Mid Back Pain Archives

Causes of Mid Back Pain on the Left Side

mid back pain left side

Mid Back Pain: Left Side

Mid Back Pain Left Side

If you’re feeling mid back pain on the left side there are a number of different reasons that could be contributing to it. The good news is that this type of pain is often muscle related and with some small changes to your lifestyle you can probably reverse the effects.

However, if you find that your pain is persistent over a long period of time, and even when you have tried changing up your routine to promote good spine health, you should really go and see a good physiotherapist because the pain may be a sign of a larger issue at work.

Common Causes of Mid Back Pain on the Left Side

Like most back pain – poor posture, health and stress are some of the key factors that contribute to having a bad back. When I’ve had the worst back pain of my life it was caused by some of the following factors:

  • Improper computer chair lacking armrests
  • Working too many hours in the day and working too long without breaks
  • Taking on too much work which lead to high stress levels
  • Weak Abs
  • Unbalanced Posture (which is what causes the pain to be on the left side)
  • Serious Injury (discussed below)

Like most people when they first start to feel back pain, I didn’t think much of it. You might be the same, but if you continue to ignore the pain you will get to the point where it is so unbearable that the problem will most likely spread and lead to other problems due to your body trying to react and overcompensate to deal with the pain which in turn puts more strain on other parts of your body.

The Worst Thing You Can Do is Ignore Your Pain!

If you are in generally poor health, under a lot of stress, or working too long or too hard then you can probably greatly reduce the amount of pain you are in by trying to do the following:

  • Strengthen your core. It may sound strange to think that by strengthening your front that it will also help your back, but it’s completely true. Tighter abs promotes better, tighter posture that really does a lot for your back. Also those core exercises are working your back as well as your abs, so it is also becoming stronger. For help with this, check out: Bulletproof Back Core Strengthening Home Program.
  • Make sure that you are sitting properly (meaning sitting up straight – and without having a huge wallet in your back pocket to promote imbalance) if you need to sit for long periods of time, and NO MORE SLOUCHING! Also see: The Best Chair for Bad Backs.
  • Take more frequent breaks to give your back a rest.
  • Start stretching. This worked wonders for me and you can use our lower back pain exercises guide here: Lower Back Pain Exercises or better yet, take a look at the Safe Stretching Handbook.
  • If possible try to reduce your stress levels at work by either handing off some of your work to a co-worker, or by becoming more focused and efficient at your job so that you can get out of the office more quickly.
  • Trigger Points. Get rid of any trigger points you may have by getting a good massage. If you have serious trigger point problems then try this: Trigger Point Home Treatment Kit.
  • Check to see how soft your mattress is. If it is very soft, it may promote poor sleeping positions that lead to promoting and unnatural curve in the spine.
  • Meditative Qigong. This will help reduce stress levels and also put you in a place of calm and tranquility for at least a short amount of each time where your back is getting a rest, as well as your mind. Check out my favorite kind of meditation: Meditative Qigong

Mid back Pain on the Left Side Indicating Serious Injury

If your back pain continues to persist even after you have made some key changes in your lifestyle, then you should really see a doctor and see if it’s not a sign of some larger issue. Because your heart is on the left side of your torso it may be an indication that you are having some complications with your heart.

How I Got Rid of My Back Pain

The first major thing that needed to happen to get rid of my back pain was that I had to be honest with myself and realize just how bad the situation had gotten. I had mid back pain on the left side as well as on the right side and pain going down my right leg. It would flare up at random during the day, and almost always at night.

The constant pain felt uncomfortable, painful, and like my back always needed to be popped, making it almost impossible to get a decent night’s sleep. So, after realizing that the situation was dire, I requested time off from work and while my boss wasn’t happy about me taking time off, he did see the logic in me needing to get healthy so that I could continue to work in the future. I’m sure if your pain is anything like what I went through that your boss will also see the logic in giving you time off for a short term in favor of keeping you around for the long term.

From there, I got help and started to read online, looking for different natural solutions for what may work.

For me, the answer was stretching and meditation (about one hour total time for both, performed each day), in addition to changing careers and taking time off from work.

For you the path to solving your mid back pain on the left side and beginning your new pain free life may be different, but the most important thing is that you realize you need help and then reach out. Suffering with chronic back pain is no way to live your life.

