Lower Right Back Pain: Causes And Treatment
Lower right back pain has many potential causes. Muscles, bones, discs, spinal nerves, internal organs, or underlying illness can directly or indirectly cause lower back pain.
Common causes of lower back pain on the right side only can be minor problems like a pulled muscle or a misaligned spine. Lower right back pain can also indicate more urgent conditions, like kidney stones or spinal stenosis.
While dealing with any type of back pain is frustrating, pain in your lower right back is usually not serious and can be treated at home. Severe or ongoing pain should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.
This article explores the potential causes of lower right back pain. It also details when to seek medical help and how lower right back pain is diagnosed and treated.
Can Lower Back Pain Be A Sign Of Something Serious Like Cancer
Lower back pain can be related to cancer. In fact, it is one of the first symptoms of prostate cancer when it metastasizes and creates lesions. Almost any cancer can spread to the back and some, like sarcoma, can originate in the back. Be cautious, especially if you are experiencing other symptoms besides lower back pain. Talk to your doctor if you have additional symptoms or concerns.
Muscle Strain Or Sprain
Some of the most common causes of lower back pain on the right side are muscle strains or sprains.
Muscle strains are caused by strenuous activities like lifting something heavy, twisting too hard, or participating in high-impact activities like sports.
These injuries can happen from something as simple as throwing out your back during heavy liftinglike moving boxesor from an incident as severe as a car accident.
Acute low back pain from muscle strain typically starts suddenly and can be accompanied by inflammation, redness, swelling, soreness, or bruising.
The severity of your strain determines how long it takes for your symptoms to subside, which can range from a few days to weeks.
You can generally treat a muscle strain at home with rest, ice, warmth, and over-the-counter treatments.
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Lower Back Pain After Drinking Alcohol
If you experience lower back pain after drinking alcohol, it can be great cause for concern. Usually, the symptoms you experience after drinking alcohol consist of headaches, nausea, dehydration, brain fog, and more.
So, when your lower back hurts the morning after a night of drinking, it obviously creates worry. After all, this can be a sign of kidney damage. But, it could also be a wide variety of other things that have simply been exacerbated from alcohol. So how do you tell the difference?
Well help you uncover what the exact reason for your pain is, and how to determine when you should visit a doctor or hospital.
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Lower Back Pain: What Could It Be
Do you have lower back pain? You are not alone. Anyone can experience lower back pain at any time, even if you dont have a prior injury or any of the risk factors. It is not always serious and can often get better on its own. But in some cases pain is your bodys way of telling you that something isnt right.
Learn more about lower back pain and what causes it from rehabilitation physician Akhil Chhatre, M.D., who specializes in back pain in the Johns Hopkins Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
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Chronic Back Pain: Long
Chronic back pain, on the other hand, can be serious. Chronic pain is serious because the symptoms are strong enough to impact your health, mobility and quality of life for an extended period of time.
While chronic back pain can come on suddenly, it usually builds gradually and lasts more than six weeks. Chronic back pain can also be recurrent, meaning itll go away at times but regularly come back.
What causes chronic back pain? Chronic pain can be triggered by a new injury, but underlying conditions are usually the real cause. Muscle deconditioning is one of the most common contributors.
Right Side Pain In The Lower Back From Internal Organs Causes And Treatments
A constant dull ache in your right lower back or sharp, agonizing back pain could also come from inflammation or disease in an internal organ below your ribs. The lower right side of your back includes the right kidney, which is located towards your back, just below the rib cage.
Part of your stomach, intestines, and colon are also located on the right side of your abdomen and, usually, if you have any digestive problems, the digestive-related pain may also be felt on the lower right side of your back.
Women also have part of their reproductive system on the right side of their body. For example, ovarian cyst on the right ovary can also be a source of pain in women in the lower part of their back.
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Why Is Lower Back Pain Such A Common Problem
The bottom part of your back typically has just five vertebrae fewer than your neck and mid-back. And these vertebrae do a lot of heavy lifting! Your lower back is where your spine connects to your pelvis, bearing the weight of your upper body. This area experiences a lot of movement and stress, which may lead to wear, tear and injuries.
What Causes Pain In The Right
Right-hand side pain of your lower back is caused by conditions that affect your muscles and the interconnected structures of your spinal column including your facet joints, discs and nerve roots as well as some serious health problems.
Muscle strain is the most common reason for low back pain and it can cause pain mainly on the lower right-hand side of your back. A muscle strain occurs when your muscle is overstretched or torn through twisting, lifting heavy objects or if it encounters an impact such as a sports injury or car accident. Typically, the pain from a muscle strain feels better within a few weeks and does not require medical attention.
