The left side of the body hosts multiple body organs vital to body processes. Why does my left side hurt? When an individual experiences pain on this side of the body, the possibilities are endless.
This article analyzes causes and possible solutions to left side pains; we suggest what you can about the pain.
Abdominal Pain in Left Side
Abdominal pain left side is an excessively discomforting sensation. It is mainly caused by tissue injuries. It encompasses both psychosocial and pathophysiologic issues acting as modifiers. The psychosocial factors include; patient personality, patient ethnicity and their cultural background.
There are other external factors that may surround the injury specific to your location. Physiologic modifiers on the other hand, include the type of stimuli, specific receptors, and the structure of the nerve pathways from the region of injury to the central nervous system. Other complicated issues are responsible for determining the transmitting, interpreting, and reacting processes to the left-pain messages.
Like other forms of pain, it is manifested by a combination of complex results that are specific to individuals and their environments.
It is therefore, vital for the clinician to take caution in diagnosing a patient. The clinician is responsible for identifying a patient’s left pain complaint in relation to factors that manifest differently. The pain specific sensations come in a wide range of manifestations.
Your left abdomen is home of your body’s vital organs.
The structure of your left abdomen defines a network of neuro-receptors. They are located on serosal structures, in the mucosa as well as the muscularis of hollow viscera. These neuro-receptors are responsible for the regulation of blood flow through local arcs. To regulate the blood, they control the secretion and motility via the central reflex arc.
It is not common to perceive such minor sensory information. However, this irregularity and other disordered control of gastrointestinal functions results in pain on your left side.
The Left Lower Quadrant
The left lower quadrant is the region just below your belly button. Organs in this region are the small bowel, a section of the large intestines, rectum, the left ureter and the left ovary with its section of the Fallopian tube. The skin and nerve of the area complete the list of vital organs here.
The next time you want to ask why does my left side hurt? Take note of the organs in the region. There are endless causes of pain on this section of the abdomen. The causes include complex combination of factors that contribute to the sensations. There are most common possibilities, though. For example, pain in your gut has several causes. They include;
Constipation is a result of a gut that is full of poo. The congestion causes discomfort on the entire area forcing you to take quick action and expel the poo. Notice that your poo will be quite hard since the bowels are not allowed to open regularly.
Food poisoning may end up in diarrhea in most people. Others will vomit but all will experience pain in the entire left side. Every time there is an emission whether via diarrhea or vomiting, the pain temporarily eases.
Diverticulitis is pain on the left side that is caused by pouch inflammation. Pain is common among patients suffering from diverticular disease in their gut. Infection on the final section of the gut results in majority of the cases of left lower abdomen pains. The patient will experience fever alongside drastic changes in bowel movements.
The abnormal dilation of the aorta may be rare but when it happens, your left abdomen is among the first victims to this phenomenon. The dilation may cause it to rapture and only then will you experience symptoms. The abdominal aorta is mostly affected as opposed to the thoracic aorta. Pain extends to the legs and the entire back.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is perhaps the most common pain sensation. It is common to both young and old. IBS is manifested in a crampy tummy that causes bloating. The pain is on and off but in extreme cases it causes diarrhea and initiates constipation.
Learn more about Top 42 Irritable Bowel Syndrome Questions and Answers!
Colon cancer is among the extreme cases of pain in the lower left region of your tummy. Symptoms include excessive pain in the area, severe bloating, and zero bowel movement. You may not be able to pass out any waste including air. This condition is rising especially in developed countries and especially in the United Kingdom.
The cancer commonly affects the final descending parts and sigmoid colon located on the lower left. It is however, not limited to this region, and may affect other areas too. Rectal cancer on the other hand, affects the rectum found on the final section of the Colon just before the anus.
Learn more about 15 Warning Signs of Colon Cancer | Colon Cancer Symptoms.
Hernia results from movement of bowel beyond allocated regions due to weak muscles of the tummy. This happens near the left groin but may also occur on either side. The bowel or other tissue of the upper region may push through soft muscles unable to support the weight. When the excess intruder tissue is trapped, it causes a tender swelling visible from the exterior. This condition results in excessive pain in groin may affect the entire tummy. Common initial symptoms are vomiting and the general feeling of sickness.
