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What are Common Causes of Lower Right Back Pain?

By Meshell Powell
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Lower right back pain is a relatively common complaint and can have a variety of causes, ranging from strained muscles or problems with the discs of the spine to an injury to the joint known as the sacroiliac joint. Treatment depends on the cause of the pain and can include lifestyle changes, medication, or, in the more severe cases, surgical intervention. The most important step is to report all symptoms to a doctor in order to obtain a proper diagnosis.

If the lower right back pain begins after a traumatic injury such as a fall, the cause is often a herniated disc or strained muscle. Each disc of the spine is separated by a cushion. If this cushion moves out of its normal position, it causes pressure on surrounding tissues and nerves, leading to back pain. This condition is known as having a herniated disc. Muscle strains, often referred to as pulled muscles, occur when the muscle has been stretched or torn.

Depression or not getting the proper amount of restorative sleep can sometimes lead to lower right back pain. Improper sleep positions that do not allow the body to rest in correct alignment may also lead to this type of pain. Even incorrect posture or lifting techniques are likely to cause lower right back pain.

The sacroiliac joint is found on each side of the lower back and helps the body achieve twisting motions. If the joint on the right side becomes damaged, lower right back pain often occurs. This pain can range from mild to debilitating and can often radiate from the back into the buttocks as well as around to the groin area. In fact, sacroiliac joint dysfunction is a frequent cause for testicular pain in males.

Most of the above causes of lower right back pain can be treated safely at home once an accurate diagnosis has been made. Some treatments include bed rest, ice or heat therapy, and the use of anti-inflammatory pain relievers. Sometimes injections with medications such as cortisone may be performed by the doctor. However, some potentially serious causes of lower right back pain exist. Therefore, it is extremely important to see a doctor right away in order to rule out these conditions.

Appendicitis, an inflammation of the appendix, can cause pain in the lower right abdomen that radiates into the lower back. Without proper medical care, the appendix could rupture, leading to a potentially life-threatening emergency situation. A ruptured blood vessel, known clinically as an abdominal aneurysm, may also cause radiating pain in the lower back. As with appendicitis, this condition can be potentially life threatening and is considered a medical emergency.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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