What Procedures And Tests Diagnose Kidney And Back Pain
The most important first steps in helping make the diagnosis of back or kidney pain is for the health care provider to talk to the patient, take a history of the illness and examine the patient. Most often, this can help determine the cause of the back pain and direct what tests might be done to confirm the diagnosis.
If concern is that the kidney is the cause of the pain, then a urinalysis or urine sample is most helpful and can help guide further testing. If infection is a concern, urine and blood cultures may be helpful. Most often, patients begin antibiotics before culture results come back, but the results may allow a more specific antibiotic to be chosen.
If a kidney stone is a concern, the provider may choose to treat the patient based on the history, physical exam, and evidence of blood in the urine, especially if the patient has had kidney stones in the past. For patients with their first stone, imaging the kidneys may be appropriate. This can be done with ultrasound or CT scan.
Regardless of the cause of the kidney pain, the provider may choose to evaluate kidney function. Some blood tests include BUN , creatinine, and GFR .
If the back pain is thought to be due to bones, muscles, nerves, or other structures of the back, the health care provider may or may not need to image the back with plain X-rays, CT, or MRI scanning. Other tests depend upon the symptoms and potential underlying cause.
Are You Mistaking Back Pain For Kidney Pain
When trying to determine if the pain is coming from the kidneys or is just back pain, you need to take into account:
- The location of pain
- Type and severity of the pain
- Accompanying symptoms, you have any
In this blog, we discuss the main characteristics, location, severity, and any accompanying symptoms to identify if it is kidney pain or a backache. Also, find out when is the time you should see your doctor for the pain.
What Is Kidney Pain
Kidney pain is discomfort that comes from the area where your kidneys are. It’s often described as a dull ache, you feel in your sides, back, or belly. But pain in these areas isn’t always a sign of a kidney issue. It’s easy to mistake kidney pain for ordinary back pain. But there are some differences in how kidney pain feels and where it’s located compared to back pain.
Kidney pain has many possible causes, and some could be serious. It’s important to let your doctor know if you notice pain that you think may be coming from one or both of these organs.
Where are your kidneys?
Your kidneys are two small organs shaped like beans. You have one on each side of your body. They’re each about the size of your fist. They’re below your rib cage on both sides of your spinal cord.
Your kidneys have important jobs. They clean out water, acids, and waste from your blood. They make urine so your body flushes out the waste. If they’re diseased or damaged in some way, they can’t do their work to maintain a healthy balance of salts, minerals like calcium, and water in your blood.
Your kidneys also make hormones that help you manage your blood pressure, keep your bones strong, and make red blood cells.
So it’s important to watch for any signs of kidney disease or damage, like pain.
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Does Stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease Cause Back Pain
Generally speaking, not all Chronic Kidney Disease patients suffer from back pain, and not all back pain is related with Chronic Kidney Disease. This article will have a analysis about the back pains, patients can have a comparison and have targeted treatment.
1. Trauma. Psoas bruise, sprain, having a cold and so on all can lead to back pain. Generally speaking, this kinds of patients can get recover easily through medical treatment. If the back pain is really caused by stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease, do you know what is the specific causes?
2. Renal parenchyma disease. Glomerulonephritis, acute nephritis and so on can lead to kidney enlargement which will involve the kidney capsule and the surrounding nerves, so patients maybe suffer from persistent distending pain and dull pain. And patients maybe accompanied with symptoms such as blood urine, edema, high blood pressure and so on.
3. Renal infections diseases. Nephrapostasis, pyelonephritis and other kidney damage caused by bacterial infections also can lead to back pain, especially when patients suffer pressure. At this time, patients maybe suffer from fever and chills and patients can have a clear checkup through routine blood and urine tests and B ultrasound.
What Causes Back Pain
Back pain can be caused due to a number of reasons. Usually mild back pain does not require immediate medical attention. Back pain usually occurs due to inflammation. Sometimes back pain can be indicative of a serious medical condition like bone fracture, spinal fracture, multiple myeloma, osteoporosis, cancer, lumbar disc herniation, degenerative disc disease etc. Stress and dysfunctional family relationships are also known to cause back pain. During pregnancy, a majority of women experience low back pain which can be severe during the third trimester.
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Back Pan Vs Kidney Pain: How To Tell The Difference
Theres usually no easy way to differentiate between back pain and kidney pain, especially for the constant ache of a kidney stone thats not demanding to be passed. Passing a kidney stone is a different story since it hurts so badly, and kidney infections provide clues in the form of other symptoms.
Unsurprisingly, your best bet is to see a doctor for a formal diagnosis. Be prepared for a physical exam, providing your family and medical history and undergoing tests. The tests can include urine analysis or culture as well as a plain abdominal X-ray, CT scan or MRI.
