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Learn about your dull lower back pain, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your dull lower back pain from our A.I. Symptom Checker. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Your Dull Lower Back Pain May Also be Known as:
Achy lower back pain
Deep lower back pain
Lower back pain inside the bone

Top 8 Dull Lower Back Pain Causes

  1. 1.Unexplained Acute Low Back Pain

    A precise anatomical cause for low back pain is rarely identified. Often, the specific cause of the pain is unknown and is likely due to strain on the bones and muscles of the back from heavy lifting, prolonged sitting, or bad posture.

    Back pain often resolves within a few weeks. You can safely manage the pain at home with over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen (Advil) and acetominophen (Tylenol).

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    lower back pain, back pain that shoots to the butt, fever, back pain
    Symptoms that always occur with unexplained acute low back pain:
    lower back pain
    Symptoms that never occur with unexplained acute low back pain:
    buttocks numbness, thigh numbness, involuntary defecation, fever
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  2. 2.Iliolumbar Syndrome

    Iliolumbar Syndrome is caused by a tear of the iliolumbar ligament, which connects the hip to the spine. It's caused by overuse or acute trauma to the area.

    You should visit your primary care physician, who can confirm the diagnosis through asking questions. Treatment involves rest to allow healing, followed by physical therapy to strengthen the area after.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    lower back pain, back pain that shoots to the butt, severe back pain, back pain that shoots to the groin
    Symptoms that always occur with iliolumbar syndrome:
    lower back pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Low Back Strain

    A strain, commonly called a "pulled muscle," is when a muscle becomes overstretched and tears. A low back strain happens when one of the muscles in the lower back is stressed due to an unusual movement (such as lifting a heavy object, or lifting while twisting).

    You can safely treat this condition on your own. Over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) can help. Muscle relaxants or a massage could be useful in treating the pain symptoms as well. You can also try applying ice packs to reduce inflammation, or gentle heat to help stimulate blood flow and healing to the injured area.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    lower back pain, back pain that gets worse when sitting, back pain that gets worse when straightening it, lower left back pain, lower right back pain
    Symptoms that always occur with low back strain:
    lower back pain
    Symptoms that never occur with low back strain:
    involuntary defecation, first time leaking urine, back numbness, toe numbness, foot numbness
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  4. 4.Kidney Stone

    A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms in the kidney from substances in the urine. Most kidney stones pass out of the body without help from a doctor. But sometimes a stone will not go away. It may get stuck in the urinary tract, block the flow of urine and cause great pain.

    Kidney stones can be painful, so go to the nearest urgent care center or emergency room. The course of treatment depends on the size of the stone. Small stones can pass out of the body without any treatment, which can take two days to four weeks. You can help this process by drinking plenty of water to increase the flow of urine. Strong painkillers can also help with the pain. If a stone is stuck in a tube (ureter), your doctor might recommend a medication called an alpha-blocker, which can help make the tube bigger and thus help the stone to pass.Larger stones might not pass on their own, and thus surgery or shock wave therapy might be used. Shock wave therapy uses shock waves to break up stones into small pieces that can pass out of the body.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea, abdominal pain that comes and goes, diarrhea, pelvis pain, vomiting
    Symptoms that always occur with kidney stone:
    hidden: abdomen or flank pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room

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  5. 5.Urinary Tract Infection

    In women, the opening to the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body) is very close to the anus, and bacteria from the anus can easily escape and travel up the urethra. These bacteria can infect the bladder, and cause what is known as a urinary tract infection (UTI).

    You should go to your doctor, an urgent care, or a walk-in clinic to be treated. UTIs must be treated with antibiotics. It is important to get treated as soon as possible to avoid the infection from becoming worse and spreading. To prevent future UTIs, urinate frequently, wipe from front to back, and urinate after sex to rinse out bacteria.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal cramps (stomach cramps), pelvis pain, sudden urgency to urinate, urinary changes, abdominal pain (stomach ache)
    Symptoms that always occur with urinary tract infection:
    hidden: urinary changes: atrophy or inflammation
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  6. 6.Herniated (Slipped) Disk in the Lower Back

    The backbone, or spine, is made up of 26 bones called vertebrae. In between the bones are soft disks filled with a jelly-like substance. These disks cushion the vertebrae and keep them in place. Although people talk about a slipped disk, nothing actually slips out of place. The outer shell of the disk ruptures, and the jelly-like substance bulges out. It may be pressing on a nerve, which is what causes the pain.A slipped disk is more likely to happen due to strain on the back, such as during heavy lifting, and older individuals are at higher risk.

    For treatment of a slipped disk, you should consult with your primary care physician (PCP). Your doctor will perform a thorough physical examination to localize the slipped disk and rule out dangerous complications. Most people do not require surgery for a slipped disk. Treatment involves pain relief with an over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen (Advil) and/or acetaminophen (Tylenol), using heat treatments, and keeping active. It is best to avoid sitting still for long periods. Walking or swimming may help as well.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    lower back pain, moderate back pain, back pain that shoots down the leg, back pain that gets worse when sitting, leg weakness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

    Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the female genital structures like the uterus, fallopian tube, ovary, and the surrounding abdominal wall. It is typically caused by N. Gonorrhoeae or C. Trachomatis.

    You should contact your doctor today. There, physical exams and swabs of the vagina will be needed to look for infection. Further blood testing or imaging may also be needed. Treatment involves antibiotics (orally) for both you and your partner

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    vaginal discharge, nausea or vomiting, vaginal bleeding, pelvis pain, lower abdominal pain
    Symptoms that always occur with pelvic inflammatory disease:
    hidden: pid: pain fever or discharge
    Urgency:
    In-person visit
  8. 8.Normal Case of Vaginal Discharge

    Vaginal discharge is a common issue many women experience and is likely nothing to worry about. Your vaginal discharge can change depending on your menstrual cycle. Recent initiation or a change in contraceptives can also cause a temporary change in discharge.

    You most likely have nothing to worry about. If the discharge becomes severe or you have other symptoms like itching or foul odor, you should speak with your primary care physician or OBGYN.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    vaginal discharge, mild vaginal discharge, white/gray vaginal discharge, clear vaginal discharge, severe vaginal discharge
    Symptoms that always occur with normal case of vaginal discharge:
    vaginal discharge
    Symptoms that never occur with normal case of vaginal discharge:
    vaginal itch or burning, painful urination, severe vaginal discharge, vaginal pain, abdominal pain (stomach ache), bleeding after sex, missed period
    Urgency:
    Wait and watch

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Dull Lower Back Pain

  • Q.How long has your back pain been going on?
  • Q.How severe is your back pain?
  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Do you currently smoke?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our dull lower back pain symptom checker.

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Dull Lower Back Pain Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced dull lower back pain have also experienced:

    • 9% Bloody Vaginal Discharge
    • 7% Vaginal Bleeding
    • 5% Abdominal Pain (Stomach Ache)
  • People who have experienced dull lower back pain had symptoms persist for:

    • 33% Less Than a Week
    • 26% Less Than a Day
    • 20% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced dull lower back pain were most often matched with:

    • 27% Unexplained Acute Low Back Pain
    • 13% Iliolumbar Syndrome
    • 11% Low Back Strain

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