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What Part Of The Back Hurts With A Kidney Infection

What Is A Urinary Tract Infection

Kidney Infection, Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment.

A UTI happens when foreign bacteria enter one or more parts of the urinary system. This includes the bladder, urethra, or kidneys. Because women have a shorter urethra than men, women are more likely to get infected. Some men get UTIs, and risk increases with age. Doctors classify the infections in two ways. A lower UTI affects the urinary tract and bladder. An upper UTI spreads to the kidneys and can be serious if left unchecked.

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Take The Signs Seriously

UTIs can happen at almost any age in women and at an elderly age in men. Researchers are still searching for the root cause. Until then, take preventative measures to reduce the chances of the condition. For people suspecting a UTI, seek help from a doctor. If the symptoms evolve into back pain, the kidneys are infected. At that point, get medical treatment immediately.

Kidney Pain Vs Back Pain

Its easy to confuse kidney pain for just back pain. How do you know the difference?

Location. It could be your kidney and not your back if you feel it higher on your back. Back problems usually affect your lower back.

Kidney pain is felt higher and deeper in your body than back pain. You may feel it in the upper half of your back, not the lower part. Unlike back discomfort, its felt on one or both sides, usually under your rib cage.

Its often constant. It probably wont go away when you shift your body. With your back, it might lessen when you adjust your position.

Signs that its your back

Back pain:

  • Shoots down one leg
  • Is more likely to be stabbing than dull and constant
  • Gets worse or flares up when you do certain activities, like lifting a box or bending over
  • When you rest or lie down, back pain may ease up
  • Might also be muscle aches

Other symptoms to watch for

Depending on the cause of the pain, you could have other symptoms too. If you have these signs, contact your doctor. You could have a serious kidney problem:

Also, if you recently had a urinary tract infection , call your doctor. If you have blood in your urine, or if your pain is sudden and unbearable even without signs of blood in your pee, get medical care right away.

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What Is The Best Treatment For Kidney Pain Or Back Pain

When either your kidneys or your back hurt, you could either experience mild discomfort or a crippling pain. Since the actual problem might not be clear yet, consulting with a physician is imperative to determine the cause before they can administer treatment.

Issues with the kidney could either be a minor problem or a big one. If youre battling a kidney infection, your doctor would most likely prescribe antibiotics for you. A tiny kidney stone will require no treatment at all and pass naturally. In some cases, you many need a short hospital visit so they can get the stones out of your system smoothly. Drinking plenty of water can help with this problem. A larger kidney stone, on the other hand, would require surgery.

As for the back, various causes means many different cures are available. For non-serious back problems, you only need some rest, muscle relaxants, and a heating pad to relieve the pain. If the pain lasts for over two weeks, it may indicate a more severe problem that could require intensive care, physical rehabilitation, or minor surgery.

What Causes Back Pain

Kidney Stone Pain Come Back

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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Drink Plenty Of Liquids

Drinking plenty of liquids, particularly water, will help to wash bacteria from your bladder and urinary tract.

Drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry extracts may also help prevent urinary tract infections . However, you should avoid cranberry juice or extracts if you’re taking warfarin, a medicine used to prevent blood clots. Cranberry juice can make the effects of warfarin more potent, so there’s a risk of excessive bleeding.

Back Pain Vs Kidney Pain

Kidney pain and back pain are often confused with each other but there are several important differences. While back pain can be dull, aching and continuous or intermittent and sudden, kidney pain usually occurs in waves or cycles and is accompanied with other symptoms like chills, fever and pain while urination. At times, back pain and kidney pain can be similar in symptoms but their causes and indications are very different.

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Causes Of Kidney Pain

Kidney pain has many possible causes. These organs are connected to others like your bladder and ureters, where you store and get rid of urine.

Kidney stones. Intense, sudden, stabbing pain may be a kidney stone. These are mineral deposits that can grow large enough to block a ureter, a tube that connects your kidney and bladder. If that happens, you’ll feel sharp pain or cramps in your back or side. It can also spread out to your groin. As you try to pee out the stone, you might feel waves of pain.

Kidney infection. Also called pyelonephritis, this infection could cause discomfort in one or both kidneys. You may feel pain in your back, in your side or both sides under your ribs, or in your groin. You’ll also have a fever. Urinary tract infections also cause discomfort in this organ.

Kidney swelling. This condition, called hydronephrosis, can happen if your kidneys are blocked. Your urine can’t drain the way it should and builds up in your kidneys. This can happen in one or both kidneys and sometimes it causes pain.