Rib Pain on the Left Side: Causes and Symptoms


rib pain left side

Rib Pain Left Side

Rib Pain Left Side

Causes and Symptoms

Rib pain on the left side can be caused by a number of different issues, some more severe than others. Depending on how much pain you are currently in you may need to seek medical attention. Hopefully you aren’t at that point – but if you are please do go and see your doctor.

Also, as a good rule of thumb, if the pain isn’t going away after a few days you should also go and have a talk with your doctor – better safe than sorry.

I’m providing this information from the research that I have done when I’ve had my own personal rib pain in the past. Pain in and around the ribs is some of the most annoying and severe pain that I’ve felt, and often it’s hard to know exactly what is causing it.

To start, when you look at the underlying organs on the left side of your body you have both the stomach and the spleen, so your pain may be related to either of those. Just to be clear here when we are talking about the ‘Left Side’ that means the same side of your body as your left hand.

Cracked Ribs

I’ve personally went through cracked ribs after an unfortunate bout of basketball where my brother ended up smashing his hip into my ribs, and then another time while trying to bridge while sparring in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

In both instances the ribs were very tender, and any large exhalations, such as laughing, would cause sharp pain. Movement was also an issue, and getting into and out of bed was quite difficult as it required me to keep my torso as straight as possible to minimize the pain that I was feeling.

The pain was so much that I thought that I had maybe broken a rib, and went to the doctor to have an X-Ray. The result of the X-Ray was that I had cracked ribs, which was a relief to know what the cause of the pain was, but unfortunately there is nothing that can be done for cracked ribs, and they heal themselves over time.

After going through the pain of cracked ribs for a second time I decided that contact sports aren’t for me, and now stick to running as my main form of physical activity. 

Muscle Pain

It may be possible that you have bruised the muscles around your ribs and this is what is causing your rib pain on the left side. For this you may want to try using muscle relaxants or heating creams to help reduce the inflammation. If you are suffering from muscle pain the good news is that the pain should go away in a few days, assuming that you are not reinjuring the same area.

Gas Pain

The buildup of gas in the stomach and small intestine may cause rib pain on the left side. There are many causes of gas build up, so it is often hard to pinpoint exactly what the cause of the pain is. I’ve suffered from intense gas pain in the past, and have since remedied it by changing my diet.

If you are feeling pain that you think may be gas related, and you are in a location where you can freely pass you gas – try to do so and see if it will relieve any of the pain that you are feeling. Also, try to remember what you most recently ate, as an ingredient in that food may be the source of your discomfort.

For me personally I found that while I eliminated wheat flour from my diet I feel a lot better. Unfortunately with the North American diet it can be tough to steer clear of wheat flour if you are eating out. Try to keep a mental note of what foods you think are causing the issues and then remember to bring this up with your doctor at your next visit, as repeated incidents of gas pain may be signs of some larger issues.

There are some over the counter remedies like Gas-X that you may want to try when you know you will be eating food that can cause issues for you.

Ulcers

Stomach Ulcers are caused by bacteria in the stomach and by smoking and can be another cause of your rip pain on the left side. Ulcers are most likely to flare up a few hours after eating, in the early morning or during the night. You may be able to reduce the pain you are feeling by eating something or by taking antacid medication. If you think that you have an ulcer you should consult your doctor.

Rib Pain on the Left Side – What to Do?

If your rib pain on the left side problem is internal and you suspect related to gas, ulcers, Irritable Bowel Syndrome etc. then try to regulate your diet, drink more water and get regular exercise. While this advice may seem as basic as it gets I’ve found that changing my diet has been one of the biggest things to give me consistent relief. Eating out is still a minefield, as I’m not sure exactly what food or ingredient is causing my pain, but at least 90% of the time I am feeling great.

Other Causes of Rib Pain

In some instances you may be suffering from prolonged muscle strain caused by a poor mattress and how you sleep. Depending on your sleeping position you may be putting undue pressure on the ribs that is causing the pain. Try to see if applying heat to the sore area will relieve the pain. If so, then that is a good sign that your pain is muscle related.

Try to sleep in a different position and see if that has any effect on how you are feeling. Also try flipping your mattress if it hasn’t been adjusted in a while and see if that has any positive results.

Sources:
http://ehealthforum.com/health/topic33917.html
http://kidshealth.org/teen/diseases_conditions/digestive/ulcers.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rib_fracture
http://www.babyzone.com/askanexpert/extreme-rib-back-pain/