While low back pain is very common complaint, some people may particularly experience lower right back pain. Lower right back pain is experienced in the right side of lower region of the back. It includes the spine, lumbar and lower spinal vertebrae, areas on the right side of the spine and the hip region which is rested when seating.
Lower right back pain can be acute back pain, often felt as sharp, lightning or shooting type, while sometimes it can be dull aching pain in the entire region. Pain can last for a short span, which is acute lower right back pain or it can even last for a long time making it chronic back pain. Lower right back pain can sometimes make a person feel weak and unable to stand, bend or continue with the activity.
Pain in lower right back may be felt with a burning, stabbing sensation and can also be accompanied with numbness and tingling in lower limbs. It may be related to specific activity or may worsen on making further movements. Lower right back pain may be followed with a history of falling, sudden jerking movements, lifting of heavy weights, accidents or sport injuries. Back pain can be a result of musculoskeletal conditions or may be related to internal organs.
Causes of Lower Right Back Pain
Lower right back pain can be caused by some common conditions, which include:
Musculoskeletal Conditions That Can Cause Pain in the Lower Right Back
The commonest cause of lower right back pain is injury or damage to the muscles and ligaments supporting the back and other joint related conditions. These include:
- Injury to bones, joints, spinal vertebrae, muscles, ligaments, soft tissues and blood vessels in the lower back region can cause lower right back pain. Sport injuries, direct blows, falls, accidents, etc. can cause damage to these structures.
- Protrusion or herniation of intervertebral disc, annular tears and bulging of discs are also another common cause of lower right back pain. These discs are protective cushions in between the spinal vertebrae, which if protrude from their original position, cause severe and sudden pain in lower right back. This commonly occurs while bending or lifting heavy objects or sometimes occurs due to gradual wear and tear.
- Tensed muscles in the lower right back can cause pain with a feeling of weakness in the muscles and inability to move or lift objects.
- Joint conditions and aging related problems like lumbar spondylosis, various types of arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis affecting lower back and the sacroiliac joint on the right can also cause lower right back pain.
Poor posture, sitting for long hours, awkward movements, excessive use of lower back muscles causing overuse injuries or inappropriate ways of lifting weights, etc. Being overweight and an inactive lifestyle can contribute to lower right back pain.
Spinal Conditions that Can Cause Pain in Lower Right Back
Many spinal conditions can cause lower right back pain.
- Sciatica and nerve related conditions causing nerve compression, particularly on the right side can cause right lower back pain which can extend into the right buttocks. It can be associated with numbness and tingling in the right leg. If the condition affects both sides, both legs may be involved. Injury or damage to a nerve in the lower back can cause sharp, severe lower right back pain.
- Lower right back pain can also be caused due to fracture of spinal cord, compression fractures of spine, occurring due to osteoporosis and any other injury to the spinal vertebrae.
- Conditions of spine like spinal stenosis which is narrowing of the spinal canal, can cause lower right back pain. It is often associated with nerve compression symptoms like burning sensation, numbness and tingling and sometimes weakness.
- Congenital or acquired conditions, which affect the curvatures of spine like scoliosis, kyphosis, when the right side is involved, can cause lower right back pain, if the condition worsens.
- Infections of the spine, tuberculosis, etc. and other spinal conditions like spina bifida, which causes acute damage to the nearby structures and certain types of cancers affecting the spine, etc. can cause pain in lower right back.
Other Causes of Lower Right Back Pain
Renal problems like kidney stones, infection in the kidneys or urinary tract infections, other kidney disorders and urologic diseases. Some gastrointestinal conditions affecting the right side like appendicitis, disorders of the colon, etc. can cause lower right back pain.
In women, menstrual pain, menstrual irregularities, pregnancy related causes, or gynecological disorders like pelvic inflammatory conditions, uterine problems can cause lower right back pain. It can extend to lower abdomen and may be associated with relevant symptoms.
Other conditions affecting the joints, certain autoimmune disorders, some infections including pelvic infections, tumors and spread of cancers, etc. too can cause lower back pain, ranging from dull aching pain to sudden lower right back pain.
Symptoms of Lower Right Back Pain
Lower right back pain can be presented with pain in the lower region of the back, during a particularly activity, bending, lifting weight or travelling. Back pain can be associated with radiating pain from the lower back to buttocks, back of thighs and legs. Pain can radiate from lower back to the groin in front.
If lower back pain is severe and the person is unable to move, immediate medical care is needed. Lower right back pain, if accompanied with weakness of lower limbs, loss of control of bowel and bladder, it can be a medical emergency.
Treatment & Management of Lower Right Back Pain
Lower right back pain is managed with rest and immobilization for initial period with back support. Ice or heat compresses can be effective in relieving the pain in lower right back. Treatment for lower right back pain depends on the underlying cause. Pain killers and anti-inflammatory medicines are given. In most joint and muscle conditions, physical therapy may be required and gradual recovery of activities may be advised.