What are Common Causes of Lower Left Back Pain?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 27 March 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
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Lower left back pain is a common problem for many people of all ages, particularly those who spend large amounts of time in a seated position. There can be several different causes for lower left back pain, including issues such as pinched nerves, herniated or slipped discs, or muscle strains. Treatment options vary from moderate lifestyle changes to surgery in the most extreme cases.

Pinched nerves are a common cause of lower left back pain. Pinched nerves occur when swollen or inflamed muscles or other tissues surrounding the nerve press against the nerve, causing further inflammation and pain. This pain often radiates into other areas of the body from the injured site. The first course of treatment is to find and treat the condition leading to the pinched nerve. Over-the-counter or prescription medications may also help to relieve the pain.

A slipped disc, also referred to as a herniated disc, occurs when the cushions between the discs of the spine move out of normal position. This can occur due to natural disease or traumatic injury involving the spine. Methods such as physical therapy and medications can sometimes ease the pain, but these measures alone do not cure the problem. Chiropractic care sometimes helps, but surgery to repair the damaged discs is often necessary.


Muscle strains are among the most common causes of back pain, including lower left back pain. This kind of damage typically occurs when the muscles have been overused. Improper lifting techniques, poor posture, and repetitive motion involving the use of the back are typically contributing factors in this type of injury. For most cases of muscle strain, simple measures done from home can relieve the pain while the muscles naturally heal themselves. Heat or ice therapy, massage, and over-the-counter pain relievers are popular forms of self-treatment.

Some moderate lifestyle changes have been reported to help ease the symptoms of lower left back pain. If the patient does a lot of sitting at work, simply changing the type of chair often resolves the back pain. Simple stretching exercises often strengthen the back muscles, making injury less likely. Even simple measures such as briefly walking around the office and stretching the legs several times per day can be beneficial. If none of these treatment measures offer adequate relief, a doctor should be consulted to accurately diagnose the source of the lower left back pain.



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