Causes of pain in the right side from the back: types of pain and diagnostic methods

Back pain is one of the most common complaints for which patients seek medical attention. Such symptoms can have an origin, localization, character, etc. In particular, if a person experiences pain on the right side of the back, this can indicate both a minor injury and the development of a serious pathology.

It should be noted that the cause of pain on the right side of the back does not necessarily lie in pathological processes related to the spine or back. Pain can radiate, that is, it can indicate diseases of various organs and systems. Now we will consider the types of painful syndromes found, what causes their occurrence, as well as the principles of diagnosis.

Pain in the right back

Types of pain

Before looking for the cause of any unpleasant sensations, it is necessary to understand their classification. In this case, the question is what kind of back pain is on the right side.

The ability to recognize the pain syndrome, its specificity and nature, will give you the opportunity to more accurately convey the clinical picture to the doctor, telling about your feelings. At the same time, the doctor, having received a description of the symptoms, can make assumptions about the origin of the pain. This will facilitate the process of identifying the diagnosis and prescribing treatment in the future.

Pain is of the following types:

acute pain

One of the most common types of pain, and besides, the worst. They are characterized by their increased intensity, as well as the suddenness of their occurrence. They are difficult to tolerate by the patient, requiring the use of painkillers. In most cases, acute pain is successfully stopped with analgesics or antispasmodics. Such a pain syndrome is characterized by a short duration, it occurs as suddenly as it disappears, but the manifestation of this case is cyclical.

Sharp back pain

Acute subspecies, characterized by intensity and suddenness. They are characterized as stabbing or cutting, while the back pain is so strong and unexpected that the person actually "turns". Patients who experience sharp pain are always irritable, because they are always in a state of anticipation of a new attack, which is impossible to predict. Acute pain on the right side often spreads to the back ie radiates even though the center is in the front of the body.

Dull pain on the right side

The second type of pain syndrome in terms of diversity, which differs from the first in lower intensity. The main disadvantage of dull pain is its method and consistency. Such painful sensations do not disappear for a long time, they bother a person constantly, even in a dream. Due to the low level of intensity, dull pain is easier to bear, but at the same time, they are worse relieved by drugs, because in such cases it is important to act directly on the causes of the pain syndrome.

Pain in the right back

One of the types of dull pain, which in most cases radiates back from other departments, especially often this happens with various organ diseases. In addition, painful pain is often a sign of back muscle fatigue, which can occur not only as a result of physical exertion at work or in the gym. Pain in the right side under the ribs from the back appears due to muscle tension due to long time having to stay in an uncomfortable position.

Drawing pain on the right side

The second type of dull pain, which is also characterized by monotony, constancy and duration. The intensity of pain in this case is also low, but all dull pains have an unpleasant characteristic - they increase for a short time with unsuccessful, careless movements, sudden changes in body position, etc. In this case, a person feels a short-term outbreak of pain, which can be replaced by numbness, the pain syndrome becomes damp again. Therefore, drawing pains get such a name, they cause the feeling that something is pulling a muscle or bone, for example, when pulling pain from the lumbosacral area radiates to the right leg.

In addition to the above grading, the main division of pain syndrome into types is the classification into weak and severe pain. Unfortunately, this indicator is subjective, as it depends on the individual characteristics of each person's organism. First of all, we are talking about sensitivity, pain threshold, but in any case, the intensity of the unpleasant sensation experienced is very important to convey to the attending physician.

Information about the nature and intensity, as well as the localization of the pain syndrome, allows the doctor not only to suggest possible causes of discomfort, but also to roughly understand at what stage of development the pathological process is.

Why does it hurt and why?

As mentioned earlier, there are a large number of causes of pain in the right hypochondrium from the back from the back, as well as above or below the thoracic region, but also on the right side. At the same time, pain syndromes are very different in terms of intensity, character, localization. In addition, the back, joints and spine are not always the cause of pain syndrome.

Let's look at the most common causes of pain in the right back:


Osteochondrosis is the leader in frequency and prevalence, it is he who can cause the discussed symptoms. The pathological process is characterized by dystrophic disorders in the spinal cartilage, followed by the development of the inflammatory process in the adjacent tissues. At the same time, the condition of the spine worsens, a violation of the spinal cord root or a narrowing of the lumen of the spinal canal occurs. Pain under the right rib or just on the side occurs with the development of pathology in the thoracic or lumbar region. In nature, the pain is often dull, aching or pulling, aggravated by bending over, careless movement, and physical exertion.


Pathology accompanying damage to the spinal cord root, where the patient experiences severe pain, depending on the individual, dull or acute. With this disease, pain often radiates not only to the right side of the back, but also to the shoulder blade, right shoulder, etc.


The formation between the vertebrae, contributes to the protrusion of the intervertebral disc. This pathology is accompanied by a persistent pain syndrome with unpleasant sensations of a painful or pulling nature. With intervertebral hernia, the pain increases during the day, in the evening there is a peak intensity. Pain is given to the right hypochondrium when it forms at the level of the corresponding pair of vertebrae. Sharp movements, heavy lifting or palpation of the site of hernia formation respond with sharp, strong back pain.


