Back pain: Location and severity of lower back pain could indicate kidney disease

NHS explain the best ways to treat back pain

Lower back pain usually subsides within four to six weeks, but some people suffer from it for months if not years. Most often the pain will subside in time and is nothing too concerning for the sufferer. Sometimes, however, the pain felt in the lower back could indicate damage to the kidneys or even kidney disease. How do you know if your lower back pain could be kidney disease?

Due to the location of the kidneys, which is towards the back and underneath the ribcage, many people may be confused whether the pain they’re experiencing in that area is coming from the back or their kidneys.

Symptoms, location, and severity of the pain are some of the indications pointing to whether or not it’s simply a case of lower back pain or something more serious.

Important factors to note – when the kidneys are damaged waste products and fluid can build up in the body.

That can cause swelling in the ankles, nausea, weakness, poor sleep, and shortness of breath.

Without treatment, the damage can get worse and your kidneys may eventually stop working which could be life threatening.

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Kidney pain is discomfort that comes from the area where your kidneys are, said WebMD.

The health site continued: “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 and if you notice pain that you think may be coming from one or both of these organs speak to your doctor.”

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Most lower back pain is the result of an injury, such as muscle sprains or strains due to sudden movements or poor body mechanics while lifting heavy objects.

Lower back pain can also be the result of certain diseases, such as:

  • Cancer of the spinal cord
  • A ruptured or herniated disc
  • Sciatica
  • Arthritis
  • Infections of the spine

Kidney pain symptoms include:

  • A dull ache that’s 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

Once you’ve determined whether your pain is coming from your back or your kidneys, consider seeing your doctor for evaluation and treatment, said Healthline.

The health site continued: “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 that’s mild without seeing your doctor, but if it doesn’t get better, is more than mild pain, or spreads, you should see your doctor.”

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