Serious Causes Of Referred Back Pain
Back pain is back pain, right? Not so fast. Sometimes pain in your back can come from an entirely different region of your body, which could be serious.
Referred pain is when you feel pain in one part of your body caused by disease or an injury in another. Itâs often due to problems with chest and belly organs. For example, an infection in your kidneys may cause pain in your back or sides.
Read on to learn about four causes of referred back pain that can signal you have a severe health problem.
- A dull ache thatâs usually constant
- Pain under your rib cage or in your belly
- Pain in your side usually only one side, but sometimes both hurt
- Sharp or severe pain that may come in waves
- Pain that can spread to your groin area or belly
Other symptoms that can happen with kidney pain
The symptoms of your kidney pain depend on its cause. With kidney pain you may also have:
Nephrons: The Basic Functional Units Of Blood Filtration And Urine Production
Each kidney contains over 1 million tiny structures called nephrons. The nephrons are located partly in the cortex and partly inside the renal pyramids, where the nephron tubules make up most of the pyramid mass. Nephrons perform the primary function of the kidneys: regulating the concentration of water and other substances in the body. They filter the blood, reabsorb what the body needs, and excrete the rest as urine.
Take Steps To Bypass Kidney Stones
Even though kidney stones can be common and recur once youve had them, there are simple ways to help prevent them. Here are some strategies that can help:
1. Drink enough water. A 2015 meta-analysis from the National Kidney Foundation found that people who produced 2 to 2.5 liters of urine daily were 50% less likely to develop kidney stones than those who produced less. It takes about 8 to 10 8-ounce glasses of water daily to produce that amount.
2. Skip high-oxalate foods. Such foods, which include spinach, beets, and almonds, obviously raise oxalate levels in the body. However, moderate amounts of low-oxalate foods, such as chocolate and berries, are okay.
3. Enjoy some lemons. Citrate, a salt in citric acid, binds to calcium and helps block stone formation. Studies have shown that drinking ½ cup of lemon juice concentrate diluted in water each day, or the juice of two lemons, can increase urine citrate and likely reduce kidney stone risk, says Dr. Eisner.
4. Watch the sodium. A high-sodium diet can trigger kidney stones because it increases the amount of calcium in your urine. Federal guidelines suggest limiting total daily sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams . If sodium has contributed to kidney stones in the past, try to reduce your daily sodium to 1,500 mg.
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How To Distinguish Between Kidney Pain And Back Pain
This article was medically reviewed by Sarah Gehrke, RN, MS. Sarah Gehrke is a Registered Nurse and Licensed Massage Therapist in Texas. Sarah has over 10 years of experience teaching and practicing phlebotomy and intravenous therapy using physical, psychological, and emotional support. She received her Massage Therapist License from the Amarillo Massage Therapy Institute in 2008 and a M.S. in Nursing from the University of Phoenix in 2013. This article has been viewed 304,374 times.
When you are having pain in your back, you may not automatically know what it causing it. It can be very difficult to recognize the differences between pain originating in your back and pain coming from your kidneys. However, the difference is all in the details. In order to distinguish between kidney and back pain you need to concentrate on identifying exactly where the pain is located, how constant it is, and whether there are any other symptoms you are experiencing. If you can identify the details, you should be able to distinguish between kidney and back pain.
Stage 2 Of Passing Kidney Stones
The sensory nerve fibres transmit afferent signals to corresponding levels of the spinal cord which the body interprets as pain at the site of neuronal activation. Pain usually shifts downwards along with the stone that migrates from the kidney down the ureter and towards the bladder. The stone when lodged at the upper end of the ureter is sensed at a level as high as the upper flank and when down the ureter, almost near the junction at the entry to the bladder is felt as low as the labia or testicle. efferent arteriolar vasoconstriction which causes a decrease in overall renal blood flow but an increase in ureteral pressure for up to five hours. The faucet is opened and the end clamp is tightened. The pain classically persists at a severe level for several hours.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Kidney Stones
A kidney stone is a hard mass thats made up of minerals , certain salts and other byproducts. They can form when these substances accumulate in the area of your kidneys where urine is produced, explains Dr. Kannady.
Kidney stones can be as small as the point of a pen or as large as a ping pong ball.
Typically, a person doesnt start noticing the symptoms of a kidney stone until it moves from the kidney into the ureter, which is the tube that carries urine from your kidney to your bladder, Dr. Kannady adds.
