Lower Back Pain Left Side

Lower back pain on the left side can be caused by many things.  However, there are some causes that are more common than others.  While there are more severe possible causes, lower back pain on the left side can be caused by common health related issues, such as pregnancy, kidney infection, and muscle spasms.  Pain during breathing can indicate severe and less severe problems.

Any time you experience pain, especially on the left side of your lower back, you should contact your doctor.  Treatment will depend on the reason.  You should never ignore your pain because it could cause serious effects. However, if you take care of it right away, it could be as simple as taking an antibiotic.

Differences in Intensity

Not all back pain is equal in intensity.  Back pain can be described as dull or sharp.  The pain lower back pain left sidecould stay in one place or be shooting pains.  Pain can be categorized into acute or chronic.  Acute pain is generally short term and stops when the problem has been taken care of.  Chronic is generally pain that continues after the problem has been taken care of.  It can last for weeks, months, or even years.  Chronic pain can be relieved for a period of time and then flare up.

The intensity of pain does not always coincide with the level of severity.  For example, sometimes a herniated disc will not cause as much pain, but can lead to a severe problem.  Therefore, just because your pain is not high on the level of intensity does not mean you should ignore it.

Common Causes

Pain during Pregnancy

During pregnancy, it is common to experience left side lower back pain.  This is due to the growth of the uterus, as well as hormonal changes.  When your uterus expands, it shifts the center of gravity of your body.  It also stretches and weakens your abdominal muscles.  This will change your body’s posture, which will then lead to strain on your lower back.

If your growing uterus presses on a nerve, this can cause pain.  Also, your joints and ligaments that attach the pelvic bone to the spine could loosen due to the hormonal changes you can experience during pregnancy causing lower back pain while you sit, stand, and walk for long periods of time.

Pain during Breathing

If you are experiencing pain when you breathe, this could be an indicator of muscular injury.  Muscle spasms can cause pain when there is sudden movement.  You could have a pulled diaphragm muscle.  This will cause pain to radiate throughout your abdomen, chest, and back.

There are more severe causes of pain during breathing, such as cardiac and/or pulmonary issues.  This is why it is critical that you contact a doctor right away if you start experiencing lower back pain.  While the pain may be caused by something simple like a muscle spasm, that same pain could be caused by cardiac problems.

Pain from Kidney Infection

A kidney infection can cause your kidney to swell, which can stretch the pain sensitive capsule around your kidney.  You could feel tenderness in the area right above your hips where your kidneys are located.   You could also experience an increase with your bladder getting full, and the pain could even travel towards your genital area, thus feeling pain and/or burning sensation during urination.  You may have a fever and see blood in your urine.  If you begin to have these symptoms, it is important to contact your doctor right away.


The treatment will depend on the cause of your lower back pain.  For example, if you have a kidney infection, then you may be prescribed an antibiotic.  If you are experiencing pain during pregnancy, your doctor may prescribe some stretches that can help to alleviate the pain.  If your pain is caused by a more serious condition, then a different treatment will be prescribed.

While rest is recommended in the first few days, it is not recommended that you rest for too long.  This can worsen your pain and slow your recovery.  Exercising is, in fact, recommended.  It can help to strengthen your back muscles, which will help them to heal properly.  Make sure you are exercising properly.  Get up and move around, but do not over exert yourself.

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      • are you talking about under your belly button? because i have the same thing. lower left back pain and under the belly button. i have been MOSTLY healthy my whole life but as i get older i have alotta different things going on. please reply. im very curious now. thank you. Rick…

  1. I am having a strange pain on left back only when i wake up from the bed i can go to wash and then when i come back and sit on chair. the pain starts in the left lower back and extends down toward legs.

    This pain vanishes after some times in 10 minutes some times upto 30 minutes after that no pain.

    I wonder what could be the cause

  2. Pain on my right side in a waist location. I wake up with sharp pain and after moving it became better – the trouble start mostly by changing position from sitting to stand up or lying and stand up.
    When moving it’s getting better. Turning my body right is not that good
    Should I try put the warm blanket on the spot?

  3. i have pain in left side of the back that runs down my leg and it hurts non stop all day unless i take pain meds and i still feel pain.

    • If you have pain in your left side that runs down your leg its very likely you have a disc bulge somewhere in your L1 to L5 area that is pressing on a spinal nerve (S1 through S5 usually are culprits).

      I would highly recommend you immediately make an appointment to see an orthopedic surgeon.

      *Disclaimer – these are just my thoughts and opinions and I am not a physician. You should not take my comments as a diagnosis or information to use for treatment, seek out your doctors opinion is the best advice.

  4. I am having pain in the mid lower left side of my back that periodically radiats around my left side. the skin surface is also painful to touch in the same area. It is not a kidney infection and I don t believe it is kidney stones since i have no other signs of those problems. What are the posibilities this could be?

