Right Side Pain — Get the Facts on What Your Right Side Pain Means

Are you currently experiencing right side pain?  If so, this guide will help you factor out a few common issues from the more serious ones.  Right side pain can range anywhere in your body, from your feet to your face, but is most commonly felt in the torso.  Some common places for pain in the torso area are pain in right side, chest pain on right side and lower right side abdominal pain.

If your right side pain is severe, you should seek immediate medical attention.

right side pain 

Why am I Experiencing Right Side Pain?

The first thing you should try to do is pinpoint the cause of your right side pain.  Try to think of a reason that you might be hurting.  This could help explain the severity of your issue:


  • Did you injure or strain yourself in some recent activity?
  • Is this chronic right side pain or does it come and go?
  • Is it a stabbing right side pain or a shooting right side pain?
  • Is the pain localized to one area of the body or all over your right side?


Getting more exact and detailed with your pain’s description will help you eliminate anything serious from consideration.  If you simply banged or injured a part of your body, chances are you don’t need to worry.


What Causes Right Side Pain?

As mentioned above, right side pain can range from many different places.  Let’s start from the top of the body and work our way down.  If you don’t see your right side pain explained here, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible:


  • Right Side Pain in Head and Neck:  If you’re having pains in the right side of your head, this can be as simple as a migraine headache or signify something more serious such as aneurysms or stroke. Sinus problems are another cause of pain in the right side of your head.  The most common cause is tension headaches, signified by a band of pain encircling the head and tenderness of the scalp, neck and shoulders.  Relieve this with massage and aspirin.  More serious conditions like trigeminal neuralgia affects the fifth cranial nerve and results in two-minute long bursts of severe facial burning on the right side. Temporal arteritis is another serious condition that is caused by damaged arteries that bring blood to the head which become inflamed.  This can cause right side pain in the neck and is linked to serious infections and heavy antibiotic use. Perhaps most serious of all are brain tumors.
  • Right Side Pain in Shoulder: If you’re experiencing pain your right shoulder, chances are it’s an injury or arthritis.
  • Chest Pain on Right Side: If you have chest pain on right side that is not injury-related, this can be a sign of a serious health problem.  Viral infections such as the cold or flue can be a cause. Inflammation of the stomach lining, called Gastritis, can cause chest pain on right side as can pleural inflammation, or inflammation of the tissue surrounding the lungs. Inflammation of the gallbladder becomes noticeable after eating and can cause right side chest pains.  Another cause of chest pain on right side is digestive disorders which cause a tightening of the chest.  Liver inflammation and hepatitis also cause chest pain on right side, especially in the ribs and shoulder area. Pancreatic dysfunction, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD or chronic indigestion that irritates the esophagus) and thoracic tumors are other causes of right side pain in the chest.  Of course, it can simply be stress, overexertion, injury, pulled muscles, food blockages or indigestion.  See a doctor to figure out which it is.
  • Right Side Pain in Side:  Certain respiratory diseases such as pneumonia can affect only one side. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can cause right side pain as can costrochondritis, an inflammation of the tissue between the rib and chest bone.
  • Upper Right Side Abdominal Pain:  Pain in the upper right side of your abdomen can indicate gallstones.  This pain generally occurs right above the rib cage on the side of the belly.  The pain is sharp and can spread to the back up to the shoulder blade.  Be concerned if the pain doesn’t alleviate with passing urine or stool, taking antacids or moving around.  See a doctor immediately if you get this pain within a half an hour after eating fatty foods. This could indicate a blockage of the cystic or bile duct, resulting in ruptured gallbladders or pancreatitis.
  • Lower Right Side Abdominal Pain: Lower right side abdominal pain can be associated with a number of digestive conditions and might not be serious.  Unfortunately, it can also be associated with appendicitis, a swelling of the appendix due to infection.  For this reason, take no chances with lower right side abdominal pain and see your doctor immediately to rule this out.  If it is appendicitis, you must get it removed right away before the appendix ruptures. Ectopic pregnancies can also cause lower right side abdominal pain. This is when a fertilized egg implants itself in the fallopian tubes.  If it’s on the right side, lower right side abdominal pain will be present and the pregnancy will have to be terminated.
  • Right Side Pain in Back:  Slipped discs and ruptured discs can also cause right side pain, especially in the back.  The spine is full of nerves that wrap around the legs and pelvis, so right side pain that generates in the back can radiate to other parts of the body, even as far away as the neck and toes.
  • Right Side Pain in Legs:  If you’re experiencing right side pain in your legs, this could be a sign of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).  DVT starts as a pain that is deep inside the calf or thigh and feels similar to an ache, cramp or Charlie Horse.  Then, the muscle becomes red and swollen with varicose veins.  This is caused by blood clots in the leg that rise from long periods of inaction.  The blood clot can break loose and travel to your heart, brain or lungs, becoming deadly.  If you squeeze your calf while it is red and warm and experience pain, see a doctor immediately.
  • Right Side Pain in Feet:  Generally, if you only have pain in your right foot, it is stemming from an injury.  Of course, if the pain is in your right big toe and it is excruciating, chances are you might have gout.  Gout forms crystallization in the joints cause by excessive uric acid in the blood.  See your doctor when the gout attack stops to get on medications to lower uric acid.  In the meantime, take anti-inflammatory medication.
  • Right Side Pain in Body:  If you’re experiencing pain on the whole right side of your body, see your doctor immediately.  This could indicate stroke, heart attack or brain injury.  If your body is numb, tingling or on “pins and needles” this could be caused by impaired circulation or a compressed or damaged nerve.  In severe cases, this can make the right side of your body feel as if it were on fire.  In most cases, this can be solved by moving around, but if not, see a doctor if you have muscle weakness along with the tingling.  This could indicate a neurological condition.


Other Causes of Right Side Pain


For more information on right side pain, its causes and how to take care of it, see WebMD. Better Life, Better Health right now. Such a site is an authority and written by medical professionals.