Discover our New Newsletter "Yes You Can"

Back Pain Lower Right Side
Causes and Cures

Back pain on your lower right side could have a wide variety of causes. Learning the possible causes and knowing what the important signs and symptoms are will help you monitor your symptoms and know when to seek medical care.

If your pain is severe and prevents normal activities it is important that you see a back pain specialist for evaluation. Some of the possible causes of back pain on your lower right side are serious and will not go away without treatment.

Some of the more serious causes of back pain that comes from your back may require laser spine surgery, endoscopic spinal surgery, or other minimally invasive spine surgery.

But when your back pain is not coming from your back other possibilities must be considered. Shingles nerve pain, enlarged prostate symptoms, and menopause symptoms, among others, can be felt as back pain.

Shingles, Muscles, Abdominal Organs??

Whenever a problem includes back pain, you must consider the most common cause of back pain, which is muscle pain. Other considerations would include shingles nerve pain, and diseases of the abdominal organs. Structures such as the right kidney, the gall bladder, and the female sex organs, can cause pain that is felt in the back.


Think about the muscles by asking yourself :

  • How long have you had the pain?
  • What were you doing when it started?
  • What activities make it better?
  • What makes it worse?
  • Have you ever had this before?
  • What made it better in the past?

"maybe you just need to take it easy for a few days" If the back pain on your lower right side began after spending a long weekend working in the garden, or lifting a heavy piece of furniture, maybe you just need to take it easy for a few days.

  • Is your pain constant?
  • Or does it come and go?
  • Is it positional?
  • Can you find a position that relieves the pain?
  • Have you had any accidents or possible injuries?
  • Any falls, car accidents, etc.?


"If you have had any kind of trauma..."

If you have had any kind of trauma such as a fall or a motor vehicle accident you need to be evaluated by a back pain specialist. Fractures of the spine or ribs can cause unilateral pain. These will need to be checked with x-rays, or in certain situations, an MRI. Treatment will depend on what the studies show and the findings from the physical exam.

Muscle strains and sprains will usually resolve with several days of rest, and over the counter pain medication. However, these can sometimes evolve into tender trigger points. These can often be treated effectively with an injection of local anesthetic, and/or deep tissue massage.

"You can help yourself by..."

Postural conditions can be more difficult to evaluate, and typically will cause bilateral symptoms. Here are a few things to consider when thinking about the back pain on your lower right side. You can help yourself by evaluating the positions where you spend your time.

If your work involves excessive bending and lifting, that may need to be evaluated and/or changed. If you spend your day hunched over a keyboard squinting at a computer screen, consider the ergonomics. Raise your screen to eye level, adjust your keyboard height, and get a chair without arms that will support your low back.

If you discuss it with your doctor, he may order physical therapy for stretching and strengthening specific muscle groups to improve your flexibility and correct your posture.

To consider nerve pain or sciatica pain ask yourself:

  • Does the back pain on your lower right side radiate down into your buttock or thigh?
  • Does it radiate into your middle or upper back?
  • Does it get worse with walking?
  • Are you having any problems with your bowels or bladder?
  • Does the pain tingle or have a burning quality?

A bulging or herniated disc in the lumbar spine can cause back pain on your lower right side that may radiate into the buttock or thigh. This would need to be evaluated with an MRI of the lumbar spine and may require herniated disc surgery to get better.

"a virus that can lie dormant"

Treatment options would depend on what the MRI showed, but could include oral steroids such as prednisone, epidural steroid injections, and/or endoscopic spinal surgery to remove the disc that is pressing on the nerve.

In many cases minimally invasive spine surgery can be very effective relieving the pain of a herniated disc. The most advanced treatment for a herniated disc involves disc replacement surgery.

Another possible cause of pain on your right flank is shingles nerve pain or herpes zoster, this is a virus that can lie dormant in the nerve for decades and then suddenly become active causing the burning tingling of shingles nerve pain. This is discussed in more detail in my article about Back and Abdominal Pain.


Learn More: 
Other Possible Causes of Back Pain. 
Kidneys? Gallbladder? Liver? Female Organs?

Maybe these will also help:

Back and Abdominal Pain

Return from Back Pain on Your Lower Right Side to Causes of Back Pain

Return to Living with Back Pain

Discover Our New Newsletter "Yes You Can"