Kidney pain is often caused by an injury to the kidneys or an infection of the kidneys. If the back of the flank hurts, individuals might believe it is kidney pain, but the kidneys are probably fine. So how does an individual know what they are referring to as kidney pain is actually pain from the kidney? There is no way to be sure, but the likelihood that it is, increases with the presence of other signs or symptoms.
Kidney Back Pain Location
The kidneys are located fairly high in the back, right under the lower ribs. So pain located in the upper back that is a dull, one-sided ache, especially when there is fever as well as urinary symptoms, can be actual kidney pain, caused by a kidney infection or pyelonephritis.
Kidney Back Pain Symptoms
- Dull ache
- Occurs on only one side
- Other signs of urinary symptoms
Kidney Back Pain Causes
The causes for pain from the kidneys consist of:
- Horseshoe kidney
- Arteriosclerosis/atherosclerosis of the renal artery
- Bleeding in the kidney – hemorrhage
- Kidney cancer
- Renal vein thrombosis
- Kidney infection or pyelonephritis
- Urinary tract infection
- Polycystic kidney disease
Kidney stones usually do create pain but it is not kidney pain. Although the stones are normally painless as long as they remain in the kidney, it is when they move from the kidney when they begin to hurt. When a kidney stone starts to travel thru the ureter in order to reach the bladder, it is normally going to cause waves of very intense, sharp pain, that physicians refer to as ureteral colic or renal colic.
Call your physician for an immediate appointment if an individual experiences:
- Dull, constant, one-sided pain in the flank or back
- Body aches, fever as well as fatigue
- History or recent infection of the urinary tract
Hemorrhage or a clot of blood in the kidney can cause rapid pain in the lower flank and abdomen, as well as possibly a large amount of blood in the urine. This is a rare problem of another kidney disorders or kidney injury, including atherosclerosis of the renal artery, a bleeding condition or kidney embolism. Any time there is interruption in the transmission to the kidneys, it is considered an emergency, so it is vital to pursue emergency care if there is the development of severe pain of the kidney, without or with bloody urine.
Kidney Back Pain Treatment
If an individual has lower pain in the back, then it could be associated with the kidneys. The location of kidneys is on the margins of the spine. Usually there is softness in the area if the pain in the back is kidney pain. If there is injury outside this area nearby the kidneys can cause pain in the back near the kidney.
The infection of the kidney may likewise be a reason of lower pain in the back. The difficulty is problems in assessment due to the pain from the kidney as it is most of the times mis-diagnosed as back pain. It is serious due to development which is fast, but it will not last long when the kidneys stones are passed or the kidney infection is cured.
The earlier the diagnosis of pain in the back the better the relief is to the individual. To discover the precise nature of pain in back and if it is related to the kidneys, the physician prefers to do some tests. These tests are very simple but they are a necessity for treatments to be effective. Every individual’s body will react in a different way to the treatment and the pain. Therefore it is vital to consider each case of kidney pain in the back separately.
These tests consist of:
- Dipstick urine test – Indicator strips are used to discover if there is protein and any blood in the urine. While there is an infection both of these are in a sample of urine. If there is a affirmative outcome of nitrate in urine then normally this indicates an infection.
- Culture of Urine – Mid-stream urine is tested in the lab for presence of bacteria in the urine. The urine needs to be caught half-way thru passing urine due to it needing to be clear urine that does not contain bacteria from the skin.
- X-ray or scan of bladder or the kidneys
- Testing the blood
- Pressure of the blood
The treatment will depend on the cause as well as the extent of the back kidney pain. When it is caused by infection of kidney stone, it will be relieved when the infection is gone. Treatment for back kidney pain can include heat therapy. This gives relief that is temporary and if the individual has pains and soreness around the kidneys, it may be quickly relieved with the aid of heat that is moist. This is the method that is safest and gives the best results.
Though numerous individuals obtain relief with this management, sometimes chronic pains need treatment of longer duration. Some therapies that are alternative such as acupuncture or hypnosis are used as well to help the medical therapy.