There is no cure or quick fix for getting rid of kidney stone pain, as people who have experienced the excruciating pain know. Dr. Charney said. The only solution is to have a physician prescribe pain medications and sometimes fluids while just giving yourself time to pass the stone. However, there are antibiotics for kidney infections as well as home remedies. The home remedies include using heat to the area where you have discomfort, keeping yourself hydrated and taking over the counter pain meds when needed.
Overall, the best advice to keep kidneys healthy is to exercise, keep hydrated especially in warm weather or when exercising, maintain a healthy weight, and quit smoking. And the best part? That advice works for back pain as well.
Treatment And Management Of Back Pain Vs Kidney Pain
If back pain is not chronic, it can be managed by a hot pack and a massage on the other hand, kidney pain is persistently acute and would need a visit to the doctor.
Back pain is managed by a number of therapies and pain medications. Even though surgery is an option, it is rarely considered unless absolutely necessary. Some of the back pain management involves use of heat therapy, massage therapy, cold compression therapy, use of muscle relaxants, physical therapy, exercises, Alexander Technique, acupuncture, electrotherapy etc. Patients commonly see a chiropractor, physical therapist or Osteopath.
Kidney pain is treated according to its cause. Treatment usually involves antibiotics and bed rest for long time. Kidney disorders can have serious implications and hence require immediate medical intervention. Removal of kidneys stones might require surgical methods if medications fail to give relief to patient.
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Where Do I Feel Kidney Pain
You feel kidney pain in the area where your kidneys are: Near the middle of your back, just under your ribcage, on each side of your spine. Your kidneys are part of the urinary tract, the organs that make urine and remove it from your body. The urinary tract is made up of the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra.
You may feel kidney pain on only one side or both sides of your back. Having pain in these areas does not always mean there is something wrong with your kidneys. Because there are muscles, bones and other organs around your kidneys, it can be hard to tell what exactly is causing your pain. If you have constant pain you think may be caused by your kidneys, talk to your doctor.
Back Pain Or Kidney Stone
According to Dr. Charney, if youre feeling kidney pain, its probably coming from one of two places : Either because of distension of the ureter or capsule that surrounds the kidneys.
The ureterstubes attached to each kidneytransport urine from the kidneys to the bladder. All that urine contains salts and minerals, and if the minerals clump together and block one of the ureters, youve got yourself a dreaded, infamously painful kidney stone.
ureter because there is a stone blocking it, says Dr. Charney. Not only that, he says, but when there is a blockage due to the stone in the ureter, the urine may back up into the kidney and that may expand the capsule of the kidney and cause pain.
When it comes to where the pain is located, it is typically just on one side. It is routinely categorized as a dull ache. Dr. Charney adds that the pain is always theremore or less bothering you. Sound familiar? Thats because chronic back pain, especially the kind caused by nerve compression, is usually on just one side too .
However, when it comes time to pass a stone, youll know it.
Stone ache can just be faint pain unless that stone is trying to pass, says Dr. Charney. Then it can be severe and last for several minutes before it goes away. Whenever the pain is too excruciating to bearand really, any time you suspect a kidney stonehead to the emergency room. Treatment is available and of course, better safe than sorry.
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Support Your Body In A Cozy Swimming Pool
The buoyancy of the water lets you take pleasure in the benefits of workout with less pain. Exercising in water likewise helps control the performance of nerves and also muscular tissues, eliminating pain.
If you like warmer swimming pools, check out water workout courses as well as hydrotherapy swimming pools. Water therapy exercises are commonly performed in water that is about 83 degrees to 88 degrees. Hydrotherapy swimming pool temperature levels are usually greater than 90 degrees.
Where Does Your Back Hurt If You Have A Kidney Infection
Kidney infection or pyelonephritis is a medical condition in which one or both kidneys get infected. A person has two kidneys that are located under the rib cage on each side of the spine. The pain of kidney infection may be felt on the sides and the back. Unlike the classical back pain due to muscle or bone involvement, which typically affects the lower back, kidney pain is felt higher up and at a greater depth. The pain is most commonly felt under the ribs and depending on the involvement of one or both the kidneys, it may be felt on one side or both sides of the body. Kidney pain may also be felt in areas such as the belly or groin. Unlike back pain, the pain of kidney infection may be associated with other symptoms such as:
- Fever which is generally high grade
- Pain, burning, or difficulty in passing urine
- Change in the smell or appearance of the urine, such as cloudy or blood-tinged urine
Kidney infection is generally a serious medical condition. Thus, you must seek urgent medical care if you think you have a kidney infection.
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How Can You Tell The Difference Between Kidney And Back Pain
When it comes to differentiating between the two, you want to look at two factors: the location of the pain and the type of sensations youre experiencing.
