The kidneys can be found on both sides of the spine, between the thoracic and lumbar regions, beneath the liver, and behind the stomach. Kidney pain is frequently confused with pain in the spine, specifically the cross or lumbar region. Kidney pain usually begins on one side, either the left or right, and radiates inward, usually horizontally. When it comes to the spine, however, it spreads vertically towards the neck or legs and is also felt as numbness.
Kidney pain is typically throbbing, colic-like, and paroxysmal, and is sometimes caused by pressure associated with urinary retention. The back pain is rather monotonous. Kidney pain occurs for no apparent reason (the exception is freezing, chilling). Making the correct diagnosis can be difficult, so when in pain, it is best to consult a doctor.
Differences between kidney pain and back pain
|Criteria||Kidney pain||Spine pain|
|Pain localization||the middle and sides of the back,|
it radiates horizontally
|usually the middle or lower back,|
it radiates vertically
|Features of pain||piercing, throbbing||dull, monotonous|
|The cause of the pain||usually for no apparent reason||after lifting weights,|
after sitting or standing for a long time
Symptoms of kidney diseases
Kidney pain is usually the result of a medical problem that requires attention. The kidneys are a vital organ in the body that performs numerous functions. They filter and purify the blood, as well as balance the water, calcium-phosphate, sodium, and potassium. The kidneys produce compounds that regulate blood pressure and help form red blood cells. When they malfunction, problems can spread to other organs.
In addition to back pain , kidney disease also causes other symptoms, such as:
- pain below the ribs that worsens with movement
- general malaise – drowsiness, apathy, hyperactivity,
- fever, headache , smell of ammonia from the mouth, vomiting ,
- oliguria, lack of urine,
- burning when urinating,
- cloudy urine with an intense, unpleasant odor,
- bloody or dark colored urine
- increased blood pressure
- swelling of the limbs ( leg swelling ) and around the eyes.
Causes of kidney pain
- Renal colic ( nephrolithiasis )
- Kidney cyst
- Kidney cancer
What to do when your kidneys hurt?
If you experience kidney pain, see your GP. If the symptoms are extremely severe, they may indicate an attack of renal colic, and in such cases, it is reasonable to call an ambulance. If there is no need for immediate intervention, the doctor will first order a general urine test , additional tests of kidney function parameters ( creatinine, urea, GFR ) and ultrasound of the kidneys and urinary system.
In some cases, other imaging tests (X-ray, CT scan) will be necessary, and sometimes also a kidney biopsy. Depending on the diagnosis, the next steps may vary. It must be remembered that kidney pain is a symptom, so it is not the cause that should be treated, but the cause, i.e. the actual disease. Untreated kidney disease can lead to life-threatening consequences, including: to complete destruction of the organ. Then the only solution m