Hey, my back has really been hurting. It gets bad in the summer when I am working at the golf course. But lately my lower back hurts to the touch on my spine, and when I step with my left foot it hurts in my lower back, my but and down my leg into my knee.
Unfortunately, without an examination, it is difficult to tell exactly what is going on.
But, as to the left side, you could have problems in the sacroiliac joint on that side, if the pain is towards the upper buttock (around the area of the "dimple").
You could also have problems with the hamstring muscles, which attach to the pelvis in the buttocks (on the bones which you sit on). Problems with the hamstrings can cause pain in the buttocks and down into the back of the thigh.
You could also have sciatica, which is irritation of the large nerve going down the back of the thigh. It is made up of nerves from the lumbar plexus in the pelvis, which exits the pelvis through the buttock muscles, and travels down the back of the thigh.
It is not uncommon for patients to have significant pain right at the area of the "dimple" when they have to do a lot of lifting and reaching out with objects. This usually hurts worse when you have to lean forward just slightly to get something just below waist level. This is due to overuse of the gluteal muscles, but usually does not cause pain down the thigh.
So, if the discomfort does not get better, or you start to develop other symptoms, you might want to see your physician for an evaluation.
I think it sounds exactly like the pain I feel when I dislocate my SI joint. It can get so inflammed that I can't even touch my thigh without it hurting. And it typically runs from your lower back into the buttocks, around the hip and down your leg. If it gets bad it goes into my knee and calf. At times it even shoots down into my heel of my foot. Hope this helps.
That sounds a lot like the pain I would get, cota_76. I have spondylolisthesis. I always associated the tenderness running down my leg into my calf with sciatica. I don't know about the dislocated SI joint, but it felt like something was dislocated because I didn't have much range of motion in my hip. I would lie on my back and pull my opposite knee to my chest as hard as I could. My lower back would crack and pop. Afterwards, the tenderness in my leg would subside and I had greater range of motion in that leg. I think it was when I was doing a lot of lifting that I would get the tenderness down my leg.
My spondy has progressed and now I have burning sensations in my legs, but I also have the tenderness in my lower back on one side like jbouch describes. I'm not sure if it's the same pain you're experiencing, too, jbouch, but last spring when I would bend a little to the left I would feel a pulling sensation in my right buttocks. I get a similar sensation from my right hip to my right knee when I drive. Pain medications resolve much of the pain for me. You might want to try an OTC NSAID and see if it relieves the pain.