HomeAnswersGeneral Medicinemuscle tightnessWhy does my left side feel tight despite normal reports?

I have a tight sensation on my left hip. What is causing this?


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Published At February 16, 2018
Reviewed AtFebruary 16, 2024

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I am a 27-year-old male. For about the last year, I have had this weird sensation on my left side, from my left hip up to below the bottom of my left ribcage. It is mostly just when I am lying on my side. When I lay on my left side, it feels like I am laying on something like a flat piece of cardboard or something like that. It is mostly along the hip and under the ribs. When I turn over and lay on my right side, my left side feels really tight, and it is very uncomfortable. Once in a while, it will also feel like it is back behind my left shoulder blade also. Again this has been going on for about a year now. I had blood work and a CT scan about six months ago, and they both came back with nothing. The feeling just is not going away, though. What could be causing this?


Welcome to icliniq.com.

Most probably, you have musculoskeletal pain.

Characteristics of musculoskeletal pain are:

1. Dull aching.

2. Increase with certain movements and certain positions.

3. Tender muscles.

Do you have similar features?

Do you practice heavy exercise?

What kind of work do you do?

Have you tried muscle relaxants?

The other less likely possibility is irritable bowel, characterized by attacks of chronic diarrhea and bloating.

Patient's Query

Thank you,

So the pain has been going on for about a year now. Could this be something serious like a tumor or any type of cancer? When I lay on my side, it feels super tight, and it seems to have gotten a little worse over the past few days, but I also do not know if I am just in my own head and making it feel worse myself.


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

The pain you described has nothing to do with tumors. Tumors are painless masses that cause significant weight loss and cause symptoms like blood in stools, blood in urine, jaundice, etc. Most of the time, there is no pain except in the case of an advanced tumor with metastasis to bones which is less likely in your scenario.

So again, please do not worry about this issue. Muscle spasms cause tight dull pain. So, a trial of deep heat cream three times per day will be helpful. Please send me the CT (computed tomography) report you performed in order to make a better decision.

Patient's Query

Thank you, doctor,

I do not have the report with me at the moment. It is actually at my parent's house. I can send it to you once I get a chance to go over there and get it. I do remember that the stomach and liver were unremarkable. I believe the spleen was also. Would this scan have detected any types of cancer or serious conditions? Since this has been going on for so long, I am very nervous about it. The blood work and CT scan both came back good. I guess you could say. I just hate not knowing what this is. I have another appointment set this week to see if they can figure anything else out, but since this is my third time going, I do not know what else they could do.


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

CT is a good tool for imaging. It shows us the internal organs and can detect even small masses. So, by far, if there is a mass, the CT would have detected it.

Let us discuss all the possible causes of your pain. There are three possible causes:

  1. Musculoskeletal pain due to sprains, spasms, or inflammation - pain is tight and increases with certain movements and positions.
  2. Renal colic- pain is colicky, on and off, and moves from the back to the groin area, most likely due to renal stones (normal CT makes it less likely).
  3. Skin nerve inflammation (the nerve that supplies the skin) - pain is burning in nature and covers a certain area of the skin.
  4. The other less likely cause is the bowel, but it manifests as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, etc.

Have you experienced Herpes zoster before, as some cases may develop postherpetic neuralgia with persistent pain for months?

Please send me the CT report anytime and keep me updated.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Mahmoud Ahmed Abdelrahman Abouibrahim
Dr. Mahmoud Ahmed Abdelrahman Abouibrahim

Internal Medicine

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