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Same day dispatch
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Left Side Of Back Pain: Causes And Treatment Options

A man with holding his lower back in pain.

The left side of the back pain can occur in various areas of the back, such as the lower, middle, or upper back. It can be caused by various factors. Some common causes include muscle strain, herniated discs, or kidney infections. Treatment options for this type of condition may include medications, hot or cold compresses, gentle stretches, and TENS therapy. However, people should consult a medical professional for a proper diagnosis and guidance.

Living with left-side backaches can be extremely uncomfortable and limit people’s ability to perform simple tasks. The constant discomfort can affect their productivity, sleep, and overall well-being. On top of that, individuals may find themselves feeling anxious and frustrated with their situation. Ignoring the pain can lead to further complications and potentially worsen the condition. This article will present the causes of back aches on the left side, including the treatment options.

What Are The Common Causes Of Left Side Of Back Pain

Various factors can trigger back pain on the left side, spanning from minor injuries to more severe underlying health issues. Muscle strain stands out as a frequent cause of such discomfort. This situation arises when the back muscles stretch or tear due to factors like poor posture, excessive use, or lifting heavy objects.

Another common cause is a herniated disc. In this scenario, a spinal disc sustains an injury or fractures, putting pressure on the nearby nerves. The pressure on the nerve roots causes intense pain and hampers movement. Neglecting treatment can lead to permanent nerve damage, compounding the individual’s difficulties.

Furthermore, kidney infections can also cause left-side back pain. Bacteria invade the urinary tract and spread to the kidneys, leading to the development of these infections. In addition to back pain, individuals may feel abdominal pain, experience frequent urination, and develop a fever. It is essential to seek medical attention for kidney infections, as they can advance to more severe complications.

Risk Factors

  • Chronic pancreatitis: inflammation of the pancreas can radiate to the back.
  • Spinal injury: any trauma or injury to the spine can lead to back pain. This includes fractures, dislocations, or damage to the spinal cord.
  • Kidney stones: when they form and pass through the urinary tract, they can cause severe pain in the lower back or sides.
  • Bad posture: it can put a strain on the muscles and ligaments of the back.
  • Musculoskeletal conditions: conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, or fibromyalgia can increase the risk of back pain.
  • Heavy lifting: frequent heavy lifting or improper techniques can strain the back muscles.


A man holding his lower back.

Treating Left Side Of Back Pain With Medications

When it comes to treating back pain on the left side, there are several medications that can provide relief and help manage the pain symptoms. Firstly, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They work by reducing inflammation, which can help alleviate chronic or acute pain. These over-the-counter pain relievers can be effective in easing discomfort and improving range of motion.

Secondly, muscle relaxants. They function by reducing muscle tension, which can be a common symptom in conditions like poor posture or musculoskeletal issues. Muscle relaxants can help relieve pain and improve flexibility, allowing for better mobility and overall comfort. It is important to note that muscle relaxants may cause drowsiness. Therefore, healthcare professionals advise individuals not to drive while consuming these medications.

Lastly, doctors may prescribe opioids to manage chronic pain. Opioids work by blocking pain signals to the brain, providing intense pain relief. However, due to their potential for addiction, opioids should be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional. It is crucial to discuss the risks and potential benefits of opioids as a treatment option for left-side back pain.

When To See A Doctor

Recognising when to see a doctor holds significant importance for individuals with left-side back pain. If someone undergoes intense pain, they should reach out to a healthcare professional for consultation. Severe pain might signify a range of underlying health conditions, such as kidney stones, kidney infections, spinal stenosis, or even spinal injuries.

Additionally, if the pain persists for more than a few days, individuals should consult a doctor for proper medical attention. The situation becomes particularly concerning when the pain worsens over time or significantly restricts daily activities. Any additional symptoms such as numbness, weakness, or loss of bowel should be carefully noted.


A woman with iTENS on her forearm is placing iTENS to another person's lower back.

Home Treatments For Left Side Of Back Pain

Back pain on the left side often accompanies various medical conditions. While medical treatment may be essential in some cases, home remedies can also provide relief. Applying hot or cold compresses proves effective. A hot compress, like a heating pad, relaxes muscles and boosts blood flow. On the other hand, a cold compress, such as an ice pack wrapped in a towel, reduces swelling and numbs the area.

Gentle stretches and exercises can also be beneficial. Engaging in regular physical activity can improve flexibility, strengthen the core muscles, and help prevent further injury. However, before starting any exercise routine, it is important to consult a healthcare professional or physical therapist. This step ensures proper technique and helps avoid aggravating the condition.

Another home treatment option is Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) therapy. This involves the use of a small device, like iTENS, that delivers electrical impulses to the affected area through electrodes. These impulses can help block pain signals and promote the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. Moreover, TENS therapy can be done at home and provides temporary relief.

Other Methods

Other methods to diagnose and treat left-side back pain go beyond home treatments and medication. One method that can provide valuable insights is a spinal tap. During this procedure, a healthcare professional collects a small sample of cerebrospinal fluid from the lower back for further analysis.

Another diagnostic option is a bone scan, which uses a small amount of radioactive material injected into the bloodstream. It can help reveal issues like fractures, infections, or tumours that may be contributing to left-side back pain. Additionally, blood tests can provide valuable information about potential health conditions that may be causing the pain.


People with back pain on the left side should be aware of potential causes. These include muscle strain, herniated discs, and kidney infections. Timely medical attention and appropriate interventions are crucial to prevent complications. The treatment through medications offers a multifaceted approach. NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, and opioids, under professional guidance, can provide effective pain relief. Moreover, home treatments present practical alternatives. Hot and cold compresses, gentle stretches, and TENS therapy offer accessible relief options.

Furthermore, individuals experiencing left-side back pain must recognise when to see a doctor at the appropriate time. If the pain’s intensity persists, worsens over time, or if they experience accompanying symptoms, consulting a healthcare professional becomes crucial. Additionally, healthcare providers can utilise diagnostic procedures such as spinal taps, bone scans, and blood tests. These methods offer valuable insights to accurately identify and address the root causes of left-side back pain.

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