When you experience pain in the kidney region, you are likely to mistake it for normal back pain and ignore it. The reason is, kidney pain lacks specific symptoms pertaining to it. The most common and obvious symptom being pain in the back. Thus, it is important to know what distinguishes pain due to kidney infection from normal back pain.
How to Tell If You Have Back Pain or Kidney Pain
Back pain due to kidney diseases is often severe and throbbing as opposed to dull pain originating due to normal back pain. The pain resulting out of kidney diseases is termed as renal colic and it occurs in waves. The severe throbbing pain comes, stays for some time and then subsides on its own, whereas normal back pain is persistent, plaguing you with a dull ache. Back pain, especially the lower back pain mostly stems from an injury to the muscle, ligament, even vertebral discs located in that area.
Possible Causes and Treatment for Kidney Pain
The presence of renal stones is the most common cause for pain in and around kidney region. It is a painful condition in which crystals of calcium oxalate or other minerals accumulate in urine to form hard stones. They are painless until they are confined within kidneys. When these kidney stones move inside the urinary system, they cause excruciating pain. The pain is mostly induced due to the lodging of these stones in ureter, a thin tube connecting the kidneys to the bladder. Sometimes, the pain is so severe that it may cause nausea and vomiting.
Treatment: Kidney stones can be removed surgically or they can be dissolved to pass through urine.
Kidney infection or pyelonephritis refers to the inflammation of the kidney tissue. Kidney tissues are very sensitive and its inflammation stretches this tissue to cause a sharp aching pain. A slightest touch in the flank area can induce tremendous pain. Nausea, vomiting and fever are some other symptoms associated with kidney infections. Kidney infection is a serious condition and needs immediate medical intervention.
Treatment: It can be treated with intravenous antibiotics which prevent the spread of infection through blood stream.
Kidney cancer rarely generates pain that is similar to back pain. The pain is only induced when the tumor becomes so large that it stretches the kidney tissues or involves nerves.
Treatment: Depending upon the stage, chemotherapy, surgery and other cancer treatments can be implemented.
Polycystic Kidney Disease
Polycystic kidney disease is a hereditary disease in which kidneys enlarge over the period of time. The enlargement of kidneys induce dull pain, mostly in the front and not in the back. It can be sometimes confused with abdominal pain.
Blocked Urine Flow
Urine flow may get obstructed due to several reasons. It may happen gradually, unlike in kidney stone, which leads to sudden blockage of urine. Blocked urine flow may lead to burning pain in kidney region.
This is a condition, in which fats get accumulated inside the arteries, thereby making them hard. This reduces the capacity of arteries to circulate blood effectively. As a result, supply of blood to kidneys may get disrupted, causing severe pain in the kidney region.
Pain in kidney area is often very severe and can affect the quality of life of a person suffering from it. You are likely to mistake it for normal back pain, but if the pain surfaces without apparent reason and persists for too long, then it is better to get yourself checked by a doctor.