Left Side Back Pain Symptoms & Causes

left side back pain

Just like there are different categories of blood pressure, that is low blood pressure and high blood pressure, so are there categories of back pains. The categories come up from the different areas affected by the pains. According to statistics, the most common back pain among patients proved to be the left side back pain. The condition is alternatively known as Lumbago. The most popular types of left side back pains are:

  • Lower back pain left side above hip
  • Left side back pain under ribs
  • Left side back pain when lying down

Here is an insight of the three scenarios relating to left side back pain, their possible cause and exercises that minimize their occurrence.

Lower back pain left side above hip

This is when you experience a back pain right above your hip bone on the left side. The feeling is stressful and an often makes one not have the ability to comfortably achieve basic tasks such as driving and cooking with the usual efficiency.


Being overweight– This is when your body mass index (BMI) is above average. Excess weight leads to there being a lot of pressure on the bones leading to wear and tear and eventually pain in the back.

Pregnancy– A growing fetus is a foreign body in the body and it leads to some changes occurring within the body so as to accommodate the growing creature. The adjusting of some internal organs and the growing fetus applies tension on the spine causing back pains.

Accidents– A fall or any external impact whose pressure is solely applied on the left side of the back above the hip may be the reason that you are experiencing the pains.

Excessive exercise– Excessive exercising may create an unwanted impact on the back causing pains on the left side above the hip, unlike moderate exercising which is beneficial to the body.


Discomfort during sleeping– Normal sleeping postures that you are accustomed to may no longer be comfortable and might be accompanied by sharp pains when trying to turn to try out other comfortable positions.

Pain on your left foot as you walk– Basic exercises and practices involving your leg/foot such as walking and driving become more painful.


1. Jogging
2. Cycling
3. Sit ups

Left side back pain under ribs

The ribcage is one of the protective organs within the human body. It is structurally placed to guard other internal organs which aid in comprehensive biological processes. If any of the internal organs experiences a fatality, it leads to paining of the left side of the back under the ribs. Some of the internal organs on the left side of the ribs include adrenal gland, pancreas, kidney, rectum, left lung, heart amongst other reproductive organs with respect to gender. Here are some of the causes symptoms and exercise to minimize occurrence of the pains


Accidents may cause an external impact onto the left side of your back under the ribs. The consequences of the impact may vary from a broken rib to a fractured spine.

Illnesses and failure of internal organs such as kidney stones, heart attack, stomach ulcerations, spleen rupture/ irritation, acid reflux, and pancreatitis may be primary attributing factors leading to lower back pain under the ribs.


Difficulties in breathing– Mostly, when suffering from the left side back pain issues, there are breathing difficulties, and you can only be able to take shallow breaths and not the usual full breath.

Fever– Unlike other types of back pains, left side back pain under the ribs can be pointed out by experiencing higher temperatures beyond the usual 37 degrees.

Nausea– Having a link with multiple internal organs the gut included, left side back pain under the ribs makes you prone to the feeling of wanting to vomit frequently.


1. Planks
2. Sit ups
3. Leg raises
4. Lifting weights

In addition to exercising, it is also advisable to adopt a clean eating schedule that detoxifies your system to minimize occurrences of internal organs related illnesses so as to minimize left side back pain under the ribs.

Left side back pain when lying down

At times, back pains may be dormant but triggered by the occurrence of a specific event. Left side back pain is an example of a back pain whose occurrence is triggered when you assume a position that needs you to lie down. The pain is only felt when lying down and is completely absent when engaging in other activities that do not require the laid down posture.


1. The imbalanced stature of the spine
2. Pregnancy
3. Slouching during major activities
4. Imbalanced / depleted sleeping surface that causes tension on the spine


1. Discomfort during sleep
2. Strenuous turning
3. Fatigue despite having enough rest as recommended


1. Swimming to help your back muscles stretch
2. Sit ups
3. Planks

Other than exercise, health professionals often recommend investing in pillows that suit your style of sleeping and a comfortable and firm mattress that will minimize the pressure exerted on your spine.


The above is an intensive breakdown of categorical left side back pain intended to give you a deeper understanding that will help you know the appropriate approaches to take in case you find yourself in any of the circumstances. Left side back pain in most cases is not a serious condition so it should not get you worried.

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