Why Is Lower Back Pain on the Left Side?
Watch the video below to learn a common cause of left side lower back pain, plus a simple stretch that you can use to relieve it!
What Causes Lower Back Pain On The Left Side In Females?
Lower back pain is very common on the left side in females, especially in women who have had children.
Since 85-90% of people are right-handed, most women carry their children on their left hip so that they have their right hand free.
However, this causes muscle imbalances over time because you're constantly sticking your left hip out to the side.
This causes the muscles on the outside of your hip to get overstretched, which can lead to hip pain or IT band syndrome.
Additionally other muscle groups can get stiff, particularly muscle groups that attach you your lower back. When this happens, it can cause left side lower back pain.
Common muscle groups that cause lower back pain on the left side are:
- The quadradtus lumborum - this is the muscle between your ribcage and pelvis
- Hip flexors muscles - your hip flexor muscles actually attach to your spine, and when they're tight, they can create a lot of compression on the spine causing lower back pain.
Fortunately, there stretching these muscle groups can help you relieve your lower back pain.
Try this stretch to relieve lower back pain on the left side:
- Kneel down with the left knee on the ground.
- Roll your pelvis underneath you
- Keep your spine in a neutral position
(You should now be feeling a stretch in the front of your left thigh)
- Raise your left arm up in the air
- Lift up your left hand towards the ceiling, as far as it will go
- Take a deep breath in (you should feel the air in the lower left part of the rib cage)
- Hold it for 1 second
- Breathe out
- Do this for 5 breaths. For each breath, try to lift your left hand up a little higher
- FOCUS on filling the left part of your abdomen with air
Now, that's going to give you some relief from your back pain.
However, especially for women who have children, if you don't fix the posture problem, your back pain and/or hip pain is going to keep coming back.
In fact, I even frequently see women well past child-bearing years who still stand with most of their weight on their left foot with their hip sticking out to the left side.
After carrying your children around on your left hip for years, your brain doesn't just automatically revert that habit after your kids start walking on their own.
In fact, even women who take care of their grandchildren still find themselves reverting back to the habit of carrying their grandkids around on their left hip.
And not surprisingly, they find that their left side lower back pain comes back.
So How Can Women With Children Stop Lower Back Pain On The Left Side?
Ideally, you'd carry your children in front of you or alternate which hip you carry them on.
But I know that's not always realistic.
Another option would be to use a Baby Bjorn when doing things like cooking or cleaning.
That way you have your hands free and you're not constantly shifting your weight to one side or the other.
It's also important to avoid assymetrical postures when you're NOT carrying your baby. For example, try to avoid crossing your legs when sitting or shifting your weight on one hip when sitting.
What Other Exercises Can Help Left Side Lower Back Pain?
Because the muscles on the outside of the left hip often get overstretched and weak, strengthening these muscles (the hip abductors and hip external rotators) can also help left side lower back pain.
Here are some links to posts about hip strengthening exercises that can help your lower back pain:
Exercise For Pain On The Outside Of The Hip
How To Do The "Clamshell" Exercise For Weak Hip Muscles Properly
Hopefully you find these tips helpful in relieving your lower back pain.
Need Some More Help For Lower Back Pain On The Left Side?
Click the button below to request a Free Consultation (in person, by phone, or virtually) and we'd be happy to help you with your left side lower back pain.
P.S. Have pain on the Lower Right Side instead?
See our article on Why Does My Back Hurt On The Lower Right Side?