Does Kidney Pain Feel Like A Pulled Muscle?

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Pain of pulled back muscle (causes and symptoms)

It is usually caused by movement that puts undue or excessive stress on the back. When the muscles or tendons in your back are torn or strained, the affected areas can become inflamed which then will cause spasm and pain in the back. Sometime this discomfort may cause difficulty moving, too.


Most of the time, it is caused by:

  1. Lifting a heavy stuff or object, especially when you lift in the wrong way.
  2. The combination of lifting and twisting, such as lifting while twisting.
  3. Accident or fall.
  4. A sudden movement.

Sport injuries are often to blame, particularly for any sport types of jarring motions and sudden impact, or some that often require twisting (like tennis and golf). People who engage in frequent, repetitive heavy lifting are also at high risk – such as warehouse workers, physical therapists, nurses, laborers, and construction workers.

Pain of pulled back muscle can vary. But typically, it includes some of the following:

  1. The pain is likely to occur in the lower back.
  2. It is a localized pain, which means it usually doesn’t radiate to other areas of the body such as abdomen and groin.
  3. The affected area may be sore upon touch.
  4. There may be accompanying other symptoms, especially such as muscle spasm.
  5. The pain can make you difficult to stand or walk. It is more likely to get worse by movement, and gets better when resting or taking a hot bath.

The good news, it is usually not serious (minor problem). It should gradually settle and improve after a few days. If it persists, see a doctor – there may be another underlying cause!

What does kidney pain feel like?

In general, kidney pain doesn’t feel like a pulled back muscle. The pain is usually sharp (though not always, sometime it may also feel like a dull ache).

Typically, it is deeper and occurs higher in the back (flank, side area) located under the ribs. By contrast, pain of pulled back muscle tends to occur in the lower back – and not deep.

Pain arising from the kidney can be painful enough to also affect other areas of the body. Therefore, sometime the pain may also be felt in the lower abdomen and groin. And it has nothing to do with movement – it is usually not affected by movement.

The pain can also be described as excruciating, making you restless! Typically, it comes together with other discomfort symptoms, especially urinary symptoms such as:

  1. Problem when passing urine such as pain when urinating, change in number of times urine you urinate (like frequent urination), feeling of unable to completely empty bladder, or persistent urge to pass urine.
  2. Changes in the urine such as bad-smelling, frothy, or cloudy urine.
  3. Fluid retention, causing swelling in some parts of the body such as in ankles and feet. Kidney pain linked to kidney conditions, such as chronic kidney failure, can occur with fluid retention if the kidneys don’t work well in removing excess fluid in the body.

Depending on the underlying cause, other symptoms – such as feeling of sick, nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, fatigue, headache, itching, breathlessness, and more – may also occur together with the pain.

Don’t make a diagnosis on your own! Even pain in the flank area is also not always linked to kidney problem. If you in-doubt to your back pain, see a doctor for more assistance!

Citations /references:


  1. Sam
    August 18, 2017 | Reply
    • August 30, 2017 | Reply
      • Sam
        August 30, 2017 | Reply
  2. Audrey Hollingsworth
    September 21, 2019 | Reply
  3. sandra tolbert
    September 21, 2019 | Reply
  4. Tom
    October 17, 2019 | Reply

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