Learn more about Hernia Symptoms; 13 Early Signs & Symptoms of a Hernia!
Kidney problems also cause excessive pain in the left side. For example, kidney stones may affect any section of the urinary tract. Vulnerable areas extend from the loin in your back to their entire lower region of the left side. You may feel pain not only when passing urine but also constrained to pass urine; fever is also a common symptom of kidney infections.
Gender Specific Problems
There are problems specific to your gender. Women for example are likely to experience Mittelschmerz and Pelvic inflammatory diseases unlike the men. Mittelschmerz occurs during ovulation in a span of two weeks. It is an on and off sensation that may be severe to stop you from your normal duties for a few minutes.
Pelvic inflammatory disease on the other hand, causes excessive bleeding and worsens during sex.
Twisted ovaries and endometriosis are also feminine problems of the left side pain. A twisted ovary condition is called ovarian torsion and occurs when a cyst develops on the left ovary.
Endometriosis is responsible for discomfort shortly before, during and shortly after your periods. The pain will either be constrained on the lower left or extend to the entire back when extreme.
Torsion of the testicles and Epididymo-orchitis are masculine issues. Torsion of the testicles affects the scrotum but leads to discomfort on the lower part of the left abdomen. It is common in men below the age of 25 causing the testis to get very tender. Epididymo-orchitis in men causes inflammation of testis too. It is caused by an infection and results in a swollen scrotum. It also becomes red and very tender.
Tests for Lower Quadrant Pain
Whenever you have unusual pain seek medical advice. Let the doctor determine the appropriate remedy. Depending on the symptoms, they may recommend further tests before treatment. For example, typical rash symptoms have a wide variety of causes require further examination.
Common tests include physically feeling your tummy at the spot you feel pain, the rest of the tummy, and your bottom for rectal infections. Further blood tests are meant to check the functionality of your huge organs (kidney and liver). They also determine whether then patient is anemic and rule out the possibility of an inflammation. Blood tests also check for your sugar levels.
Other tests depend on the doctor’s recommendation to provide enough information essential for appropriate treatment. For example, the test may require insertion of a tube with a camera into your bowels to seek for evidence of infections. This is however, only necessary before making crucial decisions like emergency surgery. The most common case is the ectopic pregnancy.
Home Remedies For Lower Quadrant Pain
For short-term pains that may be a result of minor injuries or ovulating, you may use home remedies. If however, the pain persists, seek medical advice from a professional and provide the information about your history.
For a start, take plenty of water. Consumption of clean water is the most basic yet very effective solution for majority of health issues you face. Avoid consumption of high acidic content such as coffee, tea, or alcohol. Taking alcohol will only increase your pain. Use soups, blended juices and other clear fluids. They will sustain you with the energy you need.
To ease the pain, you will need a heating pad or hot water bottle for your tummy. Use ginger frequently as it is a natural anti-inflammatory. It has a good reputation for healing stomach pains especially among women on periods.
Chest Pain in the Left Side
Pain in the chest should be a reason for you to worry. The chest covers the heart, which is a vital part in circulatory system. While any pains in the body should not be assumed, the chest raises alarm as a medical emergency.
Pain in the chest means alteration or malfunction of the circulatory system hence deficiency of vitamins and minerals supply across the body. More often than not, chest pain is associated with heart attack.
This is one of the leading causes of death in the 21st century. While it is prevalent among adults, heart attack cuts across all ages across world. It primarily explains failure of the heart to deliver blood, which carries essentials to body tissues and organs.
Chain the left side can be mild, progressive, or irregular sharp pain. Usually, the first time a person experiences the pain and brushes the feeling away; you are justified to relate such pain to abrasions or change in environment where the lungs are affected. However, persistence of such pain can send you to a comma within few weeks.
Pain is only a symptom of an underlying complication in the body. It comes in different ways, some people only feel the chest is squeezing.
