Although the majority of low back pain is caused by injury to one or more of the structures of the lumbar spine, there are several conditions affecting the internal organs that may also result in symptoms of back pain. Back pain from internal organs is often felt on one side or other of the back, depending on which organ is affected.
Seek help from your primary physician if you suspect that your back pain may be caused by any of the following conditions:
- Kidneys Stones—When urine has a high concentration of minerals and salt, solid masses (kidney stones) of varying sizes may form in the kidneys. If these kidney stones move inside the kidneys or through the ureters (thin tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder), they may cause pain on either side of the lower back.
- Kidney Infection—The kidneys are also susceptible to viral and bacterial infections, often caused from bacteria entering the urethra from the intestines and traveling up the bladder and to the kidneys, or from a blocked urine flow due to kidney stones, tumors, or other urinary tract issues. Kidney infections may cause inflammation and pain that is felt on either side of the back, depending on which kidney is infected.
- Fibroids—Fibroids are masses, usually benign, that grow on the wall of the uterus and are controlled by hormones, specifically estrogen and progesterone. Some patients may experience lower back pain, abnormal menstruation, and frequent urination.
- Endometriosis—Endometriosis occurs when the endometrium, the tissue that lines the uterus, grows outside of the uterus, most commonly in the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Endometriosis can result in lower back pain that is sporadic, sharp and stabbing.
- Ulcerative Colitis—This is a chronic condition that results in inflammation and ulcers mostly in the large intestine (the colon). Symptoms of ulcerative colitis include sharp back and abdominal pain that can be felt on one or both sides of the body, diarrhea, rectal pain, and weight loss.
- Appendicitis—There are several conditions that may lead to inflammation, leaking, or rupture of the appendix, including a blockage in the appendix and trauma. The appendix is located in the lower right-hand side of the abdomen so pain from appendicitis is usually felt on the right side of the abdomen and lower back.
- Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)—When digestive enzymes made in the pancreas damage the gland, pancreatitis may ensue. Pancreatitis may be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term) and may cause upper abdominal pain that spreads to the lower back, as well as fever, nausea, and vomiting.
Do you have questions about how internal organs can cause lower back pain? Call one of our McKim Chiropractic offices for more information. To relieve low back pain associated with spinal and disc problems, our doctors of chiropractic offer the DRS Protocol™, a non-surgical spinal decompression therapy. Our licensed and certified staff is happy to help the residents of Boise, ID, Nampa, ID, and Caldwell, ID regain a pain-free life.