Back pain

What Causes Lower Left Hand Side Back Pain

Nidhi Nangia
By Nidhi Nangia. Updated: June 4, 2019
What Causes Lower Left Hand Side Back Pain

Having pain in your lower left hand side back can be frightening and uncomfortable. Pain in this area can be a sign of an organ issue in your abdominal region. Except for kidneys, most internal organs are located in the front part of your body, but that doesn’t mean it cannot cause pain in your lower back region. Most of these organs, including intestines, appendix and ovaries, share ligaments and tissue with nerve endings in the lower back. The cause of your pain can be as trivial as constipation, or as severe as kidney stones. So, here at oneHOWTO, let’s explore what causes lower left hand side back pain, along with other related details.

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  1. Digestion related issues
  2. Muscle strain in back
  3. Diverticulitis
  4. Kidney infection causing back pain
  5. Spinal structure problems
  6. Problems Related to the Urinary System
  7. Internal organs and back pain
  8. A Problem with your Reproductive System
  9. Endometriosis
  10. Pregnancy
See more >>

Digestion related issues

Digestive problems are some of the most common causes of pain in your abdomen and/or back. An issue as trivial as constipation can cause your colon to distend with stool which can lead to back pain. If your pain is accompanied by bloating and trapped gas, then it may be an indication of a colon blockage.

If we consider more severe cases, some people can experience lower back pain, specifically in the left side, if a tumor appears in the last part of the colon. Symptoms for colon cancer include; bloody stools, bloating and changes in the consistency of your stool. If you are experiencing severe pain or any of these mentioned symptoms, we recommend consulting a doctor as soon as possible.

What Causes Lower Left Hand Side Back Pain - Digestion related issues

Muscle strain in back

Sometimes, you may experience pain in your lower back due to muscle strain or a pulled muscle. This could be because; you slept in an awkward position, you slipped down the stairs, or jerked while moving. Such movements, like jerking or bad positioning for an extended amount of time, may tear or over-stretch your muscle. This type of injury is medically termed as muscle strain. Muscle strain is one of the most common causes of lower back pain, therefore, a doctor would most likely examine the following;

  • Tenderness in the area
  • An injury that may signal a muscle rupture
  • Muscle weakness
  • Uneasiness while performing a motion exercise

While the condition can be quite painful, this type of lower back pain can sometimes recover itseld within 3-4 weeks.

What Causes Lower Left Hand Side Back Pain - Muscle strain in back


Diverticulitis is a very common cause of pain in the lower left hand side back area. This condition can be quite serious and can result in hospitalization if not treated properly. What happens is that over age, your colon develops small pouches on its walls. Most of the time, these pouches grow in your sigmoid colon which is situated on the left hand side of your abdomen. Diverticulitis can develop when these pouches gather bacteria and become infected. This then leads to colon inflammation, and causes pain in the left hand side of your lower back and lower abdomen. Other symptoms of diverticulitis include; diarrhea, nausea, constipation and fever.

Kidney infection causing back pain

The most common kidney infection is caused by E.coli. E.coli is a bacterium that resides in your bowels, travels through your ureter and reaches your kidneys and bladder. Symptoms include: burning sensation while urinating, abdominal and back pain, feeling an urgency to urinate and noticing dark, cloudy and foul smelling urine. If you have a kidney infection, you might also experience: fever, nausea, vomiting and chills too. If left untreated, a kidney infection may lead to permanent kidney damage, and/or a fatal blood infection. Therefore, if you are experiencing symptoms of a kidney infection, you should seek medical attention immediately. Antibiotics can be prescribed to fight off this bacteria.

What Causes Lower Left Hand Side Back Pain - Kidney infection causing back pain

Spinal structure problems

Spinal structure issues is also a common contributor to lower left hand side back pain. Some issues in your spinal column may include: facet joint pain, lumbar herniated disc and dysfunction of the sacroiliac joint. There are a number of tests that can be performed to identify a problem in your spinal structure, including: a leg raise test, neurologic exam, reflex test etc. In addition to this, your doctor may also conduct a number of tests to look for structural problems in your spinal column. Such tests includ.e CT scan, X-ray and MRI. They may be successful in revealing : facet, disc hernia or sacroiliac joint arthropathy.

Problems Related to the Urinary System

Severe pain in the left side of your back, radiating to the lower abdominal area, may indicate kidney stones or an infection in the urinary tract. A kidney stone develops when extra crystal forming material enters your urine. When big stones try to pass through your urinary tract, they get stuck and cause pain. Sometimes, they also cause nausea and blood in the urine. Similar kind of pain is also caused due to a urinary tract infection. A urine infection that involves your kidney is termed as pyelonephritis. a UTI is accompanied by back and abdominal pain mainly concentrated on one side of your body. UTI’s also include other symptoms such as: fever, lethargy and burning during urination.

Internal organs and back pain

If you haven’t had any injury in the recent past or if your spinal column is perfectly intact, then a doctor might take a look into your internal organs. Although this is a rare case, pain in your lower left hand side back may be provoked by a variety of internal organs related problems, including kidney stones, kidney infection, pancreatitis, ulcerative colitis etc.

Symptoms of this type of pain may vary. The reason for this is because these symptoms will depend on which organ is ultimately being affected. In order to identify this underlying problem, a doctor might take a look at your medical history and perform medical tests such as; CT scans, blood tests or X-rays.

A Problem with your Reproductive System

Pain in back and lower abdomen on the left hand side in women may indicate an issue with a Fallopian tube or an ovary. A cyst, infection or ovary twist may cause severe pain in the area, and it tends to worsen over time. In men, an infection in the testicles, a tumor, or a twist in the left testicle may cause pain. This pain radiates into your back and abdomen from the affected testicle.

What Causes Lower Left Hand Side Back Pain - A Problem with your Reproductive System


Sometimes, uterine tissue starts growing outside the womb, commonly on the fallopian tubes and ovaries. Around 10% of females are affected by endometriosis. If the tissue starts growing on the left fallopian tube or ovary, then it may irritate the organ, along with the surrounding tissue. It causes cramping and radiates from the side and front of the abdomen to the back. Treatment includes: hormonal therapy or laparoscopic surgery.


Lower back pain, on any side of the spine, is a common symptom of pregnancy. Since your uterus is growing to accommodate your baby, your posture changes and commonly causes lower back pain. Depending on where your baby is lying at the moment, the pain may radiate to the left side of your lower back. Mild pain can be easily relieved with gentle stretching, warm baths, wearing low-heeled footwear, getting a massage etc. If pain still persists, acetaminophen can be prescribed to ease the pain during pregnancy.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to What Causes Lower Left Hand Side Back Pain, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

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What Causes Lower Left Hand Side Back Pain