Lower right back pain is defined as pain located in the lower right part of the back. Also mentioned as pain experienced in the right lumbar region, this type of symptom is scientifically known as osphyalgia of the right side. In general, lower back pain is one the most common regional types of pain felt by people universally, with around 50% of the adult population admitting to having experienced the sensation at least once in their life. Anatomy and basic functions of the right-sided organs—what we need to know as patients.
Contrary to the predominant belief held by patients that lower back pain is caused solely by musculoskeletal problems, we have to keep in mind that this is not the only reason behind the appearance of the symptom. Underneath the skin and subcutaneous tissue, the right side of the body hosts the liver, pancreas head, gallbladder, the ascending colon
(first part of the large intestine) and at the back of the body, the right kidney, and right ureter
. In women, this side is also the location of the right ovary and fallopian tube. The kidneys are organs that filter the body’s blood, producing urine that is carried via the ureters to the bladder during the process of urination. The liver lies just below the ribcage, producing bile, and contributing to the cleansing of various toxins from the body. The pancreas lies horizontally in the abdominal cavity, with its head extending to the right area. It is responsible for producing digestive enzymes. The ascending colon is the first part of the large intestine, carrying out the dehydration process of food and absorbing nutrients, finally forming what is known as feces, which are disposed of. In women, the right ovary, just like the left one, is responsible for producing egg cells and for secreting various hormones. The fallopian tube connects the left ovary to the uterus and helps the mature egg cell (secondary oocyte) to leave the ovary and travel further down. The fallopian tube is also where the sperm fertilizes the oocyte. Last, but not least, the spine is a vital structure located in the center of the back. More specifically, the spine’s 5 vertebrae located in the lower lumbar part are the strongest ones, supporting the body’s weight and allowing one to bend forward at a great angle, backward, and sideways. In between the vertebrae rest the intervertebral discs and, surrounding the left region of the spine, muscles and ligaments are responsible for its stabilization and support. Nerve roots exiting or entering the spine are also a vital part of its function.
Types and Causes
The symptom of right osphyalgia can be either acute or chronic. In general, lower back pain, either right or left, can be caused by a great variety of conditions, having to do with the musculoskeletal system, the spine, or the abdominal internal organs: herniated discs, degenerative spondyloarthropathies, psoriatic arthritis, spinal infection, traumas, lymphomas, abdominal aortic aneurysms or many other conditions. But now, let’s take a look at the predominant causes of lower right back pain.
- Ovarian conditions (right): Ovarian cysts or tumors can cause a dull, painful sensation on the right side of the back.
- Sprain or strain of muscles or ligaments in the right side: In the majority of the cases, this is an acute symptom. In this case, minor trauma is present due to a sudden movement or bad posture when lifting weight. This mechanical injury is a non-specific type of back pain, meaning that the exact cause cannot be pinned down with a clinical examination or further tests.
- Direct traumatization: Damage to the right side of the back caused directly by any type of force exerted on the spine.
- Conditions of the head of the pancreas: Pancreatic head cancer or other conditions affecting this particular anatomical structure are usually accompanied by pain located on the right side of the back.
- Left kidney infections or stones: Renal infections and stones do not always involve both of the kidneys. A unilateral pyelonephritis (infection) or stone problem on the right side could produce the symptom of lower right back pain.
- Ureter conditions: Just like the kidney, the right ureter is located at the back of the body and any type of disease (tumor, traumatization, or stenosis) can result in right osphyalgia.
- Ascending colon disease: Due to its location on the right side of the body, conditions affecting this part of the large intestine like tumors or inflammatory bowel diseases can cause radiating pain to the right side of the back. Intervertebral disc condition: Mostly due to degeneration and secondarily a disc hernia. In these cases, it is not uncommon for the pain to extend to the right buttock or even the posterior (back) region of the right knee and leg. Gallbladder conditions: Acute cholecystitis is an inflammation of the gallbladder caused primarily by gallstones. It causes abdominal pain that very often radiates to the lower right side of the back.
- Liver disease: Due to conditions like cirrhosis, alcoholic liver disease, and various other conditions.
- Spondyloarthropathies: This category includes all the conditions affecting the spinal joints. A degenerative spondyloarthropathy is caused by degeneration and targets older individuals. Ankylosing spondylitis is accompanied by inflammation and causes pain when someone is resting for a long time.
- Spinal stenosis: The narrowing of the spinal canal that can be present in any part of the spine. It may be a condition existing since birth, a condition developing as a primary disease (not due to an underlying pathology) or because of trauma, infection or surgery on the spinal cord. Symptoms include pain and numbness in the lower right back area, buttock, and at the front of the thighs.
- Osteoporosis: Causes osphyalgia only when it has caused a right vertebral fracture.
- Somatization: A distinct cause of back pain is somatization disorder, in which the pain is a result of a bodily response to stress or depression.
The sensation of pain is real, however, no pathological cause exists in the body. Diagnosis and Treatment:
As the symptom of right osphyalgia can be caused by a wide range of conditions, a clinical examination is the first step toward finding the underlying cause. The pain characteristics, location, and duration will provide the physician with the information needed to order the necessary tests. Further examination may include x-rays, MRI, a CT-scan or a PET-CT scan until a foolproof diagnosis is reached. Respectively, treatment of lower left back pain is always based on the condition causing it.
Know more about:
Lower left back pain
Female left lower back pain
Low Back Pain from Injuries, Infections, Obesity, & Bad Posture
Low Back Pain Exercises To Restore Strength in Your Back
Lower back pain stretches