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

Back pain is one of the most common complaints for which patients seek medical attention. Such a symptom can have an origin, location, character, etc. different. In particular, if a person has pain in the right side of the back, this can indicate both minor injuries and the development of serious pathologies.

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

Pain in the right side of the back

Types of pain

Before looking for the causes of possible unpleasant sensations, it is necessary to understand their classification. In this case, the question is which types of back pain are right.

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 greatly simplify the process of identifying the diagnosis and prescribing treatment in the future.

Pain is of the following types:

sharp pain

One of the most common types of pain, and indeed the most severe. They are characterized by their increased intensity, as well as the suddenness of their onset. They are hardly tolerable by patients, require the use of painkillers. In most cases, acute pain is successfully stopped with analgesics or antispasmodics. Such a pain syndrome is characterized by its short duration, it arises as abruptly as it disappears, but these manifestations of cases are cyclical.

Acute back pain

A sharp subspecies, characterized by intensity and suddenness. They are characterized as stab wounds or cuts, while back pain is so strong and unexpected that the person literally "writhes". Patients with acute pain are always irritable, as they are constantly waiting for a new attack, which is impossible to predict. Acute pain on the right side often radiates to the back, that is, it radiates, even if its epicenter is in the front of the body.

Dull pain in the right side

The second type of pain syndrome in terms of variety, which differs from the first in much less intensity. The main disadvantage of dull pains is their method and constancy. Such painful sensations do not go away for a long time, they constantly bother a person, even in a dream. Due to the low degree of intensity, dull pains are easier to bear, but at the same time they are less well relieved by medication, since in such cases it is important to act directly on the causes of the syndromesore.

Aching pain in the right back

One of the types of dull pain, which in most cases radiates to the back from another department, it occurs especially often with various diseases of the organs. Also, aching pains are often a sign of overstrain of the back muscles, which can occur not only as a result of physical exertion at work or in the gym. Pain on the right under the ribs from behind appears due to muscle tension due to a long forced 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 small, but all dull pains have an unpleasant feature - they increase for a short time with unsuccessful and careless movements, a sharp change in body position, etc. In this case, a person feels a short-term surge of pain, which can be replaced by numbness, the pain syndrome becomes sluggish again. Pulling pains therefore have such a name, they cause the feeling that something is pulling a muscle or a bone, for example, when a pulling pain from the lumbosacral region radiates to the right leg.

In addition to the above gradation, the main division of the pain syndrome into types is the classification into weak and severe pain. Unfortunately, these indicators are subjective, since they depend on the individual characteristics of the organism of each person. First of all, we talk about sensitivity, pain threshold, but in any case, the intensity of the unpleasant sensations felt is very important to transmit 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 a possible cause of discomfort, but also to understand approximately at what stage of development the pathological process is.

Why does it hurt and why?

As mentioned earlier, there are a huge number of causes of pain in the right hypochondrium from behind from behind, as well as above or below the chest region, but also on the right. At the same time, the pain syndrome is remarkably different in intensity, character and localization. In addition, the back, joints and spine are not always the cause of the pain syndrome.

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


Osteochondrosis is the leader in frequency and prevalence, it is he who can provoke the mentioned symptoms. The pathological process is characterized by dystrophic disorders of the cartilage of the spine, followed by the development of an inflammatory process in adjacent tissues. At the same time, the condition of the spine worsens significantly, damage to the roots of the spinal cord or 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. By nature, the pain is often dull, aching, or pulling, aggravated by bending, careless movement, and physical exertion.


A pathology that accompanies damage to the roots of the spinal cord, in which the patient suffers from intense pain, depending on the individual, dull or sharp. With this disease, pain often radiates not only to the right side of the back, but also to the scapula, right shoulder, etc.


The formation between the vertebrae, contributing to the protrusion of the intervertebral disc. This pathology is accompanied by a constant pain syndrome with unpleasant sensations of a painful or pulling nature. With an intervertebral hernia, the pain increases during the day, in the evening there is a peak in intensity. Pain is given to the right hypochondrium when it is formed at the level of the corresponding pair of vertebrae. Sudden movements, lifting of weights or palpation of the place of formation of the hernia respond with a strong acute back pain.