Kidney cysts. You may not feel a simple kidney cyst until it grows larger. Once it gets big, you might feel a dull pain in your side or back, or feel pain in the upper part of your belly.

Polycystic kidney disease. This genetic disease causes many cysts to grow in your kidneys. They may cause you to feel a pain in your back or side.

How To Tell If Its Kidney Pain Or Back Pain

Pyelonephritis (Kidney Infection) | Causes, Pathophysiology, Signs & Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

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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When To Contact A Doctor

A person who is experiencing kidney pain should contact a doctor as soon as possible to find out what is causing it.

People must contact a doctor to diagnose and treat kidney pain. Receiving the correct treatment ensures that the kidneys do not become damaged, which can lead to kidney failure.

Doctors may order tests such as:

  • urine tests, which can help them identify any infections
  • imaging tests, such as CT or ultrasound scans
  • cytology, which can help them identify cancer cells in the urine

Prevention Of Kidney Infections

Kidney infections are the result of bladder infections migrating to one or both kidneys. Here are some methods to reduce your risk of UTIs and kidney infections:

  • Maintain personal hygiene habits such as washing your genitals and wiping front to back.
  • Individuals with indwelling bladder catheters should remember to have their catheters changed regularly to avoid irritation and infection. Additionally, make sure to clean and monitor the area surrounding where the catheter enters the urethra.
  • Urinate when you need to. Dont hold it, and try to empty your bladder completely.
  • Urinate soon after sex, and make sure to practice safe sex in general.
  • Diaphragms, unlubricated condoms, and spermicidal lubes can potentially contribute to infection. Consider switching to different birth control methods if recurring infections are an issue.

If you suffer any symptoms of a urinary tract or kidney infection, talk to your doctor immediately. The faster you act, the more effective the treatment will be. If you experience any of these symptoms, call orbook online with PlushCare to set up a phone or video appointment with an experienced doctor today.

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What Is The Difference Between Back Pain And Kidney Pain

Here are the things you can watch out for to tell if you have back pain or youre having kidney pain:

  • What part of the back hurts? When the pain radiates from the flank, the lower part of the ribcage, there is a chance that it may be a kidney stone. Pain from other parts of your back is probably back pain.
  • How intense is the pain? Back pain is usually tolerable, but it still depends on how much stress or damage your ligaments, muscles, tendons or discs went through. Pain caused by kidney stones is usually a sharp pain, like being stabbed, or a dull pain if it is from a kidney infection. The pain also depends on the severity of the infection or the size of the kidney stone.
  • How long have you been experiencing pain? Most acute cases of back pain usually resolves on its own within days rather than weeks. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications usually relieve back pain. Severe kidney pain usually does not go away with the NSAIDs, and nothing will relieve the pain unless the problem is addressed. If the pain persists, consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
  • When To See A Gp

    What Can Cause Pain in the Flank Region?

    See a GP if you feel feverish and you have pain in your tummy, lower back or genitals that will not go away.

    You should also see a GP if you have symptoms of a UTI that have not improved after a few days, or if you have blood in your pee.

    Contact a GP immediately if you think your child may have a kidney infection.

    Kidney infections require prompt treatment with antibiotics.

    Page last reviewed: 06 January 2021 Next review due: 06 January 2024

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    Treatment Options For Utis

    Drinking water and cranberry juice are two common recommendations for lower UTIs. However, research has shown the methods to be inconclusive. Extra liquids make urination easier but do not treat the root cause. Speaking with a doctor is the first step. Doctors will then prescribe antibiotics. As bacteria could stay in the cells of the bladder, removing the infection can be difficult. However, when caught early, antibiotics can be effective.

    A Back Pain You Cant Ignore

    An upper UTI can cause intense back pain as the infection reaches the kidneys. People will get pain in the lower back and groin area. Back pain comes with two other symptoms: high fever and vomiting. Upper infections happen when a lower UTI goes unchecked or does not respond to antibiotics. These infections are serious and, in severe cases, need hospitalization. If not managed well, the infection can spread to the renal artery and blood, which is life-threatening.

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    Summary: 10 Tips On How To Differ Back Pain And Kidney Pain

    Here are symptoms of kidney pain compared to back pain:

  • Pain on one side of your lower back or the sides, underneath your ribs.
  • General back pain, on the other hand, can be felt anywhere on your back. So if the discomfort is in your center back or shoulders, possibilities are, its not a kidney rock.

