Lower Back Pain on the Right Side

image001Lower back pain on the right side can be caused by many different things including traumatic injury, everyday strain, and some medical conditions. Preventions are the best cure and home remedies can help alleviate the pain.

Possible Causes


Common causes of lower back pain on the right side include things such as strained muscles, tendons or ligaments from trauma or overuse. As stress continues, these areas are more prone to injury. Improper posture and bad sleeping posture can also lead to pain in the lower right back. If you start a new exercise program and do not do the exercises properly, you can cause lower back pain on the right side.

Kidney Problem

Since a normal person has two kidneys, an injury, infection or other condition affecting only the right kidney may lead to pain only on that side. If the kidney is causing the lower back pain, you will typically have other symptoms such as fever, bloody urine, pain with urination, nausea, and vomiting.

Lumbar Condition

Often, right lower back pain is caused by tears and strains to the structures surrounding the spine. This can cause inflammation and spasms in the area. Unless there are spine issues, this type of pain is usually relieved within 2 or 3 days.

Herniated Disc

A herniated or ruptured disc occurs when the disc between your vertebrae breaks. Usually, the disc will first be compressed by the bones of the spine causing it to bulge out and put pressure on nerves. The pain from this may be on either or both sides of the back.


The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that runs from the lower back down into each of the legs. If the sciatic nerve is compressed or pinched for any reason, the result will be low back pain that radiates down into the leg. If the right branch of the nerve is affected, the pain will be predominately in the lower back on the right side, the right buttock, and the right leg.

Home Remedies

When you do have occasional back pain, there are a number of things you can do at home to decrease the severity.

Enough Rest

Rest for a couple of days. When you lie down, be sure to align your spine using pillows under and between your knees.

Ice Pack

For acute lower back pain due to injury or strain, apply an ice pack to the painful area. Use ice for 20 minutes and then remove it for 20 minutes.

Heat Pads

For more chronic pain after the first couple of days, a heating pad may help to relax muscles. Be careful with heating pads since they can cause skin burns. Again, a 20 minute rule is a good idea.

Light Exercise

Stretching exercises may help to relieve sore, tight muscles. A physical therapist or professional trainer can guide you back to a full exercise routine.

Pain Relievers

A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or other over-the-counter pain medication can be used for a day or two. However, if pain is NOT relieved by these medications, or if you have to take these medications for more than a couple of days, be sure to consult your healthcare provider.

Weight Loss

If you are overweight, losing some of the extra pounds can take a huge amount of stress off of your lower back. Consult a nutritionist or your doctor before starting any diet.

Prevention Measures

Preventing lower back pain is the best cure. There are a few things you can do to protect your lower back.

Right Position

Be sure your posture is correct. Most low back pain can be prevented by making sure your spine is straight and the muscles and tendons of your back do not have to work too hard to support your weight.

No Sudden Bending Down

When possible, bend from the knees particularly if you are lifting or moving any weight. Let the strong muscles of your legs do the work.

Exercise under Supervision

If you are going to start an exercise routine, be sure to check with your healthcare provider to ensure that the exercises will not harm your back and to work with a trainer or physical therapist to design and monitor the program.

Medical Treatments

For pain that lasts more than a couple of days, you should be seen by your doctor. Your doctor will probably send you for an x-ray, CT scan or MRI to identify the cause of the pain. Your provider will also test your urine to be sure the pain is not caused by your kidney. Depending on the cause of the pain, your provider may prescribe rest, medications, physical therapy, and/or surgery.