Difference between Back Pain and Kidney Pain

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As well we know that the kidneys are pretty close to the back. But you may be surprised where they are exactly located in the body. Although they are part of the urinary system, but they are located below the ribs (relative high in the body)!

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So if there is pain arising from the kidney, it is usually found in the upper back (especially in the flank area ‘side area’, just at lower edge of your ribs). If the pain coming from both kidneys, you may feel it in both sides!

The pain may also be followed with other symptoms associated with poor kidney function, depending on the underlying cause.

Kidney pain due to kidney stones

It is likely to fluctuate in intensity (comes in waves). It may cause other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, change in urine color (such as red, brown, or pink), foul-smelling & cloudy urine, and persistent urge to pass urine.

The pain may also move from the flank area to lower abdomen or even groin if the kidney stones travel down the ureters (tubes that carry urine from kidneys to bladder).

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Kidney pain due to kidney infection

It is usually so sensitive to touch in the flank area, even with the lightest touch. The infection is likely to make you fall sick, too – followed with other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and high fever.

You may also experience persistent need to urinate, frequent urination, groin pain, abdominal pain, pain (burning sensation) when urinating, cloudy or bad smell of urine, or even blood found in the urine.

What back pain is not kidney pain?

Kidney pain is unlikely to cause dull, aching pain. It’s also unlikely to occur in the lower back.

If you do have pain arising from the kidney, you tend to feel it in the flank area (just at the lower edge of the rib, side area). And typically the pain is sharp, though not always.

When to see a doctor promptly?

Flank pain is also attributed by a number of different causes. Having it doesn’t definitely mean that something goes awry with your kidney.

But if the pain comes with other symptoms of poor kidney function (especially urinary symptoms), it’s much better to see a doctor promptly! Kidney pain that strikes suddenly (with or without blood in the urine) also should be concerned as well, because it may signal serious kidney problem!

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