Lower right back pain can also have orthopaedic and neurological causes including:
- Kidney disorders kidney infections and stones can cause pain on one side of your back.
- Colon disorders such as inflammation of your appendix and inner walls of your large intestines can manifest as back pain.
- Female reproductive problems including endometriosis and benign growths within the walls of your uterus can sometimes cause back pain.
- Cancer tumours may cause pain that begins in your abdomen and radiates to your back, sometimes on one side.
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Arthritis Of The Lower Right Back
Pain in your lower right back could be caused by arthritis that is causing inflammation in your sacroiliac joints or pelvic bone.
Ankylosing spondylitis is an arthritic condition that causes low back pain on one or the other side of your back. Over time, vertebrae in the spine fuse together and this creates tension and pain in your lower back. Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that low back pain caused by ankylosing spondylitis is often felt after periods of inactivity.9
Lumbar spinal stenosis is another arthritic condition that causes chronic cramping pains in the lower back. Dr. Jason Eck on eMedicneHealth says that other symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis are sharp pains when walking as well as tingling and possibly numbness in the legs.10
Physical therapy can help relieve the chronic pain that arthritis causes in the lower back. This can also help reduce low back pain while you are sleeping and help you get a better nights sleep.
Muscle Sprain Or Strain
This is the most common cause of pain, particularly of the right or left side of your lower back, says Dr. Gharibo. It often pops up because of poor posture, body mechanics, and deconditioning .
Lifting something incorrectly or attempting to lift too much weight can lead to lower back pain, Dr. Gharibo says. You might feel a spasm when this happens, like your muscle is contracting quickly and painfully.
If you experienced an event that led to a strain or spasm, the obvious next step is to avoid repeating that same activity. Lying down for a short period of time will take the pressure off of your spine, which may help relieve some of the discomfort, according to Dr. Gharibo.
If you dont have conditions that stop you from taking certain medications, Dr. Gharibo suggests taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, too. He recommends acetaminophen and ibuprofen taken together to help aid the aches. If one pill doesnt work, two may better control the issue, he says.
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Chronic Low Back Pain Of No Specific Origin
Low back pain is defined as pain, tightness, and stiffness between the lower end of the rib cage and the buttocks. “Chronic” means the pain has lasted for twelve weeks or longer, and “no specific origin” means the pain cannot be traced to any specific cause, incident, or injury.
Most susceptible are individuals who perform heavy physical work, especially when there is ongoing anxiety, depression, and emotional stress at the same time. The longer the stress and back pain continue, the more difficult it is to ease the symptoms and return the patient to normal functioning.
Treatment involves nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and sometimes opioid medications for pain, though both have risks when used long term. Antidepressants may also be tried, along with psychological counseling.
Corticosteroid injections for the back are effective for some patients, and fusion surgery is sometimes attempted. Lifestyle changes in the form of improved diet, exercise, and stress management are very helpful in most cases.
Top Symptoms: lower back pain, unintentional weight loss, back pain that shoots to the butt, fever, involuntary defecation
Symptoms that always occur with chronic low back pain of no specific origin: lower back pain
Symptoms that never occur with chronic low back pain of no specific origin: thigh numbness, buttocks numbness, lower back pain from an injury
Urgency: Primary care doctor
What Is Causing Pain In My Upper Right Side
Back pain is common and can occur due to many reasons, however, it can get extremely frustrating when you arent sure why the pain is happening or how to get rid of it. If youre experiencing pain or discomfort in your upper right back area but cant figure out whats causing it, dont worry were here to help!
Your upper back plays an important role in your everyday movements so its no surprise that injuries and conditions can occur in your thoracic spine. But good news injuries to your upper back are considerably less common in comparison to lower back injuries! The thoracic back and neck are less flexible than your lumbar spine, which is why a lot of underlying causes of right upper back pain frequently involve the internal organs that are protected by your rib cage. Since your ribs are located directly against your upper back muscles, rib cage irritation directly places stress on those muscles. Read the symptoms below to help diagnose the pain in your upper right back and get back to a pain-free life!
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Liver Disease: Nhs Doctor Talks About Link With Alcohol
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Pain in your abdomen can feel scary, especially if the cause is unknown. Most of the time, its nothing to be concerned about. But sometimes it can be caused by something more serious. Specifically, pain in the upper right side of your abdomen may be a warning sign of several dangerous conditions. So, what are the possible causes of pain in the upper right side of your tummy?
Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy
Some people experience pelvic pain during pregnancy. Pelvic pain can affect one or both sides of the lower back.
This pain may also affect the perineum or radiate to the thighs. It may become worse while a person is walking, standing up, or rolling onto their side.
A person may be able to reduce pelvic pain during pregnancy by:
- doing exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor
- avoiding standing for too long
- getting plenty of rest
People can also try applying ice or heat packs to help ease the pain.
OTC acetaminophen is generally safe to take during pregnancy. However, it is advisable to consult a doctor before taking any medications while pregnant.
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Medication From The Store
There are two kinds of over-the-counter pain relievers that frequently help with back pain: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and acetaminophen. Both have some side effects, and some people may not be able to take them. Talk to your doctor before taking pain relievers. And don’t expect medication alone to solve your pain problem. Studies show you’ll probably need more than one type of treatment.
Why Back Pain Requires A Team Approach To Care
Whether back pain requires surgery or is manageable with conservative treatment, its important to see a spine specialist for diagnosis and care. The doctors at our Spine Center work as a team with experts in nerve, muscle, and bone conditions, as well as nurses and physical therapists who work closely with patients to manage symptoms and reduce the risk of recurrence.
Each week, our multidisciplinary team meets to discuss challenging cases and educate each other on the latest research and techniques. Together, we see a range of patients with complex medical needs. For example, if a patient with a spinal infection is taking a medication that suppresses the immune system, such as immunotherapy for cancer, we work together to find an effective treatment that is safe for their unique needs.
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The Tricky One: Cancer As A Cause Of Low Back Pain And The Necessity Of Testing Just In Case When The Symptoms Justify It
Sorry I have to use the C word I know its kind of a bummer. But C happens.
A few cancers in their early stages can be hard to tell apart from ordinary back pain a bone cancer in the vertebrae, for instance and these create a frustrating diagnostic problem. They are too rare for doctors to inflict cancer testing on every low back pain patient just in case. And yet the possibility cannot be dismissed, either! This is an unsolveable problem.
Most cancers and ominous problems will inevitably start to cause other, distinctive, ominous symptoms, and it wont be long before someone catches on that theres more going on than just back pain. So it truly is an extraordinary circumstance for back pain to be ominous without causing other symptoms that raise the alarm.
For example, in 2017, the New England Journal of Medicine reported on a creepy case of slowly growing neurological deficit caused by a very stealthy cancer, which took a lot of diagnostic effort to solve.22shudder So sneaky cancers happen but they are crazy rare.
This is an unholy combination of factors: the exact same symptoms can have either an extremely rare but serious cause, or an extremely common but harmless cause that can be greatly aggravated by excessive alarm!
My favourite epitaph: I told you I was sick!
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What Is Lower Right Back Pain What Does It Feel Like
Lower right back pain can feel mild like a dull ache, moderate like a heavy weight or severe with a piercing stab. The pain can come and go or last a long time.
Pain can radiate, which means it can spread from one place in your body to another. For example, the nerves that are part of your kidneys are connected to the nerves attached to the ligaments and tissues in your back. So, if your kidneys hurt, you might also feel pain in your back, including the lower right section of your back.
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Can Lower Back Pain Be Related To Weather
If you feel like your lower back pain worsens on days when its cold or the weather is changing, you are not imagining things. Back pain can indeed be related to barometric pressure and outdoor temperature. Changes in pressure can sometimes cause pain in arthritic joints, including the spine. Muscles and joints in general react to the environment, which can make them stiffer and more likely to suffer an injury.
Upper Back Pain When Sitting
Many people experience pain in their necks and upper backs as a result of craning forward while sitting to look at a computer monitor or phone display. Although its tempting to sprawl out and watch television for hours, this can also easily throw your back out of alignment.
That uncomfortable feeling of stiffness when you finally do move or stand up is telling you something.
Better posture makes a difference.
Its likely your parents or teachers cautioned you to sit up straight when you were a child, and with good reason.
Sitting in one position too long isnt healthy. Doing it with your back rounded forward, slumped to one side, or leaning too far back can put stress on parts of your spine for an extended period. This can lead to pain, as well as other issues.
To help you sit straighter, position your body along an imaginary straight line extending the length of your back, out of your head, and up to the ceiling. Keep your shoulders level and dont let your pelvis rotate forward. Doing so causes a curve in your lower back.
If you sit up perfectly straight, youll feel the small of your back stretch and lengthen.
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