Why Chest pain?
Narrowed arteries due to clogging or buildup of plaque interfere with supply of blood to the heart. There is no replacement for the heart; it is the basis of the circulatory system, which cannot be effective without the arteries.
Clogging on artery walls is largely influenced by foods people eat and lack of exercise. It is simply buildup of fats on the walls over a long period that reduces the amount of blood passing. The amount and frequency of blood relates to blood pressure, which determines natural processes in the body.
Pain on the left side of your chest is attributed to location of the heart. Although the heart is located just below the breast-bone, a larger part of the heart is covered by the left side of the chest. This large part is also the left side of the heart, which pumps oxygenated blood.
The arteries on this side of the heart are bigger; the muscles are also enhanced. The enhanced structure is for buildup of pressure to pump blood with as much force as possible to get to the lowest blood vessel on the toes. Pressure cannot be achieved with small arteries, hence the artery size on this side of the heart.
Other than heart related aspects, chest pain in the left side can be caused by stress, infection, and physical injury. Certain infections target the left side of the heart. Also, disturbances in the mind for an extended period is bound to cause chest pain. Besides, damaged nerves can also cause pain on this side of the chest.
Nevertheless, these causes can only be ascertained upon proper medical examination. Most of these factors cause pain when coughing breathing.
Cardiac and non-cardiac chest pain
It is important to differentiate cardiac and non-cardiac chest pain because the cause is not always heart-related. While most of the time this is the case because a larger part of the heart is covered by the chest, pulled muscles in the chest can also result in pains. Therefore, it is important to explore these options rather than basing treatment and remedies on heart-related elements, which might not be the case.
In both scenarios, the pain is similar. When it is physical injury or muscle pull, the pain on the chest will only be on the left side if the damage is on the left side. Therefore, injuries might not necessarily lead to left side pain even though the chest will pain from the affected position.
Cardiac and non-cardiac causes do not influence the severity and pain levels. In either of the causes, the pain can be on and off or can be persistent over a long period.
Left side chest pain may be in waves or progressive. Sometime it is dull and can easily be assumed. In both cardiac and non-cardiac chest pain, you may witness sharp uneven pains after specific intervals.
By this time, you should be seeing a doctor because your health is at high risk. Any prolonged period with this condition leads to breathing difficulty and emergency cases that may be too late for doctors to help.
Typically, left side chest pain radiates to other body parts on the left side. Arms, shoulders, neck, back, and jaws on the left side are bound to be affected is the pain persists for weeks.
Other non-cardiac causes of chest pain on this side are digestive and respiratory problems. When the lung fails or develops complications, an individual experiences difficulty in breathing often demonstrated by pain left side of the chest. Difficulty in breathing can be due to infections or clogging in the airway.
Liver dysfunctions are also common today because of the foods we eat that interfere with functioning of the lungs in the long term.
Angina is the most common cardiac related infection that causes chest pain on the left side. This is caused by inadequate supply of blood to the heart.
The heart is responsible for purifying blood by adding oxygen and pumping it back to different organs and tissues. Failure of blood to go back to the heart for this process denotes critical health conditions.
In fact, there is a higher chance to develop heart attack because of inadequate supply of oxygen to the heart. If blood does not go in the heart, nothing comes out; this means no oxygen reaches to the blood tissues. Also, body organs and muscles are denied essential minerals and vitamins for natural growth and development.
In such cases, the body loses energy because glucose, which is broken down from food depends on the circulatory system for transportation.
Evidently, Angina goes beyond pain on the left side of the chest; it is critical a health condition that requires prompt and specialized care lest a person succumbs to these effects.
Chest pains in all of these scenarios, are on come and go basis, which is easy to ignore. However, it is important to note that any kind of pain in the body is pointing to a defect in the body. Chest pain should not ignored irrespective of how mild or irregular it might be.
Whenever you feel chest pain on the left side, be sure to consult with a medical specialist because there is an underlying health risk. Early diagnosis on cardiac and non-cardiac chest pain gives a doctor time to explore all available treatment options and settle on a specific one that fits a person’s condition.
