Back and Side Pain

Often, a person may experience back pain along with pain that is localized to one side of the body. Side pain is also known as flank pain, and it may exist predominantly on one side of the body due to a specific nerve being compresses, a specific muscle group that has been strained, or an organ problem that is located on one side of the body.

There are many bilateral structures that are situated on both sides of the body, and one group of the pair may remain intact while the other is recovering from some type of injury, infection, or disease. Also, at each level of the spine, there are a pair of nerve roots that exit though the sides. One pair lops around to supply a particular organ or it supplies a muscle of body part on that side of the body.

Often, conditions such as degenerative disc disease result on only one of the nerve pairs being affected, as the disc bulges out or tears in a particular weak spot. If the other nerve of the pair remains intact, the person may often experience no pain or loss of function in the arm or leg on the other side of the body. This helps to explain why spine pain with radiculopathy exists on only one leg or arm at a time.

Spinal conditions that may result in back pain and associated symptoms on one side of the body include arthritis of the synovial joints of the spine (facet joints), spinal disc herniation, spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, and Posterior Rami Syndrome.

We will now provide you with a little information about Posterior Rami Syndrome, a lesser known cause of back pain.

Posterior Ramus Syndrome: Posterior Ramus syndrome, or dorsal ramus syndrome, is a condition where the dorsal ramus of the spinal nerve becomes activated for unknown reasons, causing referred pain. The referred pain areas associated with this condition include the groin region, lower back, upper gluteal region, and thigh region.

Patients with this condition may experience pain in these regions of the body just mentioned, as well as the cellalgia (pain on the skin). The skin cells may be affected because the dorsal ramus travels as far superficially as the skin cells. The skin may thicken, develop nodules, become puffy and swollen, and suffer from hair loss in the affected regions.



Patients with this condition will not typically have pain that extends below the knee. Often, a person's palpation of the facet joints will elicit pain at the affected levels of the spine. MRIs, CT Scans, and myelography are generally not useful at definitively diagnosing this condition.

Possible cause of back and side pain include kidney stones, pyelonephritis, constochondritis, kidney disease, Hodgkin's disease, Shingles, Transitional Cell Cancer, Nonhodgkin's lymphoma, renal cancer, Adrenal disease, and infection of the urinary tract system.

Kidney Stones: Kidney conditions and kidney disease may be the cause of back and side pain, related to which kidney is having problems its location in the back of the abdominal cavity. The kidneys main job is for filtering toxins from the bloodstream and for maintaining the balance of fluid levels. The kidneys drain fluids into the ureters, and the greeters drain into the bladder.

In the event that kidney stones develop, they may get blocked within the greeters, which may cause a variety of medical problems related to these blockages. Kidney stones (renal calculi) are solid masses of crystals that may become large enough to block the blow of urine through the ureters.

Kidney stones may cause pain when they become lodged in the ureters. Severe pain associated with these blockages is called renal colic. The pain may radiate throughout the lower back and abdomen, and into the groin of men. Other symptoms of kidney stones include fever, chills, foul smelling urine, discolored urine, nausea and vomiting, and blood in the urine.