Pain that is related to a pulled muscle, ligament strain, or disc damage, can be anywhere up and down your back, but it tends to be around the lower spine . Reason being: This area bears most of our weight as we go about our daily activities, rendering it more vulnerable to injury, tightness, and muscle fatigue. If theres a nerve issue, the pain may also radiate down to your butt or to one of your legs or feet, as well.
Kidney pain, on the other hand, manifests around the middle of your back and to either side of the spine. This is called the flank area. If you reach around and put your hand naturally where your waist is, its right about there, says Dr. Rajan.
Type of pain
Back pain can range from a sharp burning sensation to a dull ache. You may also experience numbness or tingling in your legs. The key thing to notice about back pain, though, is that it often flares up or lessens depending on how you move, according to Cheyenne Santiago, M.S.N., R.N., and managing editor at MCG.
Kidney pain is also often accompanied by other symptoms. So, if you also:
- Notice your pee looks bloody, dark, or cloudy
- Find that your urine smells funkier than usual
- Have pain when urinating
youll want to have your primary care physician examine your kidney function.
Pain That Comes And Goes In Waves And Changes In Intensity
As the kidney stone moves through your urinary tract, youll feel pain differently. With a backache, the pain is usually constant.
Kidney stone pain typically starts high up, near the kidney, migrates toward the abdomen and then eventually moves down toward the groin as the stone moves further down the ureter, says Mike Nguyen, MD, a urologist at Keck Medicine of USC and associate professor of clinical urology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
Kidney stone pain is typically severe and can be sharp or dull. It usually occurs suddenly, without any provoking events.
Mike Nguyen, MD
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Kidney Pain Vs Back Pain: Symptoms Causes Treatment
Sixteen million adults in America nearly eighty percent of all adults will experience chronic back pain in their lives. In fact, back pain is one of the most costly conditions for healthcare in the United States, costing over twelve billion dollars every year. This kind of pain can affect anyone, regardless of age or income. However, 41% of adults experiencing back pain are in the 18-44 age range.
Sometimes, back pain is simply muscle strain. It can also be a sign that something is wrong with a nerve, such as in the case of a herniated disc. However, because the kidneys are located in the back, many people can mistake signs of serious kidney conditions by thinking of their pain as being just back pain. You can compare the symptoms and, in conjunction with your circumstances, risk factors, and other factors, use this tool to determine whether you need to contact your doctor to discuss next steps.
What Are The Causes Of Back Pain And Kidney Pain
Back pain most often occurs when the back is overworked, strained, or frequently subjected to poor posture.
Kidney pain has five major causes :
1. Kidney stones
These are hard deposits of minerals and salts that can form in your kidneys and create some excruciating blockage. If theyre very small stones, they may flush out without any pain, says Santiago. If they are larger, the pain is fairly sharp, and it tends to come in waves. In other words, the pain tends to get worse when the stone moves.
Its also typically one-sided, adds Santiago. You dont typically get bad stones on both sides at the same time.
2. A UTI gone too far
Sometimes a urinary tract infection can get out of hand as the harmful bacteria crawl their way through the bladder and up to the kidneys.
With a kidney infection, it’s going to be that dull, continuous pain, says Santiago. UTIs that turn into kidney infections are also more likely to cause fever, chills, and nausea.
Fortunately, your kidneys are guarded by your ribcage and tough back muscles, so kidney injuries arent super common. But if youre into contact sports, happen to be in an accident, or end up in any situation where you take an extremely hard blow to the flank, you could do some organ damage.
4. Polycystic Kidney Disease
5. Kidney tumor
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Bottom Line: Dont Hesitate To See Your Doctor If You Think Its Kidney Pain
Unlike back pain, you dont want to have a wait and see approach with your kidneys. Infections can get worse and lead to serious tissue damage, while odd growths and stones can impair kidney function. The earlier your doc can prescribe you a care plan, the better they can nip your conditionand your puzzling back painin the bud.
Over The Counter Medications For Urinary Tract Infections
- Brand names listed as examples do not imply better quality over other brands. Generic equivalents may also exist.
- Use only as directed on the package, unless your healthcare provider instructs you to do otherwise.
- OTCs may interact with other medications or be potentially harmful if you have certain medical conditions. Talk to your pharmacist about options that are right for you.
You can do some things at home to feel better while you have an infection:
- Drink plenty of fluids to flush out germs.
- Get extra rest.
- When you go to the bathroom, sit on the toilet instead of squatting over it, which can keep your bladder from completely emptying.
- Take a pain reliever with acetaminophen. Donât use aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen because these can raise your risk of kidney problems.
- Use a heating pad on your belly, back, or side.
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