Difference between heart attack and non-heart related chest pain
Accumulation of pressure in the chest, tightness, and crushing weight are typical feelings for any person with chest pain in the left side.
While the feeling in both scenarios is the same, the effects are different. You can easily tell a heart related and non-heart related chest pain.
Chest pains resulting from heart related infections or complications often spread to other body parts either on the same left side or to the right.
Typically, an affected individual will experience pain on the neck, arm, back, and jaw of the left side.at this point, you need no one to tell you of the need to consult a doctor; you should as fast as you can because the effect is spreading.
Sometimes the pain is mild hence ignorable while sometimes it is sharp and unbearable. Also, heart related chest pains are characterized by cold sweats, frequent breathing difficulty, and general body weakness.
For non-heart related chest pain, individuals only experience it on one spot. A change in body position often causes relief for a short period. This can be deceiving if you keep on changing body posture. You can easily mistake the chest pain for physical injury or normal body pains that will varnish with time.
However, the pain intensifies over time. Illness in other parts of the body and injury as the common causes of non-heart related chest pain on the left side is evident on coughing or sneezing.
Also, a person is likely to experience breathing difficulty especially if the lungs have a problem.
Whether dull or sharp pains on the chest, one gets uncomfortable hence call for medical examination. Some people experience sour taste in the mouth, which is linked to heartburn.
Irrespective of the cause and type of chest pain, you should see a doctor whenever you feel your chest is tight and excessive weight on your heart. The squeezing and crushing feeling causes chest pain in the left side. It is important to seek prompt medical help whenever any of these symptoms are witnessed.
Causes of chest pain on the left side
Pleurisy is the inflammation of tissues that cover the lungs and chest wall caused by bacterial or virus infection. Pancreatitis and rheumatoid arthritis also causes damage to these tissues.
Besides, physical injury and heart-related infections interfere with the outer covering that disintegrates leading to pain in the chest. Chest pain can be left or right depending on the damaged side of the chest wall or lungs,
The condition can easily be identified with pain when breathing, coughing, or sneezing. In fact, any rigorous activity or body movements lead to pain. You cannot afford to assume any of the symptoms on inflammation of chest wall covering tissues. Usually, it feels like a stab. The pain is centralized on the left side where it is consistently uncomfortable.
You are likely to experience chest pain if your mind is unsettled for a long period. Mental unrest affects the whole body including the circulatory system.
Coronary disease, which interferes with supply of blood to the heart, is caused by stress. Disappointments in life, drastic change in relationships, or disaster are some of the extreme environments that lead to stress.
In fact, if you are keen you will notice the muscles on your chest tightening. The phrase ‘heavy heart’ applies in this case because the heart pumping rate and purification stages are inhibited hence low heart activity.
Prolonged stress leads to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases.
There is a direct link between certain levels of stress and chest pain on the left side. The obvious reason here is blood does not consistently flow due to reduced heart pressure and functions of the coronary. Emotional stress and depression affect the left side of the heart thus chest pain on the same side.
Stress management is not rocket science. While it depends on the cause and how an individual is attached to a person/item/place, identification of the specific cause of anxiety helps in alleviating stress levels.
Acceptance is usually the next step in managing stress. Of course, it is difficult and that is why it is causing stress; however, accepting the unfortunate happened and moving on helps to quickly alleviate stress hence cure chest pain on the left side.
Also, stress can be alleviated by use of essential oils to help in relaxing the mind. Talking to professionals or confidants about the turn of events is a way of venting thus freeing the heart, which reduces chest pain on the left side.
Home Remedies For Chest Pain
Chest pain points to underlying health complications that should be treated with utmost importance.
While most of the pain is often linked to heart-related elements that necessitate specialized care from professionals, it is also possible to alleviate the pain from home.
The fact that some of the causes of chest are physical injuries and emotional stress, chest pain on the left side can be alleviated from home.
Here are some tips:
- Hot fluids help in curing chest pain and the underlying causes. Accumulation of gas in lungs and tissues covering its walls lead to chest pain.