Deformation of the spine caused by the proliferation of bone tissue in the vertebrae. 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 dull, painful, pulling in nature, do not weaken even when lying down or during sleep.

The four points described above refer to pain caused exclusively by diseases of the back and spine, hernias, osteochondrosis, protrusions, etc. But besides that, it's important to be aware of other possible causes of pain:

Pathologies of the urinary system

A vivid example of such pathologies is urolithiasis, which is accompanied by the formation of stones. In this case, the location of the pain depends on the location of the stones. If they form in the lower part of the ureter, severe pain will appear in the lower back, giving to the side.


A feature of sciatica is the violation of the sciatic nerve, after which it inflames in a certain area. Due to the fact that the sciatic nerve is the longest in the body and begins in the lumbar region, pain radiating to the back is not uncommon with this disease. 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, the pain is felt in the lower part of the right or left side, depending on which kidney has become inflamed. The pain is often dull and aching, but can also feel like renal colic. In this case, renal colic is a separate kidney disease, also accompanied by pain on the right side from behind. However, in this case, the pain syndrome is very strong and, with the development of pathology, is able to cover the entire lumbar region.

liver disease

As you know, the liver is located on the right side of the abdomen. As a result, pathologies of this organ are very often accompanied by pain on the right side of the back. Among the pathological processes, the most unpleasant and painful are hepatic colic or cirrhosis of the liver. An even higher level of threat is a rare rupture of the liver, in which a person suffers severe pain, accompanied by internal bleeding.

Diseases of the stomach and intestines

There are many different diseases of the stomach and intestines, accompanied by unpleasant sensations radiating to the back. These are acute forms of gastritis, peptic ulcer, intestinal colic, etc. However, diseases of this nature are accompanied by other symptoms (nausea, stool disorders, vomiting, etc. ).

diseases of the respiratory system

In this case, lung diseases are directly involved, among which pleurisy (inflammation of the pleural tissue), pneumonia (inflammation of the lungs) are considered the most common, and tuberculosis is also among the possible problems. In either case, right-sided pain will be present when the right lung is affected. The pains are of a different nature, mostly sharp and throbbing, tend to intensify when coughing.

Cardiac pathologies

Are mainly taken into account coronary diseases and myocardial infarction. At the same time, pain sensations in the back, on the right side of the back in the chest region, appear due to pain in the belt, they are sharp and throbbing in nature, aggravated by straining, coughing, deep breathing, etc.

Gallbladder inflammation or acute cholecystitis

Another common problem in which patients complain of severe pain in the right side of the abdominal cavity. However, the pain radiates to the right side or even under the right shoulder blade. All unpleasant sensations occur mainly after eating junk food, alcoholic beverages. The clinical picture is supplemented by nausea, vomiting, a feeling of bitterness in the oral cavity.


Pain in pregnant women most often occurs at the beginning or middle of the third trimester. This is explained by the growth of the fetus, since in later stages it reaches a fairly large size, which significantly increases the load on the back of the future 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, it occurs mainly in the lumbar region and disappears when the woman rests.

Of course, we should not forget about another very common factor - mechanical damage. In this case, the cause of any discomfort is blows, bruises, sprains, dislocations and fractures. Also, this element can be attributed to muscle pain caused by excessive physical exertion on 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. This is why the diagnosis of the causes and the treatment of pain are inseparable concepts. To accurately establish the diagnosis, be sure to consult a doctor.

Diagnosis - who to contact?

First of all, you need to turn to the local therapist, who, on the basis of complaints, will direct you to a narrow specialist. Depending on the underlying cause of pain in the right side of the back, this specialist may be a neurologist, urologist, gastroenterologist, or cardiologist.

To understand why the back hurts on the right, a number of diagnostic measures are needed, which also differ depending on various factors. At first, the doctor carries out an initial examination with palpation of the place indicated by the patient. Only after the examination it becomes clear which examinations are needed:

CT scan for the diagnosis of pain in the right side of the back
  • x-ray;
  • computed tomography (CT);
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI);
  • Fluorography;
  • Blood, urine, stool tests;
  • Measurement of pressure and heart rate;
  • Fibrogastroduodenoscopy with the possibility of taking gastric juice and tissue biopsy;
  • Ultrasound of a specific organ, etc.

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