Why Lower Right Back Pain?

If you are wondering whether or not lower right back pain is any different from lower left back pain, the answer is yes...well, sort of. If your pain is due to sciatica, a lumbar strain or kidney infection (we'll get into these terms in a moment), then the pain can be experienced on one side as easily as the other.

So why is your pain only on the right? Lower right back pain can occur for a number of reasons. First, many of us are right-handed; about 70% to 90% worldwide. This means we do more activities with our right and therefore may be more prone to injury and stress that result in lower right back pain. There is no scientific evidence to support this theory, but it can explain why some people have a higher incidence of lower right back pain than lower left back pain.

Since lower back pain is often due to an injury such as trauma from pulled or torn tissue, it is likely that the trauma would occur on one side or the other. If you helped a friend move a couch, for example, and had to twist in an unnatural way, you could pull or tear a muscle in the lower right side of your back. As the injury heals, scar tissue is formed. This scar tissue is weaker than the tissue surrounding it so when stress occurs again in the general area, the scar tissue is likely to be re-injured. This is why repeat injuries to certain areas are common and lower right back pain is experienced over and over again.

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10 Ways to Eliminate Lower Back Pain for Good

For more information on the causes and treatment for lower right back pain, we encourage you to read our report.  It will give you ideas to help ease your lower right back pain as well as some tips on "what not to do." 

Types of Lower Right Back Pain

Lower Right Back Pain and Your Kidneys
Lower right back pain is likely the result of a pull or tear to tissue in the lumbar region, but more serious conditions like kidney stones and kidney infection should not be ruled out. Such pain is usually sharp and distinct and is unlikely to be relieved with message or exercise.  The kidneys are located on either side of the spine in the lower back. An infection here can be felt on the right side as well as the left, around the hip and near the groin. It can also be very sensitive to touch and can cause nausea, fever and illness. If your lower right back pain exhibits any of these conditions, make an appointment to see your doctor immediately so he or she can rule out any serious problems.

Lumbar Strain
In many cases, lower right back pain is due to a pull or tear of the muscles, tendons or ligaments of the lower right area of the back. Microscopic tears in the tissue can trigger inflammation and even cause muscles to spasm, intensifying lower right back pain. When we lift objects incorrectly or hurt ourselves during an athletic activity, a lumbar strain is likely to occur. If the pain does not go away with exercise and strengthening techniques, you may want to visit a chiropractor or doctor. Fortunately, treatment for lumbar strain is usually quite simple. It may include one or more of the following upon occurrence of lower right back pain:
  • Reduce the level of activity that caused the lower right back pain. Because it is in your right side, be careful not to favor your right side more than the left. This is a bad habit and will lead to more injury in the future as it creates an unnatural balance of muscle. Do not lie in bed for more than 48 hours as you will begin to weaken the muscles and increase the chances of recurring lower right back pain. Try to continue with your non-strenuous daily activities if possible.
  • You can apply ice for the first 24 to 48 hours if there is swelling. After ice treatment, or if there is no swelling, apply heat in order to increase blood flow to the painful area.
  • Tylenol should be your first choice for pain medication. If Tylenol is not available, try other anti-inflammatory medication.
  • Start light stretching and exercise after a few days.
  • If your fear of re-injury is preventing you from performing normal functions, make an appointment to see a specialist.

Herniated Disc (also called slipped or ruptured disc)

Herniated Disc (also called slipped or ruptured disc)
Between the vertebrae in the spinal column are soft tissue called discs that act as cushions and give your back a degree of flexibility. When a compressed disc bulges and breaks, the inner gel-like fluid squeezes out and can push against a spinal nerve and cause lower right back pain. A herniated disc can cause lower right back pain or left side, depending on location.

Sciatica and Lower Back Pain Right Side
One condition that seems to cause a great deal of lower right back pain is sciatica. Because our sciatic nerves originate from our lower back and branch out to either leg, it is not uncommon to feel lower right back pain when a herniated disc encroaches on the sciatic nerve. You can also experience pain on one side of the buttocks and down one leg as well. This is very common.  Sciatica can also be caused by muscle encroachment as well as a bone spur.

Back Pain Contributors
Contributors to lower right back pain include overuse, under use, awkward sleeping positions and bad posture. When the pain is localized to the right, it can mean the sufferer is leaning or slouching to one side as he or she sits or stands, placing additional weight on the muscles on the right side. This additional weight makes the muscles work harder and they become prone to injury. Poor sleeping positions can produce lower right back pain. If you sleep in awkward positions that pull or create stress on your lower right back area, you can be unaware of the damage you are creating. If you wake each morning with the same stiffness, soreness or lower right back pain, reconsider your sleeping positions. Do not be alarmed if you cannot identify the cause for your lower right back pain. Up to 85% of back pain sufferers will never be able to identify the cause of their pain. For more information see read our free report.