patient having pain due to kidney stones


Kidney Pain vs. Back Pain

Kidneys are located towards the back, below the rib cage. It is often difficult to differentiate between back pain and pain occurring due to kidney stones. Apart from the pain, other symptoms can help the patient identify the source of the pain.

The location, radiation, accompanying symptoms and severity of the pain is different, depending on whether the pain is due to kidney stones or back pain. (Also Read: 8 Signs that you have Kidney Stones)

Identify kidney pain

patient having pain due to kidney stones

Kidney pain is often caused due to a kidney infection or kidney stone in the urethra, the tubes coming out of the kidney.

If the person is having pain because of kidney stones infection, it will have the following :

  • Location of the pain

Patients with kidney stones or infection generally feel pain in the flank, the area on either side of the spine, between the bottom of the ribcage and the hips. This pain usually occurs on one side of the body, but can also occur on both sides.

 

  • Radiation of the pain

The pain due to kidney stones can sometimes radiate to the inner thighs or lower abdomen.

  • The severity of the pain

Kidney pain is classified as per its severity. Kidney pain can be severe or mild. A patient generally has severe pain due to kidney stones. The pain is mild in case of kidney infection. 

  • Accompanying Symptoms

In the case of kidney stones or a kidney infection, the patient may also experience the following symptoms:

  • Fever 
  • Chills
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dark or cloudy urine
  • Urgent need to pee
  • Pain while urinating
  • Recent bladder infection
  • Blood in urine 
  • Small kidney stones, resembling gravel in the urine.

Also Read: The 4 Cs of Kidney Stones (Causes, Clues, Chances, and Cure)

Identify back pain

woman having back pain

Back pain is a common type of pain that can occur due to several reasons including muscle strain, lifting heavy weights, exhausting schedule, problem in the muscles, bones, or nerves in the back, etc. Back pain is more common than kidney pain. 

Back pain can be identified by the following features:

  • Location of the Pain 

A person can have back pain anywhere in the back but is most commonly located in the lower back or one of the buttocks.

  • Radiation of the pain

The radiation of back pain broadly varies as per the cause. Nerve pain can spread to the lower leg. Pain due to muscle strain is usually felt in the back and does not radiate.

Patient Story: “I’m glad that I found Pristyn Care” -Aryaman Sisodiya, 23

  • The severity of the pain

Back pain can be described as acute or chronic based on how long the individual has had it.

Acute back pain can last from a few days to weeks. Subacute pain can last from 6 weeks to 3 months. Chronic pain can last more than 3 months straight.

  • Accompanying symptoms

Other symptoms that the individual may experience along with back pain are:

  • Painful, swollen spot which can also feel tender to the touch
  • Muscle spasm or cramping around the painful area
  • In the case of nerve pain, the individual may feel numbness or weakness in one or both of the legs

Consult a doctor

patient at urologist

 

It may be hard to differentiate between normal back pain and kidney pain. Try to differentiate between the other symptoms and features to know the exact type of pain that you are having. In case you are having a hard time figuring that out, consider seeing an experienced doctor for the accurate evaluation and treatment (if required).

Acute to mild back pain is treatable without seeing a doctor. But, in case it does not go away, and gets more severe or spreads, you should visit your doctor.

Back pain is just one symptom of a kidney stone or kidney infection. 

Case Study: Woman complaining of lower back pain had two kidney stones

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