Pain in the lower back can be caused by almost anything, from something as simple as strain within the muscle tissues, to problems with the kidneys, tumors and other, more serious, causes. Lower right back pain is more widespread, and sometimes may be due to the fact that the majority of people are right-handed. Because of this, our bodies do more work on the right and use of the right side of our bodies is prevalent. Although there is no hard scientific evidence supporting this theory, it may explain why there is a higher incidence of lower right back pain than lower left back pain.
Lower back pain originating from sciatica, a lumbar strain or kidney infection may be experienced on either side, although sciatica seems to occur more often on the lower right hand side of our backs. The sciatic nerves originate within the lower back and then branches out to run down either leg, and therefore it is common to feel lower right back pain when a herniated disc impinges on the sciatic nerve. Pain may also be experienced on one side of the buttocks and down one leg. Sciatica may also be caused by the muscle encroaching onto the nerve as well as a bone spur.
Some studies have been conducted to ascertain whether the use of a belt may help with the incidences of lower back pain, however, the use of wide elastic belts which may be utilized to “pull in” lumbar and abdominal muscles to prevent low back pain is contentious. A notable study of the use of these belts found no evidence to support the fact that they may reduce the incidence of back injury or pain. The 2-year study, reported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in December 2000, found there were no significant differences between the occurrence of workers’ claims for compensation for work-related back injuries, or the frequency of pain reported among workers who wore back-belts daily, in comparison to those who never used back belts or stated that they only used them 1-2 times per month.