  • Pain that reoccurs in waves and changes in strength.
  • As the kidney rock moves through your urinary system, youll feel pain differently. With a backache, the pain is typically constant.

  • Pain that doesnt go away when you move.
  • If its a backache, some movement or position change can ease the discomfort. With kidney stones, the pain will not go away when you move, and some poses may even make it worse.

    Back pain can range from moderate to severe, while kidney stone pain is always severe. Kidney stone pain is generally severe and can be sharp or dull.

  • Blood in your urine.
  • Kidney stones can trigger your pee to be pink, red, or brown.

  • Painful urination.
  • A lot more regular urination.
  • Kidney rocks can make you seem like you require to pee a lot more, and also, when you do go, you might only go a little.

  • High temperature and chills, in addition to back pain.
  • This could also mean that you have a urinary tract infection.

    Complications Of Kidney Infections

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    Most kidney infections are treated successfully without complications, although some people may develop further problems.

    Complications of a kidney infection are rare, but you’re more likely to develop them if you:

    • rapid heartbeat

    Blood poisoning is a medical emergency that usually requires admission to a hospital intensive care unit while antibiotics are used to fight the infection.

    If you’re taking certain medications for diabetes, such as metformin or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, they may be temporarily withdrawn until you recover. This is because they can cause kidney damage during an episode of blood poisoning.

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    When To See A Doctor

    Once youve determined whether your pain is coming from your back or your kidneys, consider seeing your doctor for evaluation and treatment.

    You should always be seen if you think you have a kidney infection or kidney stone.

    You might be able to treat acute back pain thats mild without seeing your doctor, but if it doesnt get better, is more than mild pain, or spreads, you should see your doctor.

    When Back Pain Means Kidney Problems

    Millions of Americans per year suffer from back pain. Often, the cause is muscular, like a strain or pulled muscle, or skeletal, like degenerative disc disease, but other times, back pain could be a symptom of something larger.

    If you have back pain near the kidneys, you could have an infection or more serious condition that could need immediate attention. Our team can help patients identify kidney pain symptoms so they know when to make an appointment at Affiliated Urologists.

    The kidneys can be found on both sides of the body near the top of the abdomen. They rest near the back muscles and sit just below the ribcage. This means that when patients have a kidney condition, they usually feel pain in their backs as opposed to the stomach area. Its possible for patients to only feel pain on one side of the upper back where the kidneys are. Sometimes, back pain is felt on the side of the body as well as the back.

    What it means

    Kidney pain could mean a wide variety of things. It could mean something as easy to treat as dehydration, but this is not typically the case. Kidney pain felt in the upper back can also be caused by a kidney infection, kidney stones, or even cancer.

    What to look for

    Kidney Cancer If a patient is experiencing back pain paired with loss of appetite, weight loss, or fatigue, they may have kidney cancer. However, if a patient has these symptoms, it does not always mean cancer. It could mean another, less-serious issue with the kidneys.

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    What Is A Kidney Infection

    A kidney infection, medically known as pyelonephritis, is a common type of urinary tract infection , caused when bacteria have entered the bodys urinary tract and traveled from the bladder into one or both kidneys. Since a kidney infection commonly develops from an untreated bladder infection, the two share the same signs and symptoms.

    Common urinary tract infection signs and symptoms include:

    • Bad smelling urine

    Causes Of Kidney Infections

    Kidney infections treatment

    Kidney infections are a result of bacteria entering the kidneys. While there are many causes for a kidney infection, the most common is from a pre-existing infection in the urinary tract, like a bladder infection.

    The urinary tract, or urinary system, comprises organs that extract, hold, and transport waste as urine from your system. The organs include two kidneys, two ureters, a bladder, and a urethra.

    Kidneys process blood to produce urine. The urine travels via the ureters to the bladder, where it is stored, waiting to release during the urination process through the urethra. When bacteria end up in the urethra, they can travel to the bladder and cause an infection that turns into a kidney infection when it moves to one or both kidneys.

    Infections in the urinary tract are most commonly caused by the bacteria Escherichia coli, also known as E. coli. About 90 percent of uncomplicated urinary tract infections are caused by E. coli, a bacteria that can be found in the colons of humans and animals as well as their fecal waste. E. coli can spread to the genitals and into the urinary tract through improper wiping or toilet backsplash. Bacterial transfer can also occur during sex.

    Other conditions that prevent the natural urine flow can increase the risk that an infection may occur, such as blockages to the ureters from a large kidney stone.

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