  5. I have severe back pain on my lower left side just above my waist. At times its very diffilcult for me to get up from a setted or stooping position and walk. As long as i am not on my feet for approx. 36hrs stand/stoop I dont feel pain but, when i am on my feet for 8 to 10hrs in a day it becomes very painful and diffilcult in that area with to bare the pain. any help or infomation would be appreciated.

  6. I have been constipated…. however I have had relief. Now, I have “extreme” pain in the middle to left side of lower back? hurts to move?

  7. Pain came suddenly not sharp just above the waist. Little swelling, and little warmer than rest of back. Does not seem to be a deep pain, seem to be in muscle. However I do not know and really not sure.

  8. The pain is on both sides of my back and I am really scared it could be something big. Worse more the pain is accompanied
    Short breath.

    • Carol,
      Yes, it could be something big. Shortness of breath could be heart related. I would highly recommend you go see your doctor.

  9. I have pain left middle of back going through to my front . I fee sick if I drink water on an empty tum.
    Cant stand for long as pain in back and front gets worse .

  10. I was just diagnosed with diverticulosis. I have pain across upper abdomen, which also radiates to lower back and right side. Originally thought to be gallbladder. When ultrasound ruled that out, I had CT scan which showed diverticulosis. Also have diarrhea which alternates at times with having trouble going. Have a lot of bloating and gas, as well.
    There are many medicines that are not available easily but with the assistance of FindRxOnline you will see this problem dispersing away I’mmediately.

    • I have similiar left lower sharp pain and it comes with nausea. In the hospital they did CAT SCAN, urine sample, several Blood samles and my vidals where all good. I got released and was told possibly a muscle or tiny kidney stone issue. Is been 3 days and my body doesn’t feel good with the meds prescribe and I feel the same issue. I think I need to go back to hospital again

  11. Positive I am not in high stage kidney failure, but…I starting reading due to sharp pains on left side kidney area when I inhale. My mother died of kidney failure 10 years ago at 49. I am 33. I read of symptoms for final stage kidney disease consists of numbness is extremities, easy bruising, swelling of extremities (mine are my feet), cramping of extremities(my calves and ankles will do this all the time at night). As I mentioned, I am well aware I am not in kidney failure,but do you know of what else could be causing this?

    • I would consult your physician. I would not want to give you the wrong advice. Please let us know what it ends up being as others may benefit. Good luck.

  12. i’ve just came from the hospital,cuz i have unbelieveble pain in my back and along my left leg, doctors said it’s Sciatica,
    i have this pain 5 months ago which never stopped and gets worse and worse.
    they enjected me with VOLTAREN and this is all that they can do for me,
    sorry for my english i live in sweden.
    they took / magenit photos / and they said that nothing appears in my photos, there is anything wrong.
    So PLEASE by the name of God i’m disappointed and nees an explanation how it’s SCIATICA and there is nothing wrong in my back, or the machine did’t work well
    Please help :((((((((

  13. I have this weird pain on the left side of my lower back. Im not too familiar with back pains because I rarely have them. But this feels more of a constriction type feeling. Anytime I move I feel uncomfortable and slight pain and I have a desk job and sitting here is also making my neck and shoulders feel tightened and stiff any clue what that can be?

    • You really should look into a good streatching program. I have a desk job and am getting a little older, If I don’t streatch every day I can bearly walk. I get pains all over. But when I streatch I feel better all over. I start first thing in the morning. mid day and at night

  14. I have very severe lower back pain on my left side. The pain is so severe at times that I cannot even stand it and would rather be dead. I went to th doctor a couple months ago and got an X-ray and nothing was wrong so he assumed is was an inflammation and told me to take 2 ibuprofen 3 times a day for 2 weeks. So I did. It got rid of the pain for a while, but after a couple of hours it would come back and I would have to take more. It’s been about a month, and I have to take about 3 ibuprofen just to get through the day. The pain is unbearable when I touch the area and the severe pain comes and goes randomly. If I don’t take any ibuprofen it will usually go away in about an hour, but I usually end up taking it cause the pain is so bad. Does anyone possible know what it could be? This has been going on for about a year. I’m making a doctors appointment again soon, I would just like to know what it could possibly be, please help.

  15. im having pain on my lower & right side om my lower back area ,,im taking AZO tablets right now and drinking lots of water and cranberry juice im prayin to god its not a kidney infection or bladder infection,,i have no burning,,when urinating,,,or itchy,,or dry,,,im hoping its a stretcxhed muscle,,,any body have any clues i dont have any health insurance so im kinda scared,,

  16. Sir i need help badly, im having lower left back pain 5 days ago and its straight to my left leg and its so hurt i cant walk i can just walk if i have walker, when im carrying something it hurts and if move just a little move it hurts….please help. :(.and i was just exercising on our therapy bike for 20mins…and it started to hurt…

  17. Neil,

    I had the same problem a few months ago – My doctor gave me a Prednisone Z-pak (take 5 one day, 4 the next, etc) it started feeling better after a few days. It should reduce the inflammation. Good luck.

