Mechanical problems with the spine, muscles, tendons, and ligaments are the most common causes of lower right back pain. Other causes may include infections, kidney stones, or appendicitis. The treatment for these issues varies depending on the cause, but it may involve physical therapy or surgery.
The lower back carries a significant amount of weight and is susceptible to injuries on both sides. It is also possible for conditions affecting other areas of the body, such as infections or inflammation, to cause lower right back pain.
The cause of lower right back pain can determine how it feels. In some cases, people may experience a dull ache that lasts a long time or comes and goes. In other cases, they may have sharp, shooting pain. The pain may be specific to the right-hand side, or it may be present in other areas of the back and legs too.
In this article, we discuss some of the potential causes of lower right back pain and their treatment options.
Sprains and strains
Share on Pinterest
Heavy lifting can result in sprains and strains, which are common causes of lower right back pain.
These injuries are the most common cause of lower back pain. Sprains occur when there is an overstretching or tearing of ligaments in the back, while tears in the muscles or tendons of the back cause strains.
Sprains and strains can occur due to an injury, a sudden movement, or lifting a heavy object. The resulting damage can be painful and restrict movement in this area of the body. Either a sprain or strain can occur on the right side of the lower back.
The body can heal these injuries itself, but people may wish to take anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, to manage the discomfort. In some cases, physical therapy may aid recovery.
Radiculopathy occurs when inflammation, compression, or injury affects the root of a spinal nerve. It can result in lower back pain, which may occur on either side.
The causes of radiculopathy vary. A herniated disc, where a disc in the spine slips out of place, is one potential cause.
The treatment for this condition will depend on its cause. Anti-inflammatory medications can often help manage symptoms. In more serious cases, steroid injections may be necessary to control inflammation and reduce pain.
If someone is overweight, losing weight will help reduce the pressure on the area. Physical therapy can also help by strengthening the surrounding muscles.
This condition occurs when the space around the spinal cord narrows and puts pressure on the spine and nerves. This increased pressure can lead to pain and numbness in the lower back and legs. It is most commonly a result of arthritis.
Spinal stenosis has a range of different treatments that include:
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or acetaminophen
powered by Rubicon Project
Intervertebral disc degeneration
Share on Pinterest
Physical therapy can help treat intervertebral disc degeneration.
Intervertebral disc degeneration is a common condition in which the discs that support the bones, or vertebrae, in the spine degenerate.
This degeneration, which occurs most often in the lower back, increases the friction between the vertebrae. This friction can lead to pain in the back, neck, arms, and legs.
Intervertebral disc degeneration often occurs as a person ages. Treatments for the condition may include:
facet rhizotomy, which involves injecting joints to decrease nerve pain
pain medications, such as NSAIDs or steroids
Infections that may lead to lower back pain on either side can occur in several places in the body.
It is possible for the spinal cord, pelvis, or intervertebral discs to become infected and cause lower back pain. It is also possible for bacteria to reach the kidneys and cause an infection. The kidneys are in the lower back, where they sit slightly toward the right-hand side.
The cause of the infection will determine its treatment. Antibiotics are the standard treatment for bacterial infections.
Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue that usually lines the uterus grows elsewhere in the body. It is possible for this tissue to appear around the right side of the abdomen, causing pain in the region.
There is no cure for endometriosis, but treatment can provide relief from the symptoms. Treatment options include:
pain medications, such as NSAIDs or acetaminophen
Endometriosis can cause infertility. For this reason, some women with this condition may also wish to undergo in vitro fertilization or other methods that promote fertility.