- Back Pain vs. Kidney Pain
What Is Kidney Pain?
What Are Symptoms of Kidney Pain?
Symptoms of kidney pain occur in the area of the kidneys, on the sides or middle to upper back, on one or both sides, and may be described as:
- A constant, dull ache in the sides, back, or belly
- Pain in the side
- Severe or sharp pain
- Pain may come in waves
- Pain may radiate to the belly or groin area
Depending on the cause of the kidney pain, symptoms that may accompany it include:
How Can You Tell the Difference Between Back Pain and Kidney Pain?
There are some ways to tell if your back pain may be kidney pain:
- Kidney pain is usually felt slightly higher in the back, on one or both sides, often just under the rib cage
- Back problems usually affect the lower back
- Kidney pain tends to be a constant ache
- Back pain may subside when you move
Signs of back pain that are not kidney pain include:
- Pain that is stabbing, rather than dull and constant
- Pain shoots down one leg
- Pain worsens when you perform certain activities or movements
- Pain may lessen with rest
- May be felt more in the muscles
What Causes Kidney Pain?
Possible causes of kidney pain include:
How Is Kidney Pain Diagnosed?
To diagnose the cause of the kidney pain, certain tests may be indicated, such as:
Urine tests to screen for
- Kidney stones
- Problems in the kidneys
- Problems in the urinary tract
What Is the Treatment for Kidney Pain?
Treatment for kidney pain depends on the cause.
- Medications may help relieve pain, such as:
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Morphine (for painful kidney stones)
Patients with known kidney problems should not be treated with pain medications that are filtered through the kidneys, because this may cause further renal damage.
In some cases, kidney stones may require surgical removal.