More often than not, the bark of lower right back pain is worse than its actual bite, and this is something that is important to keep in mind. Though significant conditions in their own rights, it is not too often that the pain is due to something like herniated disc, sacroiliac joint dysfunction or quadratus lumborum trigger points. Most back pain will dissipate on its own.
Of course, there are some instances in which lower right back pain can be due to a problematic condition. For example, it could be a symptom of spinal stenosis, a kidney infection or even cancer in the worst scenario.
Significance in Side
Though it might not seem like there is much of a big deal, there are some actual differences between feeling pain on the left side of the back and feeling pain in the lower right back side—to a degree. For example, a kidney infection can just as easily affect the left as it does the right.
However, a pain only on the right side can be due to any number of conditions. For instance, the majority of the world uses their right hand as dominant, and the more activities done with the right side, the more likely injury can occur on that right side.
Kidneys and Back Pain
Experiencing pain in the lower right back is often due to a tear in the tissue of the lumbar region, but it is possible to develop a problem like kidney stones, which require much more prompt treatment. The number one symptom of an issue like this is a sharp pain in the lower right back that is not usually relieved with massage. Of course, the kidneys are on both sides of the spine, so it is possible to experience the pain on the left side as well.
It is also possible to experience pain on the lower back right side due to pulling the muscles or the ligaments within the right side of the lower back. Even the most microscopic tissue tears can force muscles to spasm or to become inflamed from the tears, both of which can create pain that radiating to the leg in some cases.
This kind of injury can occur when vigorously playing a sport or when improperly trying to lift a heavy object. If undergoing strengthening exercise does not help relieve the strained muscle, it is wise to make a call to a doctor or a chiropractor. Treatment is simple enough, however.
First, avoid repeating the activity that started the pain, and avoid resting in bed for longer than 48 hours. Do not favor the right side over the left even if the pain is on the right; this causes the muscles to balance improperly, which lead to additional injury later on in the future. Make an effort to resume daily activities with the exception of the cause of injury. If there is swelling, apply ice in the first day. Afterward, or without swelling, apply heat.
As far as pain medication to manage the side effects, acetaminophen is the first option before other medication with anti-inflammatory properties.
When It’s an Emergency
Though there are plenty of causes that warrant seeing a specialist to avoid further injury, there is one scenario in particular that may further warrant a trip to the emergency room.
Experiencing a numb groin or incontinence after an accident may mean the spine could be fractured. This is a serious emergency that will not go away on its own; the symptoms indicate some injury to the spinal cord, which requires seeking a medical professional immediately.
Of course, if the spine may have been fractured, that is all the more reason to seek a medical professional; it is required to have an x-ray to seek the exact point of the fracture and to verify that the patient has not actually broken his spine during the accident.
The spinal column is a complex unit, made up of vertebrae and small discs, or soft tissues, between each vertebrae. These discs serve to offer flexibility to the back and to offer a cushioning between the vertebrae. Sometimes, the disc can compress and break, causing the gel-like fluid from the inside to squeeze out and cause a spinal nerve to become irritated and cause pain in the lower right back.
Sciatica is another condition that appears to create a significant amount of lower right back pain. Because these sciatic nerves start from the lower back and toward the legs, it is common to experience pain after a herniated disc pushing the fluid to the sciatic nerve. This can also be due to bone spurs or muscle encroachment.
There are some red flag symptoms to be on the lookout for; while it may not currently be a medical emergency, it could quickly become something much more serious if not paid attention to. Check off any of the symptoms that may apply, and be sure to check those symptoms with a keener eye the more symptoms that may be present.
- It is more likely to develop a more serious condition that leads to lower right back pain when under the age of 20 or over the age of 55.
- It is painful to tap the spine even lightly.
- The patient is experiencing chills or a fever without any explanation.
- The patient is experiencing pain in the upper back in addition to the lower back, which is a warning sign of cancer.
- The patient is experiencing weight loss in addition to the pain, which is another warning sign of cancer.
- The patient abuses drugs and/or steroids or was diagnosed with HIV.
Experiencing a general sense of being unwell while having lower back pain might be a symptom that a disease, such as the flue, is inside the body and spreading.
Patients with a history of autoimmune disease may have also developed the condition. This is especially true if the patient experiences other symptoms of the condition that gradually progress further and further prior to the age of 40. Some of these symptoms include rashes, pain in the lower back and joints, significant stiffness in the morning, irritated eyes, difficult digestion and unusual discharge from the urethra.
There is also a concern if experiencing symptoms that equally spread to both legs, including a tingling or numbness that is exacerbated by lifting objects. Any symptoms that are only on the right side, while less so, are still concerning.