What Causes Sharp Lower Left Back Pain?
The spine provides our bodies with strength and stability. More importantly, the spine protects the spinal cord, nerve roots, and nearby internal organs. Most people will experience various degrees of back pain at one point or another. But sharp lower left back pain, as well as other painful symptoms, may point to a more serious condition. Understanding the precise cause of sharp lower left back pain can help board-certified spine doctors identify any underlying conditions or injuries that are responsible for mild or severe pain.
After finding the underlying conditions responsible for sharp lower left back pain, spine surgeons can begin advanced spinal care tailored to each patient’s individual needs. With a dedicated staff of nationally recognized spinal experts, the team at New Jersey Spine Specialists treats various conditions that cause sharp lower left back pain, helping patients across northern New Jersey reclaim a pain-free lifestyle.
Sharp Lower Left Back Pain From Kidney Stones
Internal organs, such as the kidney or colon, can cause sharp pain to manifest in the lower left back. Patients may feel sharp lower left back pain when a stone moves inside the left kidney, or moves through the thin tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder. Once a kidney stone begins to move through the ureters, patients may notice a combination of symptoms, which include:
- Sharp lower left back pain, below the ribs
- Fever and chill (if an infection is present)
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Pink, red, or brown urine
- Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
- Stinging pain when urinating
Kidney stones form when a patient’s urine contains more crystal-forming substances – such as calcium, oxalate and uric acid – than the fluid can dilute. Alternatively, a patient’s urine may lack substances that prevent crystals from sticking together, thereby creating the ideal setting for kidney stone formation. Understanding the type of kidney stone affecting a patient can help with treatment and prevention. The types of kidney stone include:
- Calcium Stones: the most common type for metabolic conditions
- Struvite Stones: formed in response to an infection and may be asymptomatic
- Uric Acid Stones: formed in people who don’t drink enough fluids or lose too much fluid, eat a high-protein diet, or have gout
- Cystine Stones: formed in people with a hereditary disorder that causes the kidneys to excrete too much of certain amino acids
Patients can receive kidney stone treatment for sharp lower back pain by receiving a proper diagnosis from a board-certified doctor. Your doctor may order a combination of diagnosis tests such as blood and urine tests, and imaging test.
Most small kidney stones don’t require invasive treatment. Patients can soothe sharp lower back pain by drinking water, and pain relievers. But kidney stones that cannot be treated through conservative methods may require extensive treatment such as surgical extraction.
Sharp Lower Left Pain From Sciatica
Sciatica, which receives its name from the sciatic nerve, can produce various levels of pain in the lumbar spine or buttocks to your legs when the sciatic nerve becomes irritated or compressed. Degenerative disc disease, pinched nerves, or a herniated disc can also lead to instances of sciatica between the backbone levels of L4 and S1. Patients typically report common symptoms like pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, slower reflexes and muscle spasms. Several other conditions can influence the progression of sciatica such as the narrowing of the spinal cord in the lower back (lumbar spinal stenosis), a disc that slipped over the vertebra below it (spondylolisthesis), a tumor or infection in the spine, cauda equine syndrome, and injuries to the spine.
Your preferred spine specialist can deliver an accurate diagnosis after completing a combination of diagnostic tests on NJ-based patients. These tests include checking muscle strength and reflexes and using diagnostic imaging technologies such as X-rays, MRIs, CT Scans, and Electromyography (EMG).
After receiving an accurate diagnosis from a board-certified spine doctor at NJSS, patients living in Bloomfield, Summit, and the nearby towns can begin a personalized treatment regimen. Rather than opt for surgical intervention, our doctors can treat sciatica patients with sharp lower left back pain through a set of conservative methods such as:
- Physical activity modification
- Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
- Epidural Injections
- Low-impact exercises
- Stretching techniques
- Physical Therapy
Sharp Lower Left Back Pain From Spinal Stenosis
Spinal Stenosis occurs when the sensitive spinal nerve roots become compressed. While the majority of affected patients are over the age of 50, degenerative changes can cause younger patients to develop this painful condition. These changes may include trauma, a congenital spinal deformity like scoliosis, or even a genetic disease affecting bone and muscle development. Spinal Stenosis symptoms tend to fluctuate between patients, ranging from mild and manageable pain, numbness or tingling in the extremities from pinched nerves, sharp lower left back pain, and a limited range of mobility. Since symptoms of spinal stenosis are so similar to symptoms of other spinal conditions, it can be difficult to properly diagnose this painful condition. But the NJSS team can deploy advanced imaging tests – like an MRI, CT, and X-rays – to identify the location of the narrowing spine. Spinal Stenosis can manifest as the result of other conditions such as wear and tear damage from osteoarthritis, complications from spinal injuries, and abnormal growths on the spinal cord and within vertebrae.
Board-certified spine experts classify spinal stenosis depending on its location within the spine. Cervical stenosis occurs in the upper regions near the neck while the more common Lumbar stenosis occurs in the lower regions of the spine. Treatment for spinal stenosis may include pain relievers such as ibuprofen, decompression surgery, laminectomy, and physical therapy. Most patients with spinal stenosis become less active to reduce the pain. Unfortunately, this can lead to muscle weakness, resulting in more pain. Luckily, a certified physical therapist can teach patients effective exercises to build strength and endurance, maintain the spine’s stability and flexibility, and improve balance.
Sharp Lower Left Back Pain From A Herniated Disc
A herniated disc develops when a disc protrusion ruptures or herniates through the fragile intervertebral disc wall. As a result, the viscous material from the interior of the disc can spill into the spinal canal, generating mid to severe pain from impingement on sensitive nerves. Disc herniation usually originates from gradual, age-related wear and tear referred to as disc degeneration. Common symptoms of herniated discs depend on the location in the spine and if the disc is pressing on a nerve. The most common symptoms a patient will experience include pain in the buttocks, thigh, and calf, numbness or tingling from the affected nerves, and muscle weakness affecting stability and the ability to lift or hold items.
Let NJSS Treat Your Sharp Lower Left Back Pain
NJSS proudly offers telehealth services for patients living in the surrounding area. Telemedicine is convenient, easy, and offers a thorough appointment with a medical provider without leaving home or the office. New Jersey Spine Specialist’s doctors have an extensive history in treating many patients from all over northern New Jersey for sharp lower left back pain. With locations at Summit’s Overlook Hospital and Montclair’s Mountainside Hospital, New Jersey Spine Specialist’s leading team of spine surgeons provides patients living near Chatham, West Orange, and North Caldwell with advanced care tailored to each unique case. If you begin to experience sharp lower left back pain, don’t suffer in silence a moment longer. Schedule a consultation at our state-of-the-art office to learn about which minimally invasive treatment options can work for you. To find out more about how our minimally invasive treatments can lower your sharp lower left back pain, give us a call by dialing (908) 738-1679.
“I am pain free, walking and well on my way to recovery thanks to the help of New Jersey Spine Specialists” —Robert K
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