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Left Side Back Pain Under Ribs

There could be many reasons behind the pain under ribs on your left side. Monitoring the symptoms will give you an indication, whether it is gas, kidney stones, or a pancreas related problem that is causing the pain. This HealthHearty article describes common causes of lower back pain on left side.
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2018
Pain under the ribs can be very uncomfortable, and when it's chronic, it may be an indicator of a serious medical problem. Sometimes the pain could be caused because of gas, and taking over-the-counter pills can help you. Diagnosing the exact problem, at times, can be difficult, and most doctors will apply a wait and watch policy. It is important that you keep your follow-up appointments under such circumstances. If you have had a fall, or hurt your rib cage recently, a minor fracture could also be the reason behind your left back pain under ribs.
The most common reaction people have to lower back pain is taking painkillers. Self medication should be avoided if possible, because it may inadvertently complicate the problems. Visiting your family physician and scheduling an x-ray is a good idea, if the pain persists.
Causes of Pain in Back Under Ribs
To correctly diagnose the reason behind pain under your ribs, you have to consider the accompanying symptoms. Your doctor may get your blood work done to determine the exact cause, if the pain is persistent. In some cases a CT scan will also be needed to ascertain the cause of left back pain.
Digestive System Problems
Left rib pain and gas are closely associated, and changes in dietary habits can be a simple solution for such a problem.
Sports Injuries
Back pain under ribs in children is mostly connected to playtime related injuries, and visiting a doctor is the best bet. Sports and weight training related injuries also account for back pain, and are mostly treated with painkillers and proper rest.
Gastrointestinal Problems
Those who have gastrointestinal problems like inflammation in the intestines, may experience left side lower back pain and nausea. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a major reason behind back pain across all age groups. Heart burn and vomiting are some other accompanying symptoms of pain under ribs after eating.
Kidney Problems
The kidneys act as the waste management components of the body. They are responsible for urine creation and getting rid of toxins from the body. Kidney stones can hamper this function and may block the flow of urine leading to pressure buildup. The person may experience pain under ribs when coughing. An injury to the kidneys can cause bleeding inside the kidneys. If your left kidney is injured or infected, you may experience pain in the lower left side of your back.
Pregnancy Problems
It is quite common for pregnant women to have gas related problems, and this is one of the major reasons behind the left rib pain under breast. The pain may radiate towards the back. Ectopic pregnancy can also lead to left side pain under ribs, and a pelvic ultrasound is helpful in diagnosing the problem. One of the most common complaint of pregnant women is lower back pain, and it is due to the growing uterus which strains the abdominal muscles. Hormonal changes during pregnancy lead to softening of ligaments, and this creates additional strain on the lower back ligaments.
Other Causes
Urinary tract infections (UTI) can also cause lower back pain, and it is advisable to consult your doctor. You might have to take antibiotics.
Left rib pain when breathing is symptomatic of musculoskeletal injuries, and the doctor might ask you to take anti-inflammatory drugs.
An inflammation of the pancreas known as pancreatitis can also cause lower back pain.
Wrong posture while sitting or sleeping, damaged bones, deterioration of muscles, muscle spasms, arthritis, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, an infection in the spine, fibroid tumors, excessive bending, twisting, or lifting heavy objects, etc., can also lead to lower back pain.
There are many reasons behind back pain under ribs, you need to carefully watch the accompanying symptoms to correctly diagnose the problem. For chronic back pain, it is advisable to get an expert medical opinion rather than trying over-the-counter pills.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.