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Is Your Back Pain An Indication Of Kidney Stones?

The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs located on either side of the lower back, just below the rib cage which means that if anything is wrong with your kidneys, the pain is likely to radiate to your lower back.It's easy therefore to confuse kidney pain for back pain as there’s no easy way to differentiate between back pain and kidney pain – but it is definitely kidney stones if you have the following symptoms:

Pain on one side of your lower back or on the sides, underneath your ribs is pain from kidney stones.Sometimes the pain can even radiate to the lower abdomen and inner thighs. But if the pain is in your middle back or shoulders, chances are, it’s not a kidney stone.

The pain from kidney stones is intense, sudden, stabbing pain. Kidneystonesare mineral deposits that grow large enough to block a ureter - a tube which connects kidney and bladder. If this happens, you'll feel sharp pain or cramps in your back or side. As the kidney stone moves through the urinary tract the intensity of pain changes, while the back ache is usually constant.

Pain that changes location and intensity is kidney pain, whereas, normal back pain can be mild or severe depending on the case. Pain caused by kidney stones changes with the movement of the stone(s). As the stone moves through the ureter, into the bladder, the location of pain keeps changing, and sometimes, sharp, unbearable pain is felt.

Pain that doesn’t go away, when you move or change your posture is kidney stones. If it’s a backache, a change of position from sitting or sleeping position may momentarily alleviate the pain. With kidney stones, the pain won’t disappear when you move, and some postures may even make it worse.

Pain due to kidney stones is always sharp and severe but normal back pain varies in severity depending on the issue and location. But the pain due to kidney stones is always very sharp, severe, and occurs without any external event like an injury, etc.

Normal back pain doesn’t usually radiate but is localized. Pain due to nerve problems may radiate into the lower back, buttocks, and even till the foot. Pain due to kidney stones usually radiates into the lower back, abdomen, and into inner thighs, depending on the position of the stone. It is pertinent to note that back pain is not the only symptom of kidney stones and this may be accompanied by other symptoms which can help you figure out whether your back pain is indicating kidney stones or not. Some of the common symptoms are:

  • Traces of blood in the urineas kidney stones can cause your urine to be pink, red or brown.
  • More frequent urination or passing small amounts of urine
  • Foul\pungent-smelling urine
  • Cloudy urine
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever and chills, along with your back pain
  • If you have any of these symptoms, along with your back pain, you should visit your doctor right away.

    Causes of Kidney Pain

    Kidney pain has many possible causes which may be the following:

    Kidney infection

    also called pyelonephritis. This infection can cause discomfort in one or both kidneys. You may feel pain in your back, in your side or both sides under your ribs, or in your groin. You'll also have a fever. Urinary tract infections also cause discomfort in this organ.

    Kidney swelling

    a condition, called hydronephrosis, which happens if your kidneys are blocked. Your urine can't drain the way it should and builds up in your kidneys. This can happen in one or both kidneys and sometimes it causes pain.

    Kidney cysts

    which you may not feel until it grows big, you might feel a dull pain in your side or back, or feel pain in the upper part of your belly.

    Polycystic kidney disease

    is a genetic disease which causes many cysts to grow in the kidneys. They may cause you to feel a pain in your back or side.

    Kidney cancer tumors

    in your kidney may not cause any discomfort early on. As the cancer gets worse, you may notice pain in your side, back, or belly that lingers.

    Renal vein thrombosis

    is a blood clot which forms in one of the veins in your kidney. It causes severe, ongoing pain in your flank or side. You may feel spasms of pain at times too. The area around the affected kidney between your rib cage and spine could feel sore.

    Kidney injury

    at times many contact sports or vigorous activities like football, boxing, horseback riding, or soccer could put you at risk for a kidney injury.If this happens, the discomfort might be in either side of your belly or low back. It could range from mild to very strong, depending on how badly you're injured.

    The best option a formal diagnosis at FirstCure Health and be prepared for a physical exam, provide your family and medical history and undergo tests. The tests can include urine analysis or culture as well as a plain abdominal X-ray, CT scan or MRI.

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