Lower Right Back Pain

Pain in the lower right section of your back can be caused by problems with your spine, the soft tissues of your back and underlying conditions. Because pain can spread from your organs to your back, you might have a problem with your appendix but feel the pain in your back. Lower right back pain should be reported to a healthcare provider quickly.


What is lower right back pain? What does it feel like?

Lower right back pain can feel mild like a dull ache, moderate like a heavy weight or severe with a piercing stab. The pain can come and go or last a long time.

Pain can radiate, which means it can spread from one place in your body to another. For example, the nerves that are part of your kidneys are connected to the nerves attached to the ligaments and tissues in your back. So, if your kidneys hurt, you might also feel pain in your back, including the lower right section of your back.


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How common is lower right back pain?

Around 80% of people in the U.S. experience back pain at some point in their life. It’s unclear how many experience pain in the lower right section, specifically.

Is lower right back pain normal in early pregnancy?

Yes. Lower back pain — on the left or the right side — is very common in those who are pregnant.


Symptoms and Causes

What causes lower right back pain? What is lower right back pain a symptom of?

Causes of lower right back pain can be divided into two categories: mechanical problems and underlying conditions. Mechanical problems have to do with the bones and tissues in your back — your ligaments, spine, tendons and muscles. Underlying conditions are disorders of your organs. Pain from conditions that affect your organs can radiate to your back.

Mechanical problems:

Soft tissues:


Underlying conditions:

People assigned female at birth:

People assigned male at birth:

Diagnosis and Tests

How is lower right back pain diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will interview you. They’ll want to know about your symptoms, how severe they are, how long you’ve had them and more. Be sure to not just tell them about your back pain, but also about any other symptoms you have. For example, if you also have pain while urinating, fatigue, blood in your stool, etc., let your provider know.


Which healthcare providers evaluate and diagnose lower right back pain?

Your primary healthcare provider can help first. They’ll send you to a specialist if needed.

Management and Treatment

How long will I have lower right back pain?

How long you’ll have lower right back pain depends on the cause. Pain from strains can last a few days. Pain from kidney stones will last until the stones are passed or removed. Pain from degeneration may last a lifetime, depending.

How is lower right back pain treated?

How your lower right back pain is treated depends on the cause. A few examples of treatments include:

Stretching and/or massage, for:

Surgery, for:

  • Appendicitis (appendectomy).
  • Endometriosis.
  • Kidney stones.
  • Spinal stenosis.

Antibiotics, for:

Over-the-counter pain medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Advil®), for.

  • Spinal pain.
  • Sprains.
  • Strains.

Physical therapy and strengthening exercises:

  • Pelvic pain.
  • Spinal stenosis.
  • Sprains.
  • Strains.

What kind of healthcare provider treats lower right back pain?

Your primary healthcare provider may be able to help you with most causes of lower right back pain. But, if needed, they can refer you to a specialist, physical therapist or surgeon.

How soon after treatment will I feel better?

If your pain is caused by a urinary tract infection, your pain may be gone after the seven to 10-day course of antibiotics. If it’s caused by endometriosis, the pain might be with you longer as that’s a lifelong issue. When you talk to your healthcare provider about the cause of your pain, find out what the timeline is.


Can lower right back pain be prevented?

Some causes of back pain, including injuries like sprains and strains, may be prevented. You can do so by stretching before sports and crouching instead of leaning over to lift something.

Outlook / Prognosis

Can lower right back pain go away on its own?

Yes, some causes of back pain can go away on their own. Treatment can get rid of the pain faster.

When can I return to my normal activities?

Talk to your healthcare provider about a timeline regarding when you can get back to your normal activities.

Can lower right back pain return after it’s been treated?


Living With

Can I live a normal life with lower right back pain?

Yes but, without treatment, the pain could get worse.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

See your healthcare provider soon if your lower right back pain is severe, constant or getting worse. You should see a provider quicker if you have lower right back pain plus:

  • Urine (pee) that is bloody or cloudy, if it smells bad or if peeing is painful.
  • You find blood or pus in your poop.
  • Fever.
  • Vomiting.
  • Nausea.
  • Groin pain.
  • Irregular periods.
  • Pain during or after sex.

When should I go to the emergency department?

Lower right back pain is sometimes a medical emergency. Call 911 or go to the emergency department if:

  • Your pain is so severe that you can’t go about your daily activities.
  • You have pain and incontinence, nausea, fever or vomiting.
  • The pain is sudden and severe.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Keep a careful eye on your symptoms. You may want to keep a record of when you experience lower right back pain, how severe it is and if there are other symptoms along with it. This can help your healthcare provider diagnose and treat you.

Remember: The pain in the lower right part of your back can sometimes be as minor as a sprain that can be fixed with time and ice packs, but it can be as major as a spinal tumor. Report your symptoms to your healthcare provider so that they can give you the right diagnosis, and then the right treatment. If you don’t get treatment for pain caused by, for example, a kidney or liver problem, there could be permanent damage done to those organs.

Medically Reviewed

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/26/2022.

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