Causes of upper back pain on the right side


Back pains are quite annoying. Unlike what you tend to think, they are not exclusive to the lumbar or cervical areas. Pain can also manifest itself in other areas of the back such as shoulder blades or shoulders as they are popularly known, among other areas. The ailment is equally annoying because, in addition, it can radiate pain to other parts of the body such as the lower back or arms. In addition, it responds to various factors, although they may vary depending on whether the ailment is concentrated on the right or left side. In we are going to tell you the main causes of upper back pain on the right side so that you know what can happen to you, although it is always recommended that you go to the doctor. Musculoskeletal causes that produce back pain on the upper right side.

Causes of upper back pain on the right side

Normally, high back pain on the right side is usually related to some musculoskeletal ailment or problem because in this area the rib cage is concentrated, there are ribs and there is the sternum and the part of the spine with its 12 vertebrae, in addition to the discs, ligaments and muscles that hold it.

In this way, any problem in this part of the body can be the main cause of that pain, although it is not one of the most conflictive areas compared to the lumbar or cervical. However, it is possible that discomfort (with greater or lesser intensity) appears for different reasons:

  • Postures: an inadequate position when sleeping or when making a gesture, falling or lifting a lot of weight repeatedly are some of the most common causes of this pain, as well as being many hours in front of the computer, typing and using the mouse, even if you are correctly seated, in the case of right-handed people.
  • Pressure or impingement of the nerves: in this area, as we have mentioned, there are nerves, ligaments and muscles. Thus, any impingement or contracture on the right side can cause that pain. Normally, in these cases, it usually radiates to other areas such as arms, front of the chest, down the rest of the back and even be noticed in the abdomen.
  • Herniated disc: it is one of the less common causes because few cases are registered, with little incidence. However, it is not impossible and is another possible reason that explains this ailment.
  • Rupture of vertebrae: The fracture of one of the vertebrae in that area can also explain that pain, which extends to the right side depending on how the break is.
  • Stress: states of nervousness and stress, either prolonged or at a specific time, are also causing this pain, which will be concentrated in the weakest part of the back. If, for example, you have already had a condition in the area or you do not have the muscles on the right side strong enough, it is common for tensions to accumulate in those weaker parts.
  • Arthritis in the joints: This disease also causes pain in the upper back and on the right side if the problem is in that area of the body.
  • Osteoporosis: it is another of the diseases that entails pain. If the bones affected by this pathology are located in the upper back, it is normal for it to hurt. Depending on how the wear of the vertebrae has occurred, it will hurt to the right or left side to a greater extent.
  • Scoliosis and kyphosis: scoliosis or deviation of the spine can also generate pain in this area of the back depending on the side to which it has deviated and the pressure it can exert on nerves or muscle ligaments. Nor should we forget the kyphosis or abnormal curvature of the back. In these cases, in addition, it is usual for a person to also curve more towards the right side if he is right-handed.
  • Tumors that cause back pain in the shoulder blade on the right side

Another cause of upper back pain on the right side corresponds to the presence of tumors, which do not always have to be related to the bones. Obviously, a cancer or tumor in the bones, which is located in that area or has metastases, will cause this pain. But they are not the only cases. Also, the ailment can be experienced with a cancer in the right breast, as well as in the right lung.

Other cancers such as thyroid cancer can also generate pain in that part of the right shoulder blade, as well as other tumors in other more distant areas, such as kidney or prostate, because they radiate and cause the pain to rise through the back.

You may also be interested in this other article on How to Tell If I Have Cancer.

Internal organs that cause right central middle back pain

As we have mentioned before, in this part of the body, there is the rib cage, which protects the organs and is responsible for keeping them in place with the help of the muscles.

Sometimes the causes of upper back pain on the right side are not in the muscles or bones, but in the internal organs themselves. And there are different health problems that have among their symptoms the pain in this part of the back, either because it radiates or because it is passed from one side to another (for example, from the front to back).

In these cases, the pain is often caused by:

  • Problems in the stomach: especially in your mouth or upper part.
  • By menstruation: Inflammation of the uterus can press on a nerve and cause back pain to rise.
  • For intestinal problems: such as constipation. A process similar to that of menstruation would happen.
  • Kidney problems: especially those that were concentrated in the right kidney, for example due to the presence of stones, among other possibilities, although it could also be due to the appendix because it passes to the liver and from it radiates to the diaphragm.

Lungs and upper back pain on the right side

The lungs are organs that deserve a separate section because they are usually one of the main causes of upper back pain on the right side, when possible, conditions in the muscles or bones have been ruled out.

In addition to the aforementioned lung cancer, these organs may have other diseases that cause this pain, although not all are serious.

  • A cold: a simple cold with which you cough very often, will cause that pain to appear because it will pass from the chest to the back.
  • Infection of the pleura: that is, the membrane that lines the chest cavity and lungs, also remits this type of pain to the right and upper side of the back.
  • Pneumonia: this explains this type of pain that would be located on the right side when the inflammation affects more the lung that is on the right of the human body.

These are the main causes of upper back pain on the right side that we have told you in, although we always recommend that you go to a specialist so that he can make an evaluation, detect the cause behind it and prescribe a treatment to relieve the pain and the diagnosed ailment.


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