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KortneyPA-C, Physician Assistant
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 54
Experience:  8+ yrs, Orthopedics, Worker's Comp, general practice
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Very bad sharp pain in my lower back right side right ,right

Customer Question

very bad sharp pain in my lower back right side right ,right above my hip
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  KortneyPA-C replied 5 years ago.
KortneyPA-C- :

Hello! Welcome to Just Answer. Have you ever had lower back pain before? Does the pain radiate to your legs?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
no i dont have any pain in my legs
Expert:  KortneyPA-C replied 5 years ago.

I want provide you with some information regarding lower back sprain injuries. From the way that you injured yourself, you could have a strain or sprain of your lower back, either in the ligaments or muscles surrounding your spine. If you have never had back pain before, it can be pretty overwhelming because your back muscles help you to do a lot of things that you would normally take for granted when they are not injured. Anytime that you strain or sprain the muscles in your back, there is a certain amount of time that it may take for them to heal, usually 2-6 weeks. You may have pain while sitting, standing and walking for a long period of time and you may have pain with certain positions. The best thing that you can do when you first sprain the muscles in your back is to put heat on the area several times throughout the day, usually for 15 minutes at a time. This can help with the healing process because it opens up the blood vessels in the area and brings all of the good healing factors in your blood to the area. You can also alternate this with icing, usually starting about day 3 because you will also have some inflammation. Icing helps to decrease any inflammation or swelling in the area. This can be done for 15 minutes at a time, several times per day.

It is also important to start taking an anti-inflammatory medication, such as Ibuprofen, and this can be taken 2 times per day, up to 600mg. If you have a history of stomach pain, reflux or have previously had an ulcer in your stomach, you should avoid taking an anti-inflammatory because it can cause stomach upset and irritation. Take it with food to avoid this or also take it with Prilosec, available over the counter. Tylenol can also help with some of the pain and can be taken every 4 hours.

These are some of the things that the doctor would first recommend for you if you were to present with back pain. They may also want to send you for physical therapy, but the above measures can be tried for at least a week or two before you have to consider going to the doctor for therapy. If you went to a doctor, he may also recommend an x-ray, to look for anything that could be causing your pain in the bones of your spine. Some things that are known to cause pain are arthritis of the joints in your back, degeneration of the discs in your spine and a herniation of one of your discs. Arthritis usually has a slow onset, gradually increasing back pain over time, but if you have sudden onset of acute pain, as you are describing, it may suggest something else, like possibly a disc problem or a significant sprain.

You should watch out for symptoms of nerve involvement. Anytime that you injure your back, there are a lot of things that could be going on. If you start getting pain that goes into your legs, past your knees, into your feet, or a numbness, burning or tingling sensation, in your legs, that would suggest the possibility that you may have involvement of the nerves. A disc can cause irritation or compression of the nerves that go from your spine to your legs. If you start having these symptoms, this is when you should go and see a doctor, who will then likely get an x-ray, then an MRI, to see what is going on.

Can I answer anything more specific for you?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

so this is not my kidneys.

Expert:  KortneyPA-C replied 5 years ago.
Have you previously had kidney stones, urinary problems or kidney infection? Do you have a fever? Is there a different color or odor to your urine? Were you recently sick?
Expert:  KortneyPA-C replied 5 years ago.
Also, if you press or tap lightly on your back, just below the ribs, do you have pain? And, have you had any changes in your urination at all, pain, frequency, or color? Is there swelling in your legs? Does the pain increase after you urinate?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Expert:  KortneyPA-C replied 5 years ago.

Typically, pain in the lower back that is associated with kidney problems (infection, stone, etc) will be higher up, near the bottom of your rib cage, and in the flank area (the side of your abdomen, what I call my love handles, near there).

If the pain is from the kidneys, there are usually other symptoms that occur, including changes in urination, whether it is color of your urine, odor, frequency, lack of urination for a long period of time, swelling in your legs, fever, nausea, and/or vomiting. It is usually the location of the pain that is a good indicator of where it is coming from.

Most people don't realize that the kidneys are pretty high up on the back, almost under the rib cage, and a good test is to have someone tap on that area of your back to see if you have any pain.

Pain associated with a muscle sprain or lower back problem would also be distinct because you can usually reproduce it. Meaning, if you move into a certain position, you can cause the pain to increase or decrease. Kidney pain is more constant and wouldn't usually be affected by position changes, not always, but most of the time. Also, as I stated above, pain from the kidneys is almost always associated with other symptoms, most commonly, changes in urination, fever and nausea.

Only a urinalysis and other lab tests can tell you for sure if you have a problem with your kidneys, so if you have urinary changes, fever, nausea, or related symptoms, it is always best to present to your doctor for testing. Although I can provide you with common symptoms associated with both possibilities (kidney and sprain related), I can not give you medical advice about your specific condition or suggest a diagnosis. I can provide you with any information about these conditions that you may need to make an informed decision about whether or not you should see your doctor, but cannot make recommendations specific to your health condition.

This information is for educational purposes and does not replace a good physical from your doctor about the condition. Without physically evaluating a patient, a diagnosis can not be given.

Expert:  KortneyPA-C replied 5 years ago.

Please let me know if there is anything else that you have questions about concerning your back pain. The more information that you provide, the better I am able to provide more detailed information to you. I appreciate the degree of pain that you must be in and understand your concerns regarding the possibility that it could be related to kidneys and/or sprain. I empathize with the severity of your condition and wish you the best.

Please don't hesitate to ask for clarification about anything we have discussed. If I have answered your question sufficiently, please hit the accept button. I appreciate the opportunity to provide this information to you. Get better soon!

Expert:  KortneyPA-C replied 5 years ago.

I want to follow up with you today in regards ***** ***** conversation a couple weeks ago. I hope that you are feeling better and that your pain has subsided or at least decreased, but would like to provide support if you continue with concerns/questions. I am here to provide clarification regarding any topics that you may be questioning or confused about related to our discussion and would also appreciate any updates that you may have had since we last spoke in relation to the pain. If your pain has changed in intensity or location or you have different symptoms, I may be able to provide some additional information and insight that may help you seek appropriate treatment for your condition.

Please let me know if there is any way that I can further help you, my goal is to provide you with the most comprehensive answer and, the only way that I can accomplish this goal is if you are satisfied with the information received. Please don't hesitate to follow up with me in this regard, I look forward to hearing from you.

If my answer was sufficient, please hit accept to acknowledge your satisfaction, so that I can be credited for my response. As you can see in my profile, there is a number that indicates how many satisfied customers I have helped and I am always striving to increase this number, when you click on accept, I am able to include the results of our conversation in my totals.