You can feel it in the upper half of your back, not in the lower part. Kidney pain feels higher and deeper in the body than back pain. Unlike back discomfort, it feels on one or both sides, usually under the rib cage. Are you looking to improve your fitness? Consider renting exercise equipment from Hire Fitness. I have persistent back pain on my right side and am worried that it could be my kidney. How can you tell if back pain is a kidney problem? People often think that back pain comes from the kidney. But the discomfort is more likely to be due to muscle spasm or strain, or a problem related to the spine.
The kidneys are located higher than most people think (see image). Therefore, back pain, one of the most common problems that brings people to the doctor, is rarely due to kidney problems. When the pain is related to a kidney problem, not only is the pain in the upper back, but the symptoms are also different. For example, a kidney stone that lodges in the ureter (the tube from the kidney to the bladder) causes waves of severe pain instead of the constant pain of typical low back pain.
And a person with a kidney infection (pyelonephritis) almost always has a fever along with flank pain. If the pain is localized in the kidney area as shown in the illustration, you should consult your doctor. The doctor will tap your side to see if you are sensitive. Then, you'll likely order a urinalysis to look for red and white blood cells and a blood test to make sure your kidneys are working normally.
Based on these results, your doctor may also recommend an ultrasound or CT scan. As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of the last revision or update of all items. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified physician.
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Kidney pain can occur on one or both sides of the back, just below the rib cage. Causes of kidney pain include urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and blunt force trauma to the kidneys. According to several databases, the overall prevalence of low back pain was found to be 42% in India. Kidney problems also cause back pain, which can be a little different from musculoskeletal back pain.
In today's article we'll discover how to differentiate between the two. Musculoskeletal back pain is usually felt around the lumbar region, it can hurt when touching the muscles. However, musculoskeletal back pain can also be felt all over the back. Musculoskeletal back pain due to impingement of the disc or nerves can radiate to the buttocks, back of the thigh, laterally to the leg and ankles.
Musculoskeletal back pain often comes and goes, peaks after high-intensity work, and improves with rest. The pain here is also dull. Musculoskeletal back pain is not very severe. Musculoskeletal back pain feels better with rest, local applications, heat and cold.
So what's the difference between back pain and kidney pain? Kidney pain often affects a higher area of the back compared to back problems that tend to occur in the lumbar spine. If the kidney has a problem, the pain will not go away until it has resolved. On the other hand, back pain can decrease when you adjust your body position or if you rest for a couple of days. Back pain can range from mild to severe, while kidney stone pain is almost always severe.
Rumor Has It That Kidney Stones Are As Painful As Childbirth. Kidney pain can have many causes. It may be a sign of an infection, injury, or other health problem, such as kidney stones. Because of the location of the kidneys in the body, kidney pain is also often confused with back pain.
Talk to your doctor to find out what is causing kidney pain and to find the right treatment. Often, a person can treat mild back pain at home with rest, heat therapy, and over-the-counter pain relievers. The kidneys sit below the rib cage on either side of the spine and rest against the back muscles, which means that it can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between back pain and kidney pain. On the other hand, pain associated with the kidneys generally remains dull and stable and usually doesn't change with movement.
Kidney pain can also radiate to other areas besides the back, such as the side, abdomen, groin, or thigh. Certain body movements can trigger or worsen muscle pain, the intensity of which can range from mild to severe and can fluctuate in response to stretching. For non-serious back problems, you just need some rest, muscle relaxants, and a heating pad to relieve pain. Once the doctor diagnoses the cause of kidney pain, he or she can decide on the best treatment plan for you.
Because the kidneys rest against the muscles of the back, it can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between kidney pain and back pain. Kidney pain is much more likely to have other symptoms, such as nausea, fever, vomiting, and problems urinating or having a bowel movement. If you have severe symptoms of back pain, it's best to see a doctor right away. Your back hurts, but you don't remember hurting it, and that pain reliever doesn't seem to be helping.
However, larger stones can cause severe, sharp pain that usually worsens when the stone moves from the kidney to the ureters. The location of kidney pain is usually in the region where the kidneys are located on either side of the spine, at the base of the rib cage. It's important to tell your doctor if you notice pain that you think may come from one or both organs. .