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Is it normal to have back pain in the left?

Is It Normal To Have Back Pain In The Left?

Back pain is very common and there are many causes. The exact location of the pain is a key indicator of its cause. Follow BestLifeTips to get to know about the causes and treatments for lower left backache.

Sometimes, lower back pain is felt on just one side of the body. There are different causes for this kind of pain. In this article, BestLifeTips will talk about causes and treatments for lower left backache.

What causes lower left backache?

Lower left backache in female

Some causes of lower left backache are specific to women and only happy for women, while others can happen to anyone.

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Source: Healthline

Lower left backache before period

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a condition many women get before their periods. PMS usually starts a few days before your period, and it ends within a day or two after your period starts. While having PMS, you may have:

  • Lower back pain
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Bloating

Premenstrual dysmorphic disorder (PMDD) is a more severe form of PMS, where symptoms significantly interfere with daily life. Some people with PMDD may even have trouble functioning when they have symptoms. Few women have PMDD.

The symptoms of PMDD are like those of PMS. However, many symptoms may be worse. Symptoms typically start the week before your period and end a few days after you get your period.

Lower left backache during period

Very painful menstruation is known as dysmenorrhea. Although it’s usually manageable, it can be very severe in some people.

Pain from dysmenorrhea is usually felt in the lower abdomen, lower back, hips, and legs. It usually lasts for 1 to 3 days. The pain can either be dull and achy or it may feel like shooting pains.

Lower left backache during pregnancy

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Source: BabyCenter

Back pain is common during pregnancy. It happens as your center-of-gravity shifts; you gain weight, and your hormones relax your ligaments to prepare for birth.

Back pain usually appears between the fifth and seventh months of pregnancy, but it also can start much earlier. You’re more likely to have back pain during pregnancy if you already have lower back issues.

The most common place to have pain is right below your waist and across your tailbone. You may also have pain in the center of your back, around your waistline. This pain may radiate into your legs.

Lower left backache caused by endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition where the tissue that lines the uterus, known as endometrial tissue, grows outside the uterus.

Endometriosis can also cause bleeding or spotting between your periods. Digestive issues like bloating and diarrhea can be common too, especially during your period. Endometriosis may make it harder for you to get pregnant.

Pain is the most common symptom of endometriosis. Other symptoms include:

  • Very painful menstrual cramps
  • Pain during or after sex
  • Low back and pelvic pain
  • Pain with bowel movements or urination when you have your period

Other causes

Kidney infection

A kidney infection can cause a dull, aching pain on one side in the lower back. Kidney infections are usually caused by bacteria that infects the bladder then travel up to the kidneys.

Kidney stones

Kidney stones are deposits of minerals and salts that have crystallized and formed in a kidney. A stone may cause one sided lower back pain as it passes through the urinary tract.

Muscal or tissue injury

Soft tissue injury muscle pain

Source: Joey Law Firm

Lower backache mostly comes from a tissue injury. This could involve the muscles, bones, and ligaments in the back, spine, and surrounding areas. Injuries in one area can radiate out to other areas of the back.

Tissue injury pain is usually central, but it can occur to the left or right of the spine. A muscle strain in the lower left back occurs when the muscle fibers overstretch, leading to inflammation.

Heavy lifting, twisting, or a fall can cause muscle strain. Poor posture or sitting in an awkward position for too long can also lead to pain in one side of the lower back.


According to the Arthritis Foundation, several forms of the disease can cause pain in the lower back. In some cases, the pain occurs on only one side.

Arthritis that affect the back may result from inflammation or deterioration of cartilage.

Slipped disk

A slipped disk, also called a herniated disk, can cause pain to radiate from the central spine to one side of the back.

A slipped disk involves fragments of the nucleus pushing through a weakness or tear in the disk’s outside, which then presses on the nerves. A slipped disk can result from a sudden injury or develop over time due to wear and tear.


This condition involves inflammation of the pancreas, which may cause upper abdominal pain that spreads to the lower left quadrant of the back.

The pain may be described as a dull sensation that may be aggravated by eating, especially foods high in fat.

When to see a doctor

Consider seeing a doctor if the pain does not get better in 1–2 weeks or if it becomes worse. If additional symptoms are present, such as numbness, fatigue, and muscle weakness, see a doctor to prevent serious conditions.

Lower left backache is normally not an emergency that requires prompt medical treatment. If the pain is severe or accompanied by any of the following symptoms, seek immediate medical care:

  • Fever
  • Trouble moving the legs
  • Loss of bowel control
  • Loss of feeling in the legs

Lower left backache treatment


  • Rest: Although doctors rarely recommend complete bed rest, it helps to limit activities that cause lower back pain.
  • Ice pack: Applying an ice pack wrapped in a cloth to the area several times a day can decrease inflammation and discomfort.
  • Heat: Applying heat may also reduce lower back pain, especially if it results from muscle strain.
  • Medication: Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can reduce inflammation and discomfort, as can prescription pain medications and muscle relaxants.
  • Light exercise: Depending on the cause of the pain, light exercise may reduce discomfort and stiffness in the long term and help improve the range of motion.


If your self-care doesn’t work, you’d better go to see a doctor. Your doctor might prescribe:

  • Muscle relaxants: Drugs such as baclofen (Lioresal) and chlorzoxazone (Paraflex) are commonly used to reduce muscle tightness and spasms.
  • Opioids: Drugs such as fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic) and hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab) are sometimes prescribed for short-term treatment of intense lower back pain.
  • Injections: A lumbar epidural steroid injection administers a steroid into the epidural space, close to the spinal nerve root.
  • Brace: Sometimes a brace, often combined with physical therapy, can provide comfort, speed healing, and offer pain relief.


The third step is surgery. Typically, this is a last solution for severe pain that has not responded well from 6 to 12 weeks of other treatment.

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