Not every back pain is an indication of kidney stones but the back pain caused by kidney stones can mimic the regular back pain. So, how do you tell the difference between these back pains and when should you suspect the presence of kidney stones and see a good urologist near you?
There can be three different reasons for back pain:
- Back pain is caused due to a problem with muscles in your back
- Back pain due to nerve problem
- Back pain due to the presence and movement of kidney stones.
In all of these three cases, the location and severity of the pain changes and may (or may not) be associated with other symptoms that can give a clue about the presence of kidney stones. Before we dive in, note that kidneys are present on the backside, just under the rib cage. (Approximately)
Normal back pain vs back pain due to kidney stones
Pain only on one side of the back under the ribs
Usual back pain can also be only one side or both sides and can be anywhere in your back. Pain due to problems with the lower back can be felt along the lower back. If the pain is due to any nerve damage or injury, it can be felt in a specific spot and may radiate down to the foot. Pain due to kidney stones is typically felt on one side (there are instances of pain on both sides too) and that is often below the rib cage.
Pain that changes location and intensity
The pain caused by kidney stones changes with the movement of the stone(s). As the stone moves through the ureters, into the bladder, or if it moves into the urethra, the location of pain keeps changing, and sometimes, sharp, unbearable pain can be felt. Whereas, normal back pain can be mild or severe depending on the case.
Pain that doesn’t subside as you change your posture
The intensity of regular back pain can change with sitting or sleeping positions. But the pain caused by kidney stones doesn’t change with a change in posture.
Pain due to kidney stones is always sharp and severe
Normal back pain would vary in severity depending on the issue and location. But the pain due to kidney stones is always very sharp, severe, and occurs without any external event like an injury, etc.
Normal back pain doesn’t usually radiate
Normal back pain is typically localized, it doesn’t radiate down into the abdomen or the inner thighs. Pain due to nerve problems may radiate into the lower back, buttocks, and even till the foot. Pain due to kidney stones usually radiates into the lower back, abdomen, and into inner thighs, depending on the position of the stone.
If you are not able to identify the cause of the pain and want to make sure if it is due to the presence of kidney stones, here are some more symptoms that you can look for along with severe and sharp back pain:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever and chills
- Pain during urination and sometimes, blood may be seen during urination
- Cloudy and dark urine
- Bladder infection
- When the body is able to eject small stones, they may be seen as tiny salt particles or gravel during urination.
Who should you see when you suspect kidney stones?
It is better that you see a good urologist or urogynecologist near you if you suspect kidney stones. If you are a victim of recurring kidney stones, you can consult our leading urologists at Kidney Stones Clinic, T Nagar, Chennai for detailed analysis or a second opinion. The expert urologists are Kidney Stones Clinic are highly trained in the US and have been successfully performing laser treatment for kidney stones or even extraction of kidney stones from the body