What Can Cause a Pain in the Upper Right Side of the Back?

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Pain in the upper right side of the back can be caused by numerous problems, including muscle strain, poor posture, pressure on the spinal nerves or a fracture of one of the vertebrae, according to WebMD. Myofascial pain and osteoarthritis are other causes. Though rare, upper back pain can also be the result of cancer, gallbladder disease or an infection.

Overuse, muscle strain and injury to the ligaments, muscles and discs that support the spine are common problems that lead to upper back pain, states Spine-Health. Frequently, upper back pain can be attributed to a lack of strength or to overuse, such as muscular repetition. This type of back pain is most responsive to massage therapy, acupuncture, passive physical therapy and chiropractic manipulation.

Spinal nerve roots fork out from each side of the spinal cord and then join to form the spinal nerves, explains Spine-Health. These nerves pass through openings between the vertebrae and then extend throughout the body. Each spinal nerve is attached to the spinal cord by two nerve roots. Certain health issues, including a herniated disc, add pressure to these nerves, leading to pain. Pain medication, including Ibuprofen and COX-2 inhibitors, can help reduce inflammation.

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions joints breaks down, which often occurs with age, notes WebMD.