What Causes Pain on the Right Side of the Lower Back?

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Pain on the right side of the lower back, also referred to as flank pain, can indicate a variety of conditions that include muscle spasms, pinched nerves and illnesses such as shingles, explains Healthline. In certain cases, right-sided flank pain can signify a heart attack or chest illnesses.

Right-sided lower back pain is also a common symptom of kidney stones, a condition that occurs when tiny minerals and salts produced by the body clump together and create pebble-like formations inside the urinary tract, explains WebMD. Additional symptoms of kidney stones include frequent urination, nausea and blood-tinged urine. Depending on the severity of the stones, treatments include flushing the urinary tract by drinking extra water and medications to relax the urinary tract muscles, explains Mayo Clinic. In severe cases, surgical removal or ultrasound treatments to break up the stones may be required.

Additional causes of pain in the lower right side of the back include arthritis, spinal fractures and gastrointestinal diseases, according to MedlinePlus. While certain instances of back pain can easily be treated at home with rest and over-the counter anti-inflammatory medications, it is always important for sufferers to seek medical attention if they experience unusual symptoms or persistent discomfort. Testing procedures to determine the underlying causes of flank pain include blood tests, abdominal ultrasounds, X-rays and urine cultures.