  18. Since this Friday afternoon I have a severe back pain most in my left side that I have difficulty laying down or getting up from bed. The pain sometimes is so sharp that it’s overwhelming what could this be.v

  19. I have pain in my lower back I am on my period I just started in January . At first I had lower back pains in the left but know they are in right .what could it be ? My mum only has one kidney ? I have had problems going to the loo to often etc. please help thanks 😀

  20. I’m 17 and I’m experiencing sharp, quick pains in my lower left back. The pain doesn’t move around and is triggered by simple movements like sitting, walking, and bending over. I’ve had problems with my back before, but this is different. I feel as if someone is stabbing that spot with a knife everytime I move. Any advice :)

  21. I have a sharp pain on my left side of my lower back. Its extremely painfully when I move, take a breath, try to lift. I’ve had pleurisy before and it was a similar pain. But this is alot lower then that was. Does anyone know what it may b? Or what I can do to ease the pain?

  22. I am having pains on my lover back to the left side and is radiates to my tummy for the past 12 days. Thanks for all the information.

  23. I also have pain in my lower back on left side. Mines different though. Mine bothers me here and there until I lay flat on my back on a hard floor with my legs fully extended. If I do this it seems as if my back locks completely and I have severe intense pain (right where my spine connects to my hip is best place I can describe it but on the left side). I get shooting pain down my left buttocks into my leg. I can not get up. I have to fight the pain (which causes heavy breathing and lots of cussing). Once I am able to wiggle onto my right side I bend my left knee forward towards my chest which seems to “unlock” my back. After that I can get up. Any ideas? I am a very healthy 30 yo male – athletic – good shape etc. this has been an issue for years.
    The last time this happened I was unable to even move onto my side. I had to yell for my wife. She had to roll me over onto my side so I could move my knee up.

    Thanks any input would be appreciated. Thanks.

  24. I have been having pain in my lower left upon movement, anytime I stretch or move somehow I feel it. The pain doesn’t radiate to my leg at all. I don’t ever feel tingling or numbness. I feel it more so after work. I probably shouldn’t be working but I have no vacation time. So I’m forced to deal with this. After times of stress the pain is worse and will spasm alittle. Like I said, when I move a certain way then I feel it. When I distribute a certain way to not feel it then it’s relieved.

  25. The pain in my left side near my waist started after I had back pain a couple weeks ago. Now that back pain is gone and am left with this annoying off and on pain on the literal left side. It actually only hurt today when I thought of it. Someone told me that my body might have over compensated during the time my back was hurting and I was holding myself in wrong positions trying to avoid the pain. Not sure that makes sense but it is when this extra pain began. I am not sure though if I am honest I would say it has hurt off and on for what seems a long time but never real consistent like. Any ideas or thoughts I believe in natural meds so I just want an idea of what to look for as far as that type relief. Thanks.

  26. I have had lower back left side for years now. comes and goes, but sitting seams to set it off. when it flares up i feel the pain on left side always when i am sitting, standing can reduce the pain, but sometimes lying down is still painful. Having gone to a reputable orthopedic doctor and receiving xrays he determined that everything looked normal. Most all of the posts I have read with my type of symptoms have the same results from there doctors. My dr wanted to send me down the hall to a weight training guy at my expense because he guessed that my core muscles are weak. I did not buy it, so off to the chiropractor I went. absolutely no success. The one thing that i did find out was that it is not my back but rather my hip. now my pain radiates deep into my left buttock to the bone. well last week I was on the couch and it flared up, what i did was take my right leg and tuck the inside of my right ankle under my left buttock and then took my left leg and put my on top of my right thigh towards the waste and then bounced my crossed left leg a couple of times and my hip popped and the pain went away instantly. Now I was happy about the result but not sure if it was a fluke so i did not put my foot in my mouth, but it flared up again tonight and as i was bringing my left foot up over my roght thigh it popped again and the pain instantly went away atleast 90 percent. I do not know what is popping but it works.please let me know if this helps any of you. donbigly@yahoo.com


  28. I am a volleyball player and i hurt my back in 6th grade i tried to hide it but when i colse friend of mine new something was up she tald the coach and asked on a scale 1-10 how bad did it hurt and i said 9. I decided to wait it out and rest from practie for a little but it never helped but i sucked it up to keep playing. Im now in 8th grade and still to this day have very bad pain in the lower left side when i went to the doctor i got put in a back and neck brace and went to school looking like a fool my team this year went undefated and i have no promblem and now do Dance,gymnastics,soccer,volleyball,basketball,cross country,

