Physiotherapy for Back Pain Articles
Left-Side Middle Back Pain: Navigating Causes and Morning Solutions

Left-Side Middle Back Pain: Navigating Causes and Morning Solutions

Middle back pain, particularly on the left side, can significantly impact your daily life and hinder your ability to perform even the simplest tasks. Understanding the potential causes and implementing effective strategies to alleviate the pain is crucial for your overall well-being.

Singapore's confirmed occupational disease cases from 2019 to 2021 indicate that 60% are attributed to back pain related to ergonomic risks. In this article, we will explore the factors that may contribute to middle back pain on the left side and provide practical and effective ways to find relief.

Possible Causes of Mid-Back Pain on the Left Side

Back pain varies in intensity, characteristics, and location, as its possible causes may also vary. As such, here are some of the common possible causes of middle back pain on the left side:

Conditions Directly Affecting the Spine

When it comes to middle back pain on the left side, several conditions can directly affect the spinal column itself.

One common culprit is muscle strain or sprain, which can occur due to poor posture, improper lifting techniques, or overexertion. Another possible cause is a herniated disc, where the soft tissue between the vertebrae slips out of place and presses on nearby nerves, causing pain and discomfort.

In some cases, spinal conditions such as scoliosis or spinal stenosis can also contribute to mid-back pain on the left side. Scoliosis refers to an abnormal curvature of the spine where it's observable that the spine curves sideways. At the same time, spinal stenosis involves narrowing the spinal canal and putting pressure on the spinal cord and spinal nerves.

Conditions Affecting Internal Organs

Mid-back pain on the left side can also result from conditions affecting the internal organs.

For instance, a kidney stone or a kidney infection can cause sharp, intense pain radiating to the middle back. Similarly, gastrointestinal issues like pancreatitis or an inflamed gallbladder can lead to referred pain in this area.

Suppose you feel pain in your middle back and suspect it's related to an internal organ problem. Consulting with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis is crucial in that case.

Other Conditions that May Affect the Spine

While conditions directly affecting the spine or internal organs are common culprits of mid-back pain on the left side, there are other factors to consider as well.

Poor posture, sedentary lifestyle, and obesity can put excess strain on the muscles and ligaments in the mid back, leading to chronic pain. Inflammation of the joints, such as in conditions like arthritis, can also contribute to discomfort in this area.

Moreover, stress and anxiety can manifest physically as tension in the muscles, including those in the middle back. Emotional well-being plays a significant role in overall health, and addressing stress through relaxation techniques or therapy can help alleviate mid-back pain caused by tension.

Additional Causes of Mid-Back Pain in Females

Some conditions that may cause middle and upper back pain may be specific in females because of some anatomical structures distinct to them. These conditions are usually debilitating, especially when accompanied by other symptoms.


For females, mid-back pain on the left side can be a common complaint during pregnancy. As the baby grows, the shifting weight distribution and hormonal changes can put a strain on the back muscles and ligaments. The added pressure on the spine can lead to discomfort and pain in the mid back.


Endometriosis, a condition where the tissue lining the uterus grows outside of it, can also cause mid-back pain on the left side. The displaced tissue can irritate nerves and lead to chronic pain. If you suspect endometriosis as the cause of your mid back pain, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and management.

How to Relieve Pain in Your Middle Back

Now that we have explored the potential causes of mid-back pain on the left side, let's discuss effective strategies to find relief and improve your quality of life.

Incorporate Lifestyle Modifications

Making certain lifestyle modifications can significantly reduce mid-back pain. Maintaining good posture, both while sitting and standing, is crucial. Avoid slouching and ensure that your workspace is ergonomically designed to support your back.

Regular physical activity, especially workouts that enhance the core and back muscles, can offer stability and relieve discomfort.

Maintaining a healthy weight and quitting smoking can also positively impact your mid-back health.

Do Some Home Remedies

When experiencing mid-back pain on the left side, several home remedies can offer relief, especially when minor injuries cause it, and it isn't accompanied by other symptoms signalling a medical emergency like a stabbing pain that may signal a heart attack.

This includes applying hot and cold packs, doing gentle stretching exercises, and performing stress management techniques.

A cold pack or ice wrapped in a towel can help reduce inflammation, improve blood flow, and numb the area. Alternatively, a heating pad or warm compress can relax the muscles and alleviate pain.

Gentle stretching exercises and yoga poses targeting the mid back can also relieve relief. Implementing stress management techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or meditation, can also help reduce tension and promote relaxation.

Take Over-the-Counter Medications

A non-prescription pain medication or over-the-counter drugs, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, can help alleviate mid-back pain caused by inflammation. These drugs target specific substances produced by the body that signal pain and stop their production.

Attend Physical Therapy Sessions

Physical therapy can be highly beneficial for relieving middle and upper left back pain. A trained physical therapist can assess your condition, develop a personalised treatment plan, and guide you through exercises and stretches targeting specific painful back muscles. They may also incorporate spinal manipulation or massage techniques to provide further relief.

Seek Help from a Physiotherapist

In some cases, seeking help from a physiotherapist who specialises in physiotherapy for back pain in Singapore can provide additional relief.

Physiotherapists, most notably our experts from Phoenix Rehab, can perform a thorough assessment, identify the underlying cause of your pain, and develop a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your needs. This may include manual therapy techniques, specific exercises, and recommendations for postural adjustments or lifestyle modifications.

When to Seek Immediate Medical Attention

While many cases of minor upper back pain and mid-back pain on the lower or upper left side can be relieved through self-care and conservative measures, there are certain instances where immediate medical care is necessary, especially if it's a worsening pain and is referred to other parts of the body, exhibited as significant leg pain or neck pain.

Suppose your severe pain is accompanied by other symptoms such as unexplained weight loss, difficulty breathing, chest pain, or loss of bladder or bowel control. In that case, it's crucial to seek medical attention immediately to stop the root cause of the pain and prevent serious complications from occurring.

Moreover, if your pain persists or worsens despite home remedies and lifestyle modifications, consulting with a healthcare professional is advised to determine the underlying cause and explore further medical treatment options.

Final Words

Left-side back pain can be debilitating, but with the right knowledge and strategies, you can find relief and improve your overall well-being.

By understanding the potential causes and implementing lifestyle modifications, home remedies, and professional assistance when needed, you can effectively manage and alleviate your mid back pain.

Take control of your mid back pain and regain your quality of life by booking an appointment with Phoenix Rehab today.

Phoenix Rehab: Where you regain the life you love

Singapore's most experienced and trustworthy physio and hand therapy specialists who are dedicated experts in diagnosing and treating pain and injuries in bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints.

65 8800 1830 |
10 Sinaran Drive, Novena Medical Centre #10-09, Singapore 307506
88924121 |
265 Serangoon Central Drive #04-269 Singapore 550265
65 8780 9608 |
9 Tampines Grande, #01-20, Singapore 528735