There are many causes of lower left back pain. Sometimes such conditions are temporary whereas, at other times, they can become chronic. Some conditions, however, are more common and are a direct result of health-related issues. The important thing to remember is that in all cases there are treatments that are effective and can reduce or eliminate pain entirely.
There are several things that should be considered in order to determine the potential causes of lumbar pain. Without this information, the wrong treatment could exacerbate the condition.
- Pain that increases when breathing
- Severity of lower back pain on a 1 to 10 scale during the majority of the day
- Whether or not pain interferes with sleep
- Activities that increase pain
- Health-related issues that may be causing lower back pain, such as pregnancy
- Pain during urination or when having a bowel movement
- Identifying when pain began
- Any incident that initiated a lower back pain episode
Causes Of Lower Left Back Pain
Lumbar pain is critical to good health. It can impact and limit many activities in life including walking, sitting, standing, climbing stairs, lifting, and many other movements. Unfortunately, ignoring pain can exacerbate the condition making it more difficult to treat. The first thing an individual should do is to consult with a doctor in order to identify the cause. Resolving issues could be as simple as taking an antibiotic for a few days. Here are a few of the most common causes.
- Lower left back pain is common during pregnancy. Hormonal changes and the growth of the uterus cause a shift in the center of gravity as well as stretches and weakens the abdominal muscles. This results in a change in body posture that often causes pressure on the lower back. Uterine growth can also press on nerves that result in lower back pain. As joints and ligaments attach to the pelvic bone become looser as the time of birth nears, pain often increases for longer periods of time as well as in intensity.
- Lower back pain can increase when breathing. This is often an indicator that the cause is associated with a muscular injury or other health-related issue. Cardiac and pulmonary problems often radiate into lower lumbar pain even though the cause is not related to a back injury. More commonly, however, back pain in the lower left side is related to pressure on the sciatic nerve that results in muscle spasms. This is easier to identify and will often increase during sudden movements.
- An easily treatable condition that includes a symptom of lower left back pain is a kidney infection. As the sensitive capsule around the kidney expands, low back pain results. Often this begins as tenderness above the hips, but can expand to include radiating pain toward the genital area as the condition worsens. When accompanied with a fever, blood in the urine, and painful urination, a doctor should be consulted immediately.
What To Watch For
There are several key indicators when it comes to causes of lower left back pain, but intensity and type should be primary considerations. Back pain that is dull or sharp, shooting or consistent, its intensity, and whether or not it radiates to other parts of the body can actually help professionals identify the cause. This type of pain is often identified as acute or chronic. Chronic lumbar pain usually occurs intermittently meaning that after treatment is received, pain will ebb only to reoccur later. Acute pain is usually short-term and ceases after treatment has been received.
One should be wary of associating the intensity of the pain with the severity of the condition. Although a herniated disc may not feel severe, in actuality long-term damage may result if left untreated. Pain is the body’s way of letting an individual know something is wrong and, therefore, should never be ignored.
Lower Left Back Pain Treatment
Identifying causal factors for low back pain is the first step. Regardless of severity, how to relieve it will depend on causal factors. If left untreated the pain could increase resulting in long-term damage. A pulled back muscle needs a much different type of treatment than a kidney infection. Here are some tips for relieving pain that are dependent on causal factors:
- Exercise during pregnancy is important. Not only will it make the birthing process easier, but also helps maintain a healthy weight. When aches occur, lower back pain stretches can alleviate discomfort.
- Pain that results from a kidney infection requires antibiotics. Before it becomes severe, a doctor should be consulted so the proper medication can be prescribed.
- For a pulled back muscle alternating ice and heat while resting with feet elevated will help reduce inflammation and severity of the pain. However, rest should be limited and a doctor should be consulted so anti-inflammatory medication can be prescribed. The back requires lower back pain exercises in order to heal. Consulting a physician will ensure that the proper exercises are recommended that limit over-exertion while preventing further damage.
- If lower left back pain is the result of a misalignment in the spine, consulting a chiropractor who can manipulate key areas and recommend appropriate exercises will often resolve problems within a few visits.
- When causes are unknown, a massage may provide temporary relief, especially if they are associated with muscular disorders. Tight and knotted muscles can cause pain and massage manipulates muscles through trigger points that help relax muscles.