Locating kidney pain can be tricky as it is an internal organ we are talking about. But there are a few methods that can help you tell a kidney pain from a pain caused by something else.
Kidneys are as important as the heart…
…because these organs are responsible for filtering a whopping 180 L of blood a day. That’s not all. This filtering process takes place about 50 times a day!
Locating kidney pain is important. As most people confuse it with back pain, they usually delay in seeking treatment thus risking themselves to severe complications in future. Also, since not many people know the exact location of the kidneys, the tendency to mistake a kidney disease for some other ailment is quite common indeed.
Is It Kidney Pain?
Kidney pain mostly occurs from a kidney infection or when the organs are injured. The pain that occurs is usually felt in the flank – an area that lies between the hip and the lower edge of the ribs, but on the sides of the spine. However, the same area is also a point of origin of pain that may be triggered by menstrual cramps, back spasm, or problems in the liver, pancreas, spleen or colon. Given all such possibilities, it becomes difficult to determine whether the pain is actually kidney-related. So, how to know if the pain that you are having is actually kidney pain? Here are a few methods that may help.
Watch Out for Other Symptoms
An important method is to watch out for any accompanying symptoms or signs which usually indicate kidney problems. Although this method does not give you a sure diagnosis of kidney pain, it may help narrow down the possibilities. If the following symptoms occur besides the pain then it is likely that the problem is with the kidneys:
☛ Burning sensation and pain while urinating.
☛ Irregular flow of urine, and considerable decrease in the amount of urine passed.
☛ Frequent urination.
☛ Presence of blood in the urine.
☛ Fever (important indicant of kidney infection).
☛ Increase in pain when the area of the back over the kidneys is pressed upon or touched.
☛ Visible swelling and inflammation in this area.
Know What is not Kidney Pain
Knowing about the location of kidney pain also stresses on the need to determine what is not kidney pain. Most people report kidney pain to be constant, dull and one that is usually one-sided. The pain is constant and originates from the flank and may radiate to the abdominal region, groin, or to the middle area of the back.
Pain that arises in the lower or middle of the back are more likely to be caused by a pulled muscle, or problems in ligaments, or vertebrae and disks in the spinal column. Also, such musculoskeletal pain worsens with activities like bending over, carrying heavy objects, etc.
Know the Kidneys’ Location
Lots of people believe that the kidneys simply lie in the lower abdominal area. This, however, is not entirely true. You should be aware that the right kidney is positioned slightly lower than the left one, due to the presence and the shape of the liver. This distortion makes it slightly more confusing to understand the location. The area where the kidneys are present is known as the “Retroperitoneal Space”, and this lies just below the diaphragm on either side.
Pain from Kidney Stones
It may be only logical to think that kidney stones are one of the common causes of kidney pain. However, this may not be the case. Doctors say that as long as the stones (deposits of salts and minerals) remain within the kidneys, they are less likely to trigger any sort of pain. It is only when the stones push their way through the urinary tract to the bladder, they cause waves of sharp, stabbing and severe pain. So, pain of this nature could be loosely attributed as kidney pain but not technically.
To understand the location of kidney pain one needs to study the anatomy of the body, and the kidneys in particular. Detailed analysis is not necessary, just a basic overview is good enough. Knowing about the symptoms of different kidney problems also helps in telling a kidney pain from a backache. Ignoring a kidney problem by assuming it is a back strain is a mistake that you need to avoid at all costs.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.