Why Does the Left Side of My Body Hurt? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and More

The left side of the body is pivotal for all major life activities, so if you’re experiencing pain in this area, it’s likely to be a result of your lifestyle. There are many major issues that can cause you pain in the left side of your body.

So, why does the left side of my body hurt?

The left side of the body is more prone to problems. If there is an underlying problem in the left side of the body then you will experience pain for sure! This discomfort may go away on its own in some circumstances. Other situations, on the other hand, may necessitate emergency medical attention.

The reasons for a hurting left side of the body can be as simple as the buildup of gas in the digestive tract to as complex as a ruptured spleen. Read on to know more.

Organs on the Left Side of the Body

Organs on the Left Side of the Body

To understand the causes behind the pain on your left side, you need to know about the organs residing there. 

The left side of the body is home to many vital organs that play a pivotal role in life activities. Organs on the left side of the body are active for all essential living activities starting from breathing to digesting food and carrying out reproductive activities. 

All of the important organs on the left side of the body are as follows:

Left Lung:

In comparison to your right lung, which has three lobes, your left lung has only two. This asymmetry makes place on the left for your heart.

Heart:

Your heart is located to the left of the center of your chest. Your circulatory system’s heart is a muscle at its core. The average adult heart is 5 inches long, 3.5 inches wide, and 2.5 inches deep, about the size of a fist.

Adrenal Gland:

The two adrenal glands of the body are positioned on top of each kidney. Pathological conditions concerning these glands can also cause pain in the left side of the body. 

Spleen:

The spleen is placed in the upper left of your abdomen, behind the top part of your stomach, under your diaphragm. It’s roughly 4 to 5 inches long, fist-sized, and purple in hue.

Left Kidney:

Below your rib cage, you have two kidneys. They’re located on each side of your spine, just in front of your lowest (floating) ribs. Kidneys are almost a fist’s size and bean-like in shape. Typically, your left kidney is somewhat bigger than your right.

Stomach:

The higher, middle-left region of your abdomen homes your stomach. It is located in front of the spleen, as well as underneath and behind the liver.

Pancreas:

The pancreas is a 6- to 10-inch-long gland located under and below the stomach in the belly. You may also encounter pain in the left side of your body due to pancreatic problems. 

So, now let’s dive deep into the causes of the left side body pain

What Causes Pain on the Left Side?

Why Does the Left Side of My Body Hurt

Numerous medical conditions are responsible for body pain/ muscle pain on the left side of the body. As discussed above, it may occur due to a serious illness sometimes while it may vanish on its own at other times. 

Let’s dive into some of the notable causes behind left side body pain.

Sciatica: 

Sciatica is a condition due to pain in the sciatica nerve. The nerve may hurt seriously sometimes due to the reasons which irritated it. A compressed nerve in the lower spine is the most common cause of sciatica. The Sciatica pain in the left side of the body can’t let you lay.

Symptoms of Sciatica Pain on Left Side of the Body:

  • Shooting pain along the sciatic nerve

This nerve pain in the left side of the body might be indicating something serious.

Other typical sciatica symptoms include:

  • Tingling sensation in the feet and toes 
  • Numb leg alongside the nerve

Treatment Options:

  • Ibuprofen, is an over-the-counter pain reliever that may also be purchased online.
  • Walking or gentle stretching 
  • Compression packs, either hot or cold
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) – helps patients manage chronic pain

If your symptoms haven’t responded to conventional therapies and are becoming worse, surgery may be a possibility. Surgical options include the following:

  • Lumbar laminectomy is a procedure that involves expanding the spinal cord in the lower back to relieve nerve pressure.

Heart Attack: 

A heart attack occurs when a portion of the heart muscle loses blood flow. It is frequently caused by a blockage in a neighboring artery.

A person suffering from a heart attack, also known as a myocardial infarction, will experience discomfort in their chest and stabbing pain on the left side, among other symptoms.

Early detection of heart attack can save a life by timely treatment.

Symptoms of Heart Attack Pain on Left Side:

  • Sense of crushing or weight in the chest
  • The feeling of pressure, tightness, discomfort
  • Sensations like heartburn or indigestion
  • Feelings of nausea and occasionally vomiting 
  • Shortness of breath that feels clammy and sticky in certain circumstances
  • The anxiousness that might seem like a panic attack
  • Coughing or wheezing if fluid builds up in the lungs

Treatment Options:

  • Medications that dissolve blood clots
  • Coronary artery bypass grafting (bypass)
  • Percutaneous coronary intervention 

Gas: 

Gas pain in the chest might generate pressure or discomfort but it is typically not a reason for worry. It can also be difficult to distinguish from other types of chest discomfort, such as that caused by a heart attack.

