April 23, 2018

Right Side Back Pain

What Is Causing Pain in My Upper Right Side?


Find out what is causing your upper right side back painAre you having pain or discomfort in your upper right back area but can't figure out what's causing it? Don't worry, we're here to help! Read the symptoms below to help diagnose the pain in your upper right back.Your upper back plays an important role in your everyday movements so it's no surprise that injuries and conditions can occur in your thoracic spine. But good news - injuries to your upper back are considerably less common in comparison to lower back injuries! The thoracic back and neck are less flexible than your lumbar spine, which is why a lot of underlying causes of right upper back pain frequently involve the internal organs that are protected by your rib cage. Since your ribs are located directly against your upper back muscles, rib cage irritation directly places stress on those muscles. 

"I’m experiencing roundness in my shoulder, a bend in my knees when I walk, forward/backward head leaning, back pain, muscle fatigue, headaches, and stiffness in my joints."

You Likely Suffer From Poor Posture

Practicing good posture has become more and more common due to the vast amount of desk and technology occupations that require individuals to sit at a desk for a long period of time. But many individuals are still unaware of the importance of correcting their posture and the benefits that’ll occur if they do so such as reducing migraines, promoting weight loss, increasing your oxygen and energy levels, and more. Having poor posture is highly correlated with back/spine pain because stress is placed on your joints, muscles, and bones in your back when your spine is in an unnatural position. Wondering what your current posture level is? Take our quick posture quiz to find out!

Ways to get rid of back pain from poor posture:

"I’m experiencing chest pain, upper right back pain, difficulty/pain when breathing, fever, and coughing."

You Likely Have a Respiratory Infection or Pneumonia

Pneumonia is commonly confused with a pulled muscle because it typically causes pain in the middle back region. Back pain is related to the lungs because of the location in which your lungs lie, and the problems can be referred directly to the muscles in your upper back. It’s important to know whether you have a family history of lung issues to determine if your upper back pain is a lung problem. 

Treatment options for respiratory infections:

  • Taking preventative methods such as washing your hands, covering the face while sneezing/coughing
  • Antibiotics/Penicillin (if diagnosed with pneumonia)
  • Resting
  • Drinking a lot of fluids

"I’m experiencing sudden pain in my abdomen, discomfort in between my shoulder blades, pain after eating a meal high in fat, irritation in my right shoulder, and nausea."

You Likely Have Gallbladder Issues

The gallbladder lies directly below your liver and functions as a storage for bile or waste. The formation of gallstones is linked to high cholesterol levels, too much bilirubin (a chemical produced by the breakdown of red blood cells), if your gallbladder can’t empty properly.

Getting rid of gallstones by:

  • Surgery to remove the gallstones
  • Ask your doctor for bile salt

"I’m experiencing a dull type of pain in my upper right abdomen (below the ribs), backaches especially in my right shoulder, abdominal swelling, nausea, and loss of appetite."

You Likely Have Liver Pain

The liver is located in the upper right quadrant of your abdomen, directly below your diaphragm. It’s a vital component of your body as it plays many roles such as detoxifying your body, correcting your metabolism, regulating your hormones, and more. There are many different conditions that could occur in your liver such as liver inflammation, fatty liver disease, liver abscess, and liver cancer. It's advised to speak with your doctor to help determine further your liver condition or problem. 

Liver pain remedies for men and women:

  • Drinking a lot of fluids
  • Avoiding fatty/heavy foods
  • Sitting up with good posture
  • Losing weight
  • Lowering your cholesterol

Diagnosing the Lumbar Pain in My Lower Right Back Region 


Find out what is causing lower back pain on your right side and in your gluteus"I’m experiencing a sharp pain radiating down my back and one side of my buttocks or calf, pain that increases when I sit, a numbness/burning sensation, and weakness in the right side of my back."Experiencing lower back pain? Don't worry, that's common! Lower back pain is extremely common due to the amount of stress and weight your lumbar spine holds. Your lower back functions as a support system when you walk, twist, turn, jump, and move around. That's why the right lower back region is prone to numerous conditions and injuries causing pain/discomfort. To help further diagnose your lower right back pain, see if any of those statements below describe your symptoms!

You Likely Have a Pinched Nerve/Sciatica

Sciatica is actually a symptom of another injury and not a condition itself, confusing right? Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed or pinched as a result of another spinal injury such as a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, and si joint dysfunction to name a few.

