On occasion, lower back pain may be felt primarily on the left side of your body. Here is when this lower left back pain requires a trip to the doctor:

See A Guide to Lower Left Back Pain

A soft tissue injury is a common cause of lower left back pain. See Causes of Lower Back Pain

Begin with conservative treatments

In most cases, the first step to determining if your lower left back pain requires a trip to the doctor is to try conservative treatments. These include:

  • Modification to your daily activities. Certain activities or body positions may be aggravating your pain. Try avoiding these positions or activities, while staying active, and your pain may subside.
  • See Early Treatments for Lower Back Pain

  • Heat and/or cold therapy. Heat therapy can relax tight muscles, while cold therapy can reduce your inflammation.
  • See How to Apply Heat Therapy

  • Over-the-counter-medications. Anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen can help alleviate your lower left back pain by minimizing inflammation.
  • See Medications for Back Pain and Neck Pain

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When to see a doctor for lower left back pain

If these conservative measures do not alleviate your symptoms, it is appropriate to schedule an appointment with your doctor. In addition, it is a good idea to see your doctor for lower left back pain if:

  • Your pain follows an accident or injury
  • Your pain gets worse
  • Your pain interferes with your day-to-day functioning

See Back Pain and Doctors: When To Call a Doctor

When lower left back pain is a medical emergency

In some cases, lower left back pain may be a symptom of a medical emergency. Make sure to seek immediate medical care if you experience lower left back pain along with:

  • Dizziness, confusion, or shortness of breath
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Bowel and/or bladder incontinence
  • Continuous or periodic fever and chills

See When Back Pain May Be a Medical Emergency

Remember that all of the above advice regarding when to see a doctor for your lower left back pain only constitutes general guidelines. And at the end of the day, it is usually better to be safe than sorry; so when in doubt it is a good rule of thumb to go ahead and seek medical help.

See Specialists Who Treat Back Pain

Learn more:

Lower Left Back Pain from Spinal Structures

Lower Left Back Pain from Internal Organs