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What are Common Causes of Middle Right Back Pain?

By Meshell Powell
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Middle right back pain is a common complaint that can have a multitude of causes. The majority of pain in this area of the back is due to strained muscles, a condition caused when the muscles are overused and become stretched or torn. Other possible causes can include gallbladder issues, intestinal gas, and pinched nerves. While treatment largely depends on the source of the pain, some possible treatment options include heat or ice therapy, the use of medications, and gentle stretching exercises.

Muscle strains resulting in middle right back pain can generally be treated with relatively conservative means at home. It is important to first obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional in order to rule out more serious medical conditions. Heat or ice therapy can be helpful, with some patients preferring heat and others preferring ice. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used as well, and many healthcare providers recommend gentle stretching exercises once the pain begins to lessen.

Gallbladder issues such as gallstones or an inflamed gallbladder may cause middle right back pain in some patients. This pain may also spread upward into the right shoulder. This condition can quickly develop into an emergency situation. Therefore, if these symptoms are accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain, the patient should visit the local emergency room right away.

If the pain tends to come and go, the problem may be intestinal gas. There are several over-the-counter medications that can be used to help relieve the pain caused by gas. If the problem is persistent or does not respond to treatment, a medical professional should be consulted to make sure there is not a more serious intestinal problem present.

When middle right back pain is accompanied by difficulty maintaining correct posture, a slipped disc could be the cause. A slipped disc is also referred to as a herniated disc and occurs when the cushioned area between the discs of the spine move into an abnormal position. This condition can sometimes be treated with medications, physical therapy, and massage therapy. However, in more severe cases surgery may become necessary.

Pinched nerves, another potential cause of middle right back pain, occur when there is an abnormal amount of pressure placed on one of nerves. This can occur due to slipped discs or muscle strains and can lead to what is often referred to as a pins and needles sensation. Physical therapy and medications are sometimes used to treat pinched nerves. However, surgical intervention to treat the root cause is often necessary.

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Discussion Comments
By Mykol — On Aug 10, 2012

I have had frequent urinary tract infections and usually have some type of lower right back pain with this.

When I go to the doctor, this is one of the things they ask me about, and they always tap my back to see if it is tender. Since this is right where the kidneys are, it is common for many people to have back pain with this type of infection.

If I wait too long before being seen, this not only affects my right lower back, but the middle of my back as well. Once I start taking some antibiotics, the pain goes away pretty quickly.

By LisaLou — On Aug 09, 2012

@myharley-- I think that is a problem that is common for many people. I once heard someone say we should not cut corners when it comes to what we sleep on. Many people spend about 1/3 of their life sleeping, so this makes sense.

I think the best back pain treatment for a lot of people would be to change the type of bed they sleep on. It is amazing how long some people will keep the same bed.

If this doesn't take care of your back pain, then it would be wise to see if there is something else that is causing the pain.

By myharley — On Aug 09, 2012

There is nothing more frustrating than a nagging back pain that just doesn't go away. Come to find out, we needed to get a new mattress.

When both of us were waking up in the morning with mid back pain that stayed with us for several hours, we knew it was time to do something different.

I am just glad this was something that didn't need any kind of medical treatment.

By julies — On Aug 08, 2012

When my husband had a herniated disc, he had lower back pain all over, but it was worse on his right side. The day before this happened he had been target shooting, and must have done something to put his back out.

When he woke up in the morning, his back hurt so bad he could hardly get out of bed. After they ran some tests, they determined he had a herniated disc.

They initially gave him some medication for the pain, but after that he went through several weeks of physical therapy. Thankfully this took care of his problem, and he didn't have to have any kind of surgery done.

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