Kidney stone symptoms include:
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What Kidney Stone Pain Feels Like And Where Youll Feel It
Not all kidney stone pain is the same. For example, the location of pain can change as the stone moves from the kidney to the bladder, says Lieske. When a stone is moving into the ureter, people may feel pain in their flank, or side, or their back, he says.
Notably, if the stone is stuck where the kidney connects to the ureter, the pain can be severe, says Ralph V. Clayman, MD, a professor in the department of urology at the University of California in Irvine. On a scale of 1 to 10, pain can be a 10, he says. There is no position in which the person is comfortable.
This type of pain has a tendency to come and go in 10- to 30-minute cycles. It can also radiate to the groin area and the front of the thigh, he adds.
Once the stone has moved down to the part of the ureter closer to the bladder, a person tends to have pain in the abdomen or groin, says Lieske. Men sometimes feel pain at the tip of their penis.
As the stone moves down the ureter, it can also mimic the pain of other conditions, says Clayman. For example, if the kidney stone is on the right side of the body, it may feel like appendicitis, or inflammation of the appendix. If the stone is on the left side, people may mistake the pain for diverticulitis, inflammation, or an infection within the small or large intestine, he says.
Fortunately, from this point, the stone can usually pass from the bladder out the urethra, which is typically twice the diameter of the ureter, says Clayman.
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Other Considerations Warnings And Precautions
Because kidney enlargement often causes no symptoms, it is often discovered incidentally on an imaging study such as an an abdominal ultrasound, x-ray or CT scan. Although oversized kidneys often signal a medical problem, this is not always the case. For example, some people are born with only one kidney which grows larger than usual to compensate for lack of a second kidney. Similarly, when one kidney is damaged, the other might enlarge to compensate.
Kidney enlargement must be investigated to determine the underlying cause.Often the enlargement is temporary and does not cause permanent organ damage, such as with a kidney infection or urinary stone. If a chronic kidney disorder is diagnosed, your doctor will advise you about how best to preserve your kidney function.
Seek urgent medical attention if you experience any warning signs or symptoms, including:
- Severe or worsening flank or abdominal pain
- Fever or chills
- Sudden decrease in urine production or lack of urination
Reviewed and revised by: Tina M. St. John, M.D.
- Because kidney enlargement often causes no symptoms, it is often discovered incidentally on an imaging study such as an an abdominal ultrasound, x-ray or CT scan.
- Often the enlargement is temporary and does not cause permanent organ damage, such as with a kidney infection or urinary stone.
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Lower Back Pain Radiating To Front Abdomen: Causes
Lower Back Pain Radiating To Front Abdomen What are its causes & symptoms? Is there any home treatment? Looking forward to knowing? Read this guide.
Back pain is not something unfamiliar. This pain is as common as a headache or a stomach ache, and it goes away also. In daily life, more or less everyone has experienced back pain. Interestingly, back pain is not a disease in itself. Rather it is created as a result of any problem associated with our bones, muscles, etc. There is also a problem with any of the limbs around the back.
The pain usually goes away with a massage, oil massage, or painkiller. But at times this pain can be a sign of danger. The body can cause serious problems. Then it may become impossible to cure back pain fast at home. This back pain can sometimes spread to other parts of the body. Spreading pain means moving back pain from one part to another. For example, the pain spreads from the lower back to the upper back, to the front abdomen, to the front thighs, or again from the lower backto both legs.
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Does Kidney Pain Feel Like Muscle Pain
Kidney stones can cause a person to experience excruciating pain that feels like spasms. This pain can also spread to the groin. However, if kidney pain gets worse when a person bends over or lifts something, it may be the result of muscle or bone problems in the back rather than a problem affecting the kidneys.
When should I be worried about kidney pain?
When should I see my doctor for kidney pain? You should see your doctor immediately if you experience the following symptoms: Worsening of a dull ache on one side of your back or flank. Body aches, fatigue, fever.
Can Kidney Pain Go Away?
The pain of renal colic comes and goes, but can be intense. People with renal colic tend to be restless. Other symptoms of kidney stones may include: blood in the urine
Avoiding Recurrence Of Kidney Stones
If you have had one kidney stone, some tips that may help to prevent a second stone forming include:
- Talk to your doctor about the cause of the previous stone.
- Ask your doctor to check whether the medications you are on could be causing your stones. Do not stop your medications without talking to your doctor.