Drinking any hot fluids whenever you feel chest pain helps in removing any form of gas from the digestive tract as well as clear up the blood stream of gas.
- Garlic. I know you are already thinking about the unpleasant smell; but this is an effective solution for your chest pains.
All you need to do is cut it into small pieces then soak them for few minutes in boiled milk, place the garlic in a glass of hot milk and wait for it to cool down before drinking. Also, be sure to chew the garlic pieces to get the maximum out of it.
- Baking soda in warm water is a sure way of dealing with chest pain. Acidity and accumulation of gas causes buildup of pressure in the lungs and heart hence chest pain.
Drinking baking soda in warm water helps in breaking down the acids and removing free gases in the body.
- The health benefits of turmeric are endless. Here it is again helping you to deal with chest pain. Mix a half spoon of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk and take it before going to bed.
Repeating this process consistently for several days completely heals chest pain in the left hand side. Turmeric is renowned as an anti-inflammatory natural remedy.
- Aspirin is the most common pain remedy. Chest pain on the left side can be as simple as abrasion or a fall and hitting hard on the chest.
If this is the only concern, then a tablet of aspirin with water is all you need.
Back Pain in Left Side
If you have had back pain then you know there is nothing interesting with it; it is not only uncomfortable but also restraining. It is a common and rising health concern with 80% of Americans complaining of chronic back pains.
A person with back pain irrespective of the location is limited on performing certain physical activities. Back pains can be mild or throbbing. Neither of these is better.
Typically, people experience back pains just below the ribcage. Also, it is common above the leg.
There are various causes of back pains; they range from physical injuries to infections and genes. It can be kidney stones, fall from a considerably high place or underlying health complication.
It is important to consult specialists before embarking on any treatment method for your back. It is a delicate body part considering it is next to the spinal cord.
Where exactly is pain located? Back pains in the left side are more than pains on the right. Most of primary body organs and tissues, which are highly sensitive to environmental factors both internally and externally, are located on this side of the body. Talk of the kidney, heart, spleen, stomach among others.
While all body organs are crucial and should be treated with utmost importance, complication of some tissues and organs are more worrying.
Left side pain on the back is uncomfortable and torturing. Actually, you can end up in an emergency room because of back pain on the left side.
Causes of back pain in the left side
Traditionally, back pain is associated with defects on the spine. Most people believe a missing or fractured disk in the spine causes back pain. While this is true, it is not the only reason.
There are multiple other causes of back pain, especially when we focus on the left side. The spine is an integral part of the body, no doubt; it is delicate and irreplaceable.
Any defect on the spinal cord is not only demonstrated by back pains; an individual with spine complication is likely to develop serious and extreme health complications.
Back pain is the least of worries for an individual with detached spine or missing disks on the spinal code.
Let’s explore common causes of back pain in the left side:
Consistently pulling on tendons and muscles on the left side of the back, usually on the lower back, leads to back pain. We all have probably experienced this after pulling or lifting a heavy object. The strain imposed on muscles pulls the tendons apart thus causing discomfort.
Besides, some people have weak backs by nature and would trip or feel pain on the slightest strain.
Women in pregnancy are likely to experience back pain on the left side. This is because of pressure that a growing uterus imposes on the nerves and other organs around the growing fetus.
Expectant women are advised to seek consultation on a regular basis to check on positioning of the uterus with respect to pressure on other body organs and nerves.
Also, physical exercise is suitable for pregnant women when dealing with back pain in the left hand side.
Kidney stones affect nerves and exert pressure on the lower back because of its effect on the groin area.
Any kidney malfunctions interfere with the abdomen, which extends to the lower back.
It is a common cause of back pain in the left side among men. While women also suffer from kidney infections that involve kidney stones, it is more prevalent among men.
Sitting position matters a lot when it comes to physical health of our backs; it is a common cause of back pains. People working in offices are likely to experience back pains because of maintaining a certain posture for several hours every day.
How you position your back on the chair means a lot. Straining any muscles for extended period guarantees pain on left side. Apart from positioning of the back, long sitting hours also contribute to back pains.
