Back Pain or Kidney Pain?
Kidney pain is usually felt in an area of the back called the flank, just about at the lower edge of the ribs and on either side of the spine, with referral at times around to the abdomen (felt as stomach pain), the groin and the testicles in men. Most pain in this area is unlikely to be pain coming from the kidney, known as true kidney pain, but more likely to be a musculoskeletal pain from a local area such as back pain.
Kidney Pain Symptoms
True kidney pain symptoms can be severe and sharp pains coming in waves, with the pain of kidney stones (renal colic) described in this way as extremely severe and disabling. Kidney infection makes the person feel unwell, initially with kidney ache and have a fever and even a light touch over the infected organ can cause severe kidney pain in the back. In these cases they may have back pain and kidney pain.
Duller pains may be due to polycystic kidney disease, kidney tumours or a block in the urine flow from the kidney. Kidney disease however may not give pain problems as one of its main symptoms. Kidney pain - alcohol can have an effect on the kidneys but again pain does not seem to be a primary problem.
The Cause of Kidney Pain From Other Areas
A dull aching pain in the flank regions is on average likely to be pain originating in the structures of the middle or lower back. Middle back pain can refer pain down over the flank and lower back pain can do the same to the sides. Upper back pain, neck pain or shoulder pain is unlikely to be directly connected with a pain in the flank areas.
Back pain causes giving pain over the kidney areas can include stresses and strains or injuries to the ligaments, muscles, joints or discs of the spinal column. Low back pain, buttock pains and leg pains can be produced by this kind of problem, although the rarer sciatica is mostly due to a disc prolapse.
Back pain treatment includes physiotherapy and other musculoskeletal professions who can assess the problem and give exercises, stretches and advice to contain and eliminate the problem.
Overall, a musculoskeletal pain is more likely to be aching in nature than a true kidney pain, and is also typically worse with exercise or activity and better with rest.