Symptoms of Gas Causing Pain in Chest and Left Side of the Body:

Gas pain in the chest is commonly described as a tightness or discomfort in the chest region. There may be a mild burning or stabbing feeling in addition to the discomfort. It’s possible that the discomfort will spread to the abdomen.

Other signs and symptoms of gas discomfort in the chest differ depending on the etiology, however, they might include:

  • Burping / bloating / indigestion
  • Excessive feces
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Nausea

Treatment Options:

  • Intake warm liquids
  • Use ginger
  • Exercise

Some indigestion symptoms can be relieved with over-the-counter drugs like bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto Bismol).

Chronic diseases such as IBS, GERD, UC, and Crohn’s disease may require prescriptions from a doctor, however, therapy varies depending on the issue.

Spleen Problems: 

A weird feeling in the left side of the body might be the consequence of a mild or severe spleen problem. A damaged, ruptured or enlarged spleen may cause this pain.

Symptoms of Left Side Pain Due to Defected Spleen:

  • Quickly feeling full after meal consumption
  • Discomfort/ pain in left ribs
  • Anemia and fatigue
  • Frequent infections
  • Bleeding

Treatment Options:

If your spleen isn’t operating correctly or is damaged, infected, or oversized, you may require a splenectomy to have it removed.

Partial splenectomy is a procedure that removes only a portion of your spleen.You’ll be urged to get specific immunizations before the procedure if time allows. 

Ovarian Cyst: 

When fluid collects within a thin membrane inside the ovary, it forms an ovarian cyst. It might be as little as a pea or as huge as orange in size.

A cyst is a sac-like formation that is closed. It is separated from the surrounding tissue by a membrane. It’s a fluid-filled pocket that looks like a blister. It may contain liquid, gaseous, or semi-solid matter. The cyst wall is the exterior or capsular component of a cyst.

This may cause Pain on Left Side of the Body of Females. Let’s take a look at the symptoms.

Symptoms of Ovarian Cyst: 

  • Odd vaginal bleeding 
  • Changes in menstruation
  • Pelvic discomfort
  • Dull aching in the lower back and thighs in menstruation
  • Discomfort in the pelvic area during stool
  • Discomfort in the abdomen occurs during intercourse, 
  • Problems urinating frequently
  • Weight increase that was not predicted
  • Soreness in the breasts
  • Abdomen bloating or swelling 
  • Feeling full after eating

Treatment Options:

A doctor may counsel cautious waiting if a cyst is smaller than 10 centimeters wide and is not producing symptoms. Ultrasound will most likely be used to track the cyst over time before removal through surgery.

Treatment of Left Side Body Pain From Head to Toe 

If the whole left side body hurts then rest and elevate the sore spot. Alternate between ice packs and heat packs to treat inflammation and increase the flow of blood. 

Take a warm bath with Epsom salts or a warm shower to relax. Take pain medicines that are available over-the-counter (aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen).

Any More Questions?

What does it mean when your left side hurts?

While left side pain is frequently due to gas, it can sometimes indicate a more serious problem such as diverticulitis, appendicitis, or stomach ulcers, which need immediate medical treatment.

Why does the left side of my body hurt when I breathe?

Pleuritis. Pleurisy, or pleurisy, is an inflammation or irritation of the lungs and chest lining. 

When you breathe, cough, or sneeze, you are likely to experience acute discomfort. Bacterial or viral infections, pulmonary embolism, and pneumothorax are the most prevalent causes of pleuritic chest discomfort.

Why do my body ache and I feel tired?

Answer: Prolonged exposure to stress can result in widespread inflammation, muscular tension, and discomfort in the body. Sleep deprivation on a regular basis can lead to the development of chronic pain. Sleeping allows your body to mend and recover from the stress.

Conclusion

Why does the left side of my body hurt? Most of the time, you may experience unbearable pain in the left side due to nervous problems such as Sciatica or serious issues with organs in other cases. 

These serious issues include heart attack, an enlarged spleen, ovarian cysts in females, and many others. These conditions are a medical emergency and they can be treated at the hospital only.

Dr Umme Hurayra

Dr Umme Hurayra

Hi, I'm Umme Hurayra. I am currently studying MBBS in Mymensingh Medical College. Medical science is an incredible thing. I like to share my knowledge with everyone.

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