Back Pain and Kidneys – When Should You Worry?

How can you tell when back pain is muscular or a sign of kidney problems? The kidneys are positioned below the ribcage on either side of the spine and rest against the muscles of the lower back and become painful if you have infection or stones. Kidney pain can feel similar to muscular pains caused by strains and joint problems in the spine or ribs, which can make it difficult to discriminate between the various causes of pain. It’s best to come in for a check up, of course, but these signs will help you tell kidney problems apart from back problems and make sure you get help from the right experts – don’t leave it. 

Back pain and kidneys, Brighton chiropractor

How do you know if pain is coming from your kidneys?

The kidneys have the job of filtering waste and toxins from the bloodstream. This makes them liable to infection. An excess of calcium, oxalate and phosphorus can form kidney stones, which become painful if they cause a blockage. As the kidneys sit just below the ribs near the backbone, pain in that mid-back area which feels ‘deeper’ may indicate a kidney problem. Only one kidney may be involved, in which case the pain will be on only one side of the spine. The constant dull ache of a kidney-related pain may radiate to the abdomen or groin areas. 

Can a sore back feel like kidney pain?

It may be reassuring to know that muscle strain is a more common cause of back pain than kidney problems. Typical back pain is caused by inflamed muscles, joints and nerves – and you may even know exactly what caused it. Normally you’ll notice it located in the muscular areas of the back, and it will definitely feel worse on moving. 

Key Fact: Kidney pain tends to remain the same in all positions and whether you’re moving about or not. 

Signs of Kidney Problems

As the kidneys are essential parts of the urinary system, symptoms of infection or other trouble will appear in the urine. Pay attention to a change of smell or colour, blood, cloudiness or pain in passing urine. Fever, chills, uncontrolled pain and nausea are all signs that you need to see your doctor quickly – and needless to say, if you’ve suffered an impact to the area (a fall, sports injury or other accident), seek medical help immediately.

If you’re in any doubt about the source of your pain, come and see us for a check up. Chiropractors are able to identify the cause of your pain by investigating your symptoms thoroughly. If they detect kidney problems, they’ll refer you to your GP or even A&E if necessary. 

So don’t hesitate – pick up the phone or book online here to make an appointment.