a cause within the back or spinal cord or it may be referred from adjacent body structures in presence of some disease or infirmity. Stomach pain and back pain can be acute or chronic, depending entirely upon the onset, duration and progress of the patients complaints.
Plenty of genetic as well as environmental factors play a role in the development of pain in lower left hand side of stomach and back.
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Common Causes Of Lower Left Back Pain
Theres no single cause for pain in the lower left side of your back. And it can take some time to figure out the root cause of your problem.
But here are a few of the most common causes:
- Muscle imbalances
- Inflammation caused by diet
- Compression of one of the lumbar nerves, sacral nerve or the sciatic nerve
This is far from a definitive list and Ill tell you about a few more you should know about in just a minute. But first I want to talk a little more about muscle imbalances.
In more than a decade of researching the true causes of lower back pain , I find muscle imbalances to be the least understood .