  29. Last night I was laying on my stomach on my bed and tried to roll over to my back. I couldn’t move! It took me ten minutes to slowly roll from my stomach to my back and then I couldn’t sit up. The pain was nauseating and intense from my left lower back, my left hip, around to my pubis. I had to call for help to sit up and stand. All night I had pain while moving from a sitting, laying position to standing or even just moving. Also, no matter what position I lay in last night, the pain persisted and never subsided. I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed this morning and tend to my two small children. I’m 37 and while I know I’m getting older, this came on very suddenly and I continue today to feel the aftereffects. Any ideas?

  30. My back pain has lasted for 3 weeks. I went to doc he gave me muscles relaxers and toradol. Day 5 taking meds it seemed to get better then day six it seemed to be mostly my hip and still lower left side back. I tried to stretch it but that makes it worst and sitting for a long time I have to shift weight to right side. No fever just feels like something is out of place

  31. I have the same problem and have had for a couple of years now. It has gotten so bad I barley can get up in the mornings, and forget any rest at night the slightest move wakes you with pain. Not sure what the problem is from but going in for test soon.

  32. Due to my car accident last year and chiropractic I had to attend to for 10 months with a bad spine the accident made my spine perfectly straight and all of a sudden while I was cooking dinner today just 1 bend over to put somethin in the oven & all of a sudden I can barely walk every step I take I limp now if there is any excesises I can do tell me I am 20yr old just got off medication (keppra) because of the damage it can do and I’ve been taking meds since 9 months.

  33. my pain islower back left side,it feels like it is sitting on my hip bone the more I walk the worst the pain to the point I have to sit down or lay down,when I am walking the pain causes me to hold my breath and my stomach sticks out from the pain.

  34. If I simply sleep the wrong way it irritates the same muscle in the left lower back. Its the Muscle that runs long ways from spine to love handle it seems. First time I injured it about 3 years ago the Doc gave me a Steroid shott and it cleared up very fast. Its been irritated a few times since. Being very honest,, 50 pounds overweight has not helped much and seems to intensify this injury because it has taken allot longer to recoup and much more painful. Havn’t seen the Doc yet this time and its been a Week and seems like its getting worse. Heat packs and Ibuprofen are best freinds. Hope this helps

  35. Hello I am following up to the above post. I went to see the Doc about this issue that seemed to be getting worse. I failed to mention i got massive relief from the Solonpas back patch(for pulled or strained muscle pain only). The Doc recomended a Steroid dose pack (Methylprednisolone) taken for 7 days. I am on day 3 with barely any pain and am so thankful. As i said this is for Muscle pain and inflammation not sure about Pinched nerves or Disk trouble. Hope this helps and its allot safer than narcotic pain meds that just mask the real issue. The muscle relaxers are a god sent as well. Hope you feel better soon

  36. I’m having terrible pains on my left lower back side. Could. Barely walk to the couch. I layed down on my tummy for ten minute then slowly got up to lay down in my bed. The pain on a scale from 1 to 10 I would say I’m a 9 . What could it be?

  37. I know exactly what you mean here, Sue. My pain is like that and I too, hold my breath, trying to deal with the intensity of pain when I walk or stand for more than a few seconds. What treatments have you tried? I’ve done physical therapy, chiro, massage, acupuncture, water exercises (the best for me so far), a few supplements, cortisone injections, pain meds – basically anything out there shy of surgery. All worn out here.

  38. I thought in order for it to be kidney infection or stones there would be an additional symptom(s)…? I pulled this up because I have been experiencing pain in my lower left side, but it’s not severe, dull and localized 1 to 10 a 6 maybe, just enough to cause concern…

  39. My pain is in my lower left back and my upper left leg and sometime this pain gets so back my legs will give out.. Not sure what goin on

  40. I ha
    I have pain in my lower left back.Painfull to the touch.I feel the pain as soon as I get out of bed.The pain is not in my legs. Hurts every day.When I turn or move it hurts

  41. I don’t know if I should go to the Doctor. I fell about 6 weeks ago over a child’s gate at bottom of stairs it was dark. I landed frontwards on a large tote full of old VCR tapes happened so fast I felt the pain shoot from right to left lower back. Now I am suffering everyday with pain to the point I automatically baby myself getting up or moving after being in one position for a while, They did ex-rays saw nothing broken but it’s awful to endure. prescribed resterill whatever I couldn’t take it after tried it once because it didn’t work as a muscle relaxant as they said it made me hear everything louder so I have a full bottle of junk!!! Also it hurts sometimes so bad it seems to almost go towards my hip. but I fell frontwards and don’t remember how exactly I landed.