It’s been a week that your lower back is in pain and you think your kidneys are the reason behind that pain due to all the fatty food you eat and you are ready for a stone removal treatment. There is no need to panic but you need to see a doctor straight away although it may be not your kidneys behind your pain or it may not be the stones. There may be other reasons too. So to check what is causing that pain following methods are helpful.

Kidney Pain V/S Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain may be mistaken as kidney pain. Kidneys are placed on each side of spine in the back part of abdominal cavity. Behind the liver and under the diaphragm, the right kidney is located while the left one is behind spleen. Aching muscles, ligaments or disks in spinal column touching sensitive nerves are commonly mistaken as a kidney. But with the help of a massage or any heat treatment this problem of lower back pain can be tackled.

The back and the lower edge of the ribs on either side of spine is the area where kidney pain is experienced. As compared to the pain in the lower back which is dull, aching of muscles and ligaments, the symptoms of kidney pain are harsh and periodic pain.

Causes Of Kidney Pain and Treatment

Kidney Stones
When kidney contains crystal forming substances like calcium and uric acid or when minerals and liquids in your urine are out of balance then kidney stones are formed. If there are not enough fluids to dissolve these crystalline substances then they may attach together and can obstruct the ureter (tube that connects your kidney to the bladder). The kidneys swells and this blocked urine leads to stretching of the pain-sensitive shell.

Pain Profile – This type of pain comes periodically as compared to the pain in lower back which is dull, and in continuity. Kidney pain is so severe that it may be comparable to giving birth. Constant writhing and pacing are the secondary symptoms of patients suffering from kidney stones. Vomiting and nausea is symptom of kidney pain.

Treatment Of Kidney Stones

• Home Treatment – When you are really in severe pain only then you will diagnose kidney stone. There are two methods to remove the stone i.e. either by taking medicines and wait until the stone gets removed or by a surgical treatment as recommended by the doctors to remove the kidney stone. By drinking lots of liquid diet or by taking medicine you can get rid of stones that are about 5mm in size. According to study nine out of every ten stones of size 5mm and 5 out of 10 measuring from 5 to 10mm may pass on their own with the help of this method. Only 1 or 2 require other types of treatment.

• Drink More Fluids – In order to have clear urine you should drink 8 to 10 glasses of water. It is recommended to drink two glasses of water after every two hours. But if you have any kind of heart or liver disease you must consult your doctor first.

• Hospitalization – If there is severe pain or there is no or less urination then the doctor may recommend medication or surgery.

• Take Pain Medicines – To cure the kidney pain Non steroidal Anti Inflammatory drugs are suggested. Stronger pain relief medicines are prescribed by the doctor in case when there is no significant effect of earlier medicines.

• Do Not Drink Grapefruit Juice – Drinking this juice may also lead to an increase in kidney stone formation.

• Other Medicines – To remove kidney stones medicines like alpha-blockers and calcium channel blockers can also be used. But you must consult your doctor before taking this substance.

• Extracorpreal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL) – To remove the stones from the body the stones are broken into smaller pieces by applying shock waves. This is the most common method used to remove kidney stones.

• Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy – If the stones are very big and rigid then the above methods fail and this method comes into play. With the help of small hole in the back the doctor puts a tiny telescope into the kidney. After that stones are either removed or broken into smaller pieces.

• Ureteroscopy – In this method a telescope is put in the urinary tract near the stone location. After that the stones are removed or broken. For a brief period of time the doctor may place a hollow tube called ureteral stent to draw off urine. If the stones move from the kidney to ureter only then this process is followed.

• Open Surgery – A surgeon makes a cut in the stomach or on the left side to get rid of the kidney stone. But this method is done only in rare cases.

Kidney Infection (Pyelonephritis)

The infection that travels from the urethra or bladder and goes up to the kidney is called pyelonephritis. This problem may pose a threat to life so this infection must be diagnosed immediately. Stretching the pain-sensitive shell around the kidney may cause pain due to the inflammation in the kidney.

Pain Profile – Patients become more sensitive to the problem zone as the pain caused due to kidney infection is aching and sharp. Other symptoms of this pain are vomiting, high fever and nausea.

Treatment Of