Doctors advise sitting upright by laying the back on an even straight surface to avoid pulling tendons and muscles. Any strain on one of these will lead to back pains.
Posture is not only about sitting; it extends to your sleeping style. The type of mattress you use can contribute to back pain on the left side. While a mattress should respond to weight and sink a little for comfort, it should be moderate.
Be sure to find a compact mattress with tough fiber, which does not cause an uneven surface as you lay on it. It is common for people to stretch their backs with mild pain of the lower left side back in the mornings. It is all about evenness of the surface.
Do not be quick in separating yourself from obesity. It is about being overweight. The fact that your weight doesn’t match your height and age; you are at risk of experiencing back pain on the left side.
Weight exerts pressure on muscles and structures on the upper part of the leg and hip.
Muscles and tendons on the lower back are proportional to height and other factors measured in BMI. Therefore, any excess weight strains the muscles. With excess weight, you are likely to experience regular and consistent back pain in the left side.
The good thing here is the pains will subside as soon as the weight on the muscle is suitable. Be sure to work out and engage in regular physical activities to cut on your weight. The less you weigh the lower the back pain related risks.
Back pain on the left side can be caused by defects in the reproductive system.
Both women and men are at risk of back pains resulting from reproductive health issues.
For women, growth of fetus in the fallopian tube rather than the uterus can cause back pain.
Also, twisting of the ovary due to nutritional or genetic factors cause back pain in women; the most painful back pain in women is associated with cyst infections.
In men, testicular infection or twists of the organs result in immense pain in left side of the back. In addition, tumors on men reproductive organs often result in pain left side.
Digestive problems on the left side of the abdomen are common causes of back pains in the left side.
Diverticulitis is prevalent among adults; the disease involves development of pouches on the colon because of hormonal imbalance or alteration of hormone functions.
The pouches grow on the left side of the colon, which has everything to do with the left side abdomen.
Prolonged existence of these pouches attracts bacteria that accumulate over time thus gradually interfering with the digestive system.
Bacteria not only interfere with digestion of necessary vitamin and minerals from food but also cause infection on the colon.
The infection on this left side spreads to the left abdomen thus causing consistent back pains on the left side.
It is important to check with medical specialists on slightest back pains that you suspect is internal.
Treating and managing back pain in the left side is easy when it involves physical injury and other lifestyle elements. However, it becomes a critical condition and medical emergency when digestive system and circulatory system is compromised.
Home Remedies For Back Pain
Although the causes are specific, back pains vary widely on cause and effect. As a result, there is no certainty on a universal cure; it is a trial and error method.
Of course, medics would recommend a treatment method depending on the severity of the aches and identified cause. It might work or it might not especially, if the cause of back pain does not fall under infections or physical causes.
Back pains are common, some mild and some intensive and unbearable. Some are temporary while others extend over months.
Here are some tips on how to manage your back pains on the left side;
Get quality sleep
If you have back pain then you should not compromise on quality and quantity of sleep. Adequate rest is one of the ways of alleviating pain. Be sure to set specific sleeping time that should go for an average of 8 hours daily. Let the body adapt to the specific time. Also, avoid oversleeping.
In addition, find a quality mattress. A good mattress should be therapeutic when it comes to pain. Avoid sleeping on uneven surfaces.
Back pain is a health issue and should be addressed from this angle. The benefits of exercise to healthy living cannot be over emphasized. Set apart few minutes or an hour every day to stretch your muscles and reduce the strain effects.
Engage your brain
Pain is more complicated than you can imagine. While it is the nerves and muscles on your lower back probably because of injury, the brain controls it. Pain has to do with how the brain interprets it. Find a way of interpreting the pain differently other than frustration and restriction for daily activities and it will subside. It is not magic. The brain works with neurons in sending messages hence influence everything in our body.
Left body pain can be related to various health complications that warrant immediate attention. While it may only be a physical injury or mild infection, nothing should be assumed. Be sure to go for thorough medical examination to iron out any issues.