What is the cause of back pain on left side?

If you’ve been hit by an unexpected pain in your back that seems to be localized only to the left side, don’t worry, we have all been there. The fact is – back pains are like weeds in a garden, they just keep popping up even if you pull them out.

Understanding Your Spinal Column

Before we dive deep into what causes back pain on the left side specifically, let’s take a moment and appreciate our bodies’ engineering marvel: the spinal column. Made up of 33 bones stacked upon each other – called vertebrae -, it supports our bodies and protects ‘the highway for messages from brain to body’: our spinal cord.

As much as we’d like superheroesque superpowers like Wolverine’s adamantium claws, they would not come without their drawbacks. Our spine faces daily insults ranging from poor posture to bad genetics resulting in conditions such as kyphosis or scoliosis.

In this article, however, we will focus more explicitly on what can cause one-sided discomfort since nobody likes playing favorites.

Muscle Strains

Ever tried joining a sunset yoga class after being stuck behind a desk all day? Good for you! But did you warm-up properly before starting?

Some benefits of proper warming-up include:

  • Enhanced blood circulation
  • Improved joint mobility
  • Increased heart rate

It may seem harmless now but not taking enough time to prepare your muscles beforehand makes them prone to tearing during exercise. Or worse yet performing sudden movements trying to reach something tricky-looking at do-it-yourselfers.

Muscle strains tend to happen when:

  1. You overexert your muscles
  2. Fail using correct form when lifting heavy objects

Herniated Disc (AKA Infamous Slipped Disc)

Picture these little buddies sandwiched between every pair of adjacent vertebrae, providing cushioning and shock absorption. These guys have a cake-like structure comprising of an outer tougher ring and center jelly material known as the nucleus.

However, when too much stress is placed on one side or another, like coughs wearing high heels every day, it can deteriorate causing the nucleus to slip through cracks that may form in the outer casing leading to a herniated disc.

This pesky condition causes pain by putting pressure on your nerve roots located on either left or right sides of your spine.


As with our last little buddy trying its best not to be squished between our spinal bones – if things go south: out comes sciatica! This villainous condition occurs from putting unnecessary pressure directly onto one of two major sciatic nerves we lucky humans possess:

  1. The common Peroneal nerve
  2. Tibial Nerve

Feeling tingly sensations down only one part of your lower body such as thigh and foot? That’s how this disorder presents itself- it comes uninvited like an annoying neighbor who always seems a bit too curious about what you’re up to.

Poor Posture Fostered By Technology

Partially related to increasing screen addiction worldwide over the years, people using electronic devices tend to spend long periods hunched over their screens due to poor ergonomic practices – which means the study of human comfort while interacting with various systems; workstations included (Look at us learning new vocabularies all together!).


In conclusion dear reader friend- throw away chairs that don’t support proper posture habits (see what we did there haha)
Take intentional breaks during prolonged sitting hours.
Invest in stretching exercises targeting your lower spine muscles daily even if for short periods.
Remember healthy living involves moderate [food portions]
(https://youtu.be/gchhLsiJ4DM?t=14)(hey…nobody said this would be easy).