- Get quick and proper treatment of urinary infections.
- Avoid dehydration. Drink enough fluids to keep your urine volume at or above two litres a day. This can halve your risk of getting a second stone by lowering the concentration of stone-forming chemicals in your urine.
- Avoid drinking too much tea or coffee. Juices may reduce the risk of some stones, particularly orange, grapefruit and cranberry. Ask your doctor for advice.
- Reduce your salt intake to lower the risk of calcium-containing stones. Dont add salt while cooking and leave the saltshaker off the table. Choose low- or no-salt processed foods.
- Avoid drinking more than one litre per week of drinks that contain phosphoric acid, which is used to flavour carbonated drinks such as cola and beer.
- Always talk to your doctor before making changes to your diet.
Drinking mineral water is fine it cannot cause kidney stones because it contains only trace elements of minerals.
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How To Tell If Its Kidney Pain Or Back Pain
Your kidneys are located just below the ribcage, with each kidney positioned on either side of your spine. Kidneys help to filter toxins and extra fluids from the body to ensure the rest of your body works normally. Common causes of kidney pain include UTIs, kidney infections, and kidney stones. Because your kidneys rest against your back muscles, it can sometimes be difficult to differentiate kidney pain from back pain. To help you distinguish between the two, were breaking down the signs and symptoms of how to tell if its back pain or kidney pain.
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Why Might I Need A Kidney Transplant
You may need a kidney transplant if you have end stage renal disease. This is a permanent condition of kidney failure. It often needsdialysis. This is a process used to remove wastes and other substances fromthe blood.
Remove urea and liquid waste from the blood in the form of urine. Urea is made when foods containing protein, such as meat, poultry, and certain vegetables, are broken down in the body. Urea is carried in the blood to the kidneys.
Balance salts, electrolytes, such as potassium and sodium, and other substances in the blood
Produce erythropoietin, a hormone that aids the formation of red blood cells
Regulate blood pressure
Regulate fluid and acid-base balance in the body to keep it neutral. This is needed for normal function of many processes within the body
Some conditions of the kidneys that may result in ESRD include:
Repeated urinary infections
Polycystic kidney disease or other inherited disorders
Glomerulonephritis, which is inflammation of the kidney’s filtering units
Hemolytic uremic syndrome, a rare disorder that causes kidney failure
Lupus and other diseases of the immune system
Other conditions, such as congenital defects of the kidneys, may result inthe need for a kidney transplant.
There may be other reasons for your healthcare provider to recommend akidney transplant.
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Can A Kidney Stone Feel Like Back Pain
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Symptoms of kidney stones include severe pain and possibly fever and chills. You might also see blood in your urine. The pain comes and goes as the kidney spasms, trying to get rid of the stone from inside your kidney. It may feel like you have pulled a muscle in your back. If you are at this stage then expect the spasms between 1 to 4 TIMES AN.
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When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider
See your doctor if you have persistent pain in the kidney area, or if you have back pain along with any of the following symptoms:
- Fever or chills.
- Nausea or vomiting such that you cannot eat or drink.
- Oddly colored pee.
- A repeated urgent need to pee that is unusual for you.
- The appearance of solid material in your pee.
- A general feeling of illness or lethargy that wont go away.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Kidney pain may be mild or severe. Sometimes its harmless, but in most cases, it means that you have a problem somewhere in your urinary system. If you develop back pain along with fever, vomiting, pain when you pee or other worrisome symptoms, see a healthcare provider right away. They can find out whats causing your kidney pain and figure out how to treat the problem.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/31/2022.
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Kidney Pain Vs Back Pain
Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish between kidney pain and back pain. Some muscular problems in the back or other diseases can mimic kidney pain. Dr. Davis goes on to explain that pain that comes from your kidneys is usually accompanied by other symptoms. For example, you may notice changes in your urination or you may have a fever.3
Usually, back pain is distinguished from kidney pain because it may get better or worse when moving the back muscles. Unlike kidney stone pain which comes on in sharp, painful waves, back pain is more constant and connected with movement.
In general, flank or kidney pain is usually higher in the back just under the ribs and the pain sensation is deeper. Back pain that is muscular is usually in the lower back.
Causes Of Bilateral And Unilateral Kidney Pains
Flank pains experienced in either one side otherwise known as unilateral, or both sides, which is referred to as bilateral is caused by various reasons .
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