Ways to get rid of my pain from a pinched nerve:

"I’m experiencing pain that comes and goes, stiffness (usually in the morning), numbness, tenderness, lower back pain that runs down to my buttocks and thighs, difficulty walking or bending, and an aching type of discomfort."

You Likely Have Arthritis/Osteoarthritis of the Spine

The term ‘arthritis’ refers to the swelling or inflammation in your joints. If you’re diagnosed with osteoarthritis or arthritis in your back, your facet joints have become inflamed. For every bone in your spine, you have three joints accompanying it; two facet joints and one spinal disc. These discs have a lot of stress and tension placed on them as they work to hold together your spine. Many individuals over 50 years of age are at a high risk for some sort of spine arthritis. 

Best ways to treat arthritis in your back:

  • Rest
  • Chiropractor
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Hot/cold therapy
  • Medical braces 

"I’m experiencing dull pain near my belly button, sharp pain when I move or twist my right abdomen, loss of appetite, nausea, fever, sharp pain in my right lower back, constipation, and severe cramps."

You Likely Have Appendicitis

The condition appendicitis is when your appendix becomes inflamed. Your appendix is a large tissue that connects the small intestine to the large intestine and is located on the lower right side of your abdomen. If you’re experiencing appendicitis, your appendix is inflamed and if left untreated, could burst or rupture. Appendicitis typically occurs in ages between 10 and 30 years old.


Treatment options for appendicitis or appendix pain include surgery to remove the inflamed appendix (appendectomy). After surgery you should:

  • Rest
  • Support abdomen region if you have to cough
  • When ready to move around, start slow and increase your level of activity gradually
Use this infographic to find out what is causing lower back pain and how to treat it

"I’m experiencing severe pain on one side of my back (below my ribs), deep pain, pain located in my abdomen sometimes spreading down to my groin, painful urination, nausea, and fever/chills."

You Likely Have Kidney Issues

Your two kidneys function as the removal of excess fluid and waste from your body and are located in the upper abdominal area lying directly against the muscles in your back. One common cause of kidney pain is having kidney stones or kidney flank pain. Kidney stones are small mineral deposits that are formed inside of your kidneys, and when they stick together, the passing of kidney stones occur.

How to eliminate kidney stones:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Using medical therapy - alpha blockers
  • Surgery procedure - for large stones

"I’m experiencing cloudy/blood urine, the need to go to the bathroom frequently, pain or burning when urinating, and cramping or pressures in my right lower abdomen and lower back."

You Likely Have a Bladder Infections/UTI

A bladder infection (also called UTI), occurs when there’s a bacterial infection in your bladder and is a common cause of back pain on the right side of your body. Women or females are more prone to such infections due to the length of their urethra compared to men.

Treatments for a bladder infection/UTI for a woman:

  • Drink a lot of water, especially in the initial hours
  • Drink cranberry juice
  • Urinate frequently
  • Antibiotics
  • Intake foods with a large amount of vitamin C such as oranges, kale, brussel sprouts, strawberries, and grapefruit.
  • Apply heat to your abdomen
  • Avoid caffeine, spicy foods, acidic foods, sugar, and dairy products

"I’m experiencing soreness or tenderness in my back, pain that occurs suddenly, muscular spasms, pain that increases when I stand, walk, or twist, stiffness in my back, and sore muscle/tendon weakness."

You Likely Have a Muscle Strain/Pull/Tear

Muscle strain happens when the muscles and ligaments in your body are over-stretched or torn. This type of strain usually causes the area to become inflamed. This inflammation can create a lot more problems for an individual, including back spasm - which can be extremely severe. 

Eliminating pain from a muscle strain/pull/tear:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Massages
  • Exercises/stretching
  • Physical therapy
  • Ice and hot therapy
  • Back support braces 

"I’m experiencing sharp, radiating, or piercing pain in my legs/hip, numbness or tingling sensation, muscle weakness, and pain that worsens when I move."

You Likely Have a Herniated or Slipped Disc In Your Spine

At birth, your spinal discs are composed of around 80% of water but as you age, you tend to lose some of this water content. In order for your spine to function properly, these discs must be well hydrated. When these discs lose that water content, they become less flexible, leading to a herniated disc. A herniated disc is when the inner core ruptures, it then pushes through the crack of the outer piece. 

Common treatments for a herniated disc in your spine:

  • Physical therapy
  • Exercise
  • Chiropractic manipulation
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Epidural injections
  • Surgery
  • Bracing 

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