Deformation of the spine caused by the proliferation of vertebral bone tissue. Due to the expansion, the nerve endings of the spinal cord are compressed, a stable and constant pain syndrome develops. Unpleasant sensations are at the same time boring, painful, attractive in nature, not debilitating even when lying down or during sleep.

The four things described above refer to pain caused exclusively by diseases of the back and spine, hernia, osteochondrosis, protrusions, etc. But in addition to this, it is important to know other possible causes of pain:

Pathology of the urinary system

An interesting example of this type of pathology is urolithiasis, which is accompanied by stone formation. In this case, the localization of pain depends on the localization of the stone. If they form in the lower part of the ureter, severe pain will appear in the lower back, giving to the side.


The characteristic of sciatica is a violation of the sciatic nerve, after which it becomes inflamed in a certain area. Due to the fact that the sciatic nerve is the longest in the body and starts in the lumbar region, with this disease, pain radiating to the back is not uncommon. By nature, they are sharp, strong, stabbing, but they occur in attacks described by patients as severe back pain.

kidney problems

The most common disease in this category is pyelonephritis, that is, an inflammatory process in the kidneys of bacterial etiology. In this case, pain is felt in the lower right or left side, depending on which kidney is inflamed. The pain is often dull and aching, but can also resemble renal colic. In this case, renal colic is a separate kidney disease, also accompanied by pain on the right side from the back. However, in this case, the pain syndrome is very strong and, with the development of the pathology, can cover the entire lumbar region.

Liver disease

As you know, the liver is located on the right side of the abdomen. Therefore, the pathology of this organ is very often accompanied by pain on the right side of the back. Among pathological processes, the most unpleasant and painful is hepatic colic or liver cirrhosis. A greater level of threat is a rare rupture of the heart, in which a person experiences severe pain, accompanied by internal bleeding.

Stomach and intestinal pathology

There are many different diseases of the stomach and intestines, accompanied by unpleasant sensations that radiate to the back. This is a form of acute gastritis, peptic ulcer, intestinal colic, etc. However, this kind of disease is accompanied by other symptoms (nausea, stool disorders, vomiting, etc. ).

Diseases of the respiratory system

In this case, lung disease is directly implied, among which pleurisy (inflammation of the pleural tissue), pneumonia (inflammation of the lungs) is considered the most common, and tuberculosis is also among the possible problems. In each case, pain on the right side will be present when the right lung is affected. The pain is of a different nature, mostly sharp and stabbing, tending to increase during coughing.

Heart pathology

Mainly coronary heart disease and myocardial infarction are taken into account. At the same time, pain in the back, on the right side of the back in the thoracic region, appears due to girdle pain, it is acute and stabbing, aggravated by exertion, coughing, deep breathing, etc.

Gallbladder inflammation or acute cholecystitis

Another common problem where patients complain of severe pain in the right side of the abdominal cavity. However, the pain radiates to the right side or even below the right shoulder blade. All unpleasant sensations arise especially after eating snacks, alcoholic beverages. The clinical picture is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, bitterness in the oral cavity.


Pain in pregnant women more often occurs in the beginning or middle of the third trimester. This is explained by the growth of the fetus, because at a later stage it reaches a relatively large size, which significantly increases the load on the back of the expectant mother. In addition, painful sensations also arise due to the fact that the center of gravity shifts, respectively, more load is placed on individual muscles. In such cases, pain may appear in the lower right side, it occurs mainly in the lumbar region and disappears when the woman is resting.

Of course, we cannot forget another very common factor - mechanical damage. In this case, the cause of any discomfort is a blow, bruise, sprain, dislocation and fracture. Also, this item can be associated with muscle pain caused by excessive physical exercise in the back.

In any case, it is difficult to determine the exact cause of pain syndrome on the right side of the back, even knowing all the possible variables. That is why the diagnosis of the cause and the treatment of pain are inseparable concepts. For an accurate diagnosis, be sure to consult a doctor.

Diagnosis - who to contact?

First of all, you should go to a local therapist, who, based on the complaint, will refer you to a narrow specialist. Depending on the cause of the pain in the right back, this specialist may be a neurologist, urologist, gastroenterologist or cardiologist.

To understand why the back hurts on the right side, several diagnostic steps are needed, which also differ depending on various factors. Initially, the doctor conducts a preliminary examination by palpation of the place indicated by the patient. Only after the examination does it become clear what examination is required:

Computed tomography for the diagnosis of pain in the right back
  • radiography;
  • Computed tomography (CT);
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI);
  • Fluorography;
  • Blood, urine, stool tests;
  • Measurement of pressure and heart rate;
  • Fibrogastroduodenoscopy with the possibility of gastric juice sampling and tissue biopsy;
  • Ultrasound of certain organs, etc.

Each method allows you to create a problem in a specific area, to detect damage to organs, spinal column, etc. It is only important to remember that contacting a doctor in such cases is a mandatory action, and self-medication is strictly prohibited.