Lower Back Pain One Side: Why You Have It And What It Means

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Close Up Of Man Holding His Lower Back Due To Pain

Back pain can be debilitating. It can happen gradually or sometimes it can happen out of the blue. Whether you have throbbing, pulsating, radiating, or other types of pain, back pain is not something anybody wants.

However, many people will experience back pain in their lifetime. Americans spend about $50 billion a year to treat it. This pain can then spread to other areas in your body like muscles, ligaments, and joints.

From sports injuries to lifestyle to stress, there are various sources for your pain. However, in this article, let’s talk about lower back pain on one side.

We’ll answer “what does pain on the lower left side of my back mean” and similar questions so you can remedy the situation.

So let’s explore the symptoms and what to do about them right now. And as always, if you experience any symptoms below, reach out to a clinic for pain management in Indiana.

One Sided Back Pain: Causes And Meanings

It’s common to have left side of lower back pain. But why isn’t it on the other side? What reason could there be for left hand side lower back pain on just one side of the body?

Let’s take a look at various potential causes and what they could mean:

Tissue injuries

If you have pain on one side of your body, it could be a result of a spinal structure injury. This could happen in your discs, joints, or muscles near the spine.

Oftentimes, impact such as a car accident, a fall, or sports injury causes this type of injury. While you may experience pain directly in the middle of your spine, it could be on just the left or right side of your back. Muscle strains can contribute to this as well.


Poor posture is often one of the causes of pain on one side of your back. If you don’t sit at a 90 degree angle, evenly distributed weight, then your knees, hips, ankles, and elbows can cause a lack of balance on your pressure points.

Thus, a consequence can be muscle strains. Symptoms of muscle strain include: muscle spasms, pain increasing even with rest, pain improvement with rest or ice, anti-inflammatory medications, swelling and tenderness, limited range of motion, and worsening pain after you sit down or get out of bed.

But don’t rush to do intense exercises just yet. There are some physical activities you should still avoid.

Bone problems

If you have spinal stenosis, which is the narrowing of the spinal column, this can cause pain on one side of your back. This is a fairly serious condition that you should seek treatment from a pain doctor immediately.

The pain could eventually radiate down to your leg and other areas and even cause weakness. Bone spurs and arthritis can also cause the same symptoms. This suggests that you minimize irritation on your hip.

However, this compensation can also cause pain on the other side. This causes joints and muscles to become over-fatigued from overuse. Treatment options vary. You should see a pain specialist at APAC today to understand your options.

However, in general, potential treatments may include hot and cold packs or medication. Even surgery or physical therapy may be required.

Issues with internal organs

You may not think that left side and lower back pain comes from an internal organ. However, it could come from an organ in your pelvic abdominal or mid-back area. It could mean that you have an infection or inflammation in one of the organs.

This could include your kidney, colon, uterus, or pancreas. This type of pain usually starts in the flank and extends down to the groin. This is the case for kidney stones, for instance. Your kidneys are in your lower back, and if infected, they can cause pain.

If you think you may have kidney stones or other pain, you may also have pain when urinating and have nausea. This is something that you should seek medical treatment for. In addition, your intestine could be chronically inflamed.

This is called ulcerative colitis. This also contributes to back pain. It can cause digestive issues, abdominal cramping, fatigue, weight loss, and more. Additionally, for women, fibroids and endometriosis can radiate in the lower back. This can also be associated with abnormal menstruation and pain during intercourse.

Emergency Symptoms

Ideally you wouldn’t have to rush to the hospital for back pain. However, left or right side back pain should be taken seriously if it becomes a major health problem.

If you notice spinal tenderness, swelling, bowel or bladder problems and pain, then you could have cauda equina syndrome. This means that you have nerve compression in your spinal cord.

This could even eventually cause numbness in the groin, leg pain, a lack of bladder control, and paralysis. This is something that you should not take lightly. For instance, an abdominal aortic aneurysm could cause pain that leads to ruptures. It’s important to understand these issues.

If you have any questions, consult with your doctor immediately for treatment recommendations.

Low Back Pain Left Side Only? Get Help Today

If you’re experiencing stubborn back pain, you don’t have to suffer any longer. At APAC, our doctors will help you treat your pain with compassion and kindness.

We use the best procedures, therapies, and medicines to ensure you can enjoy life pain-free once again. So don’t wait to start living your new chapter in life.

About Us

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At APAC, our goal is to provide the most advanced and compassionate care to patients in pain. We understand and will help you cope with the physical and the psychological aspects of your pain.

Living with chronic pain? We can help!

When you arrive for your first visit at an APAC facility, rest assured that you will be in great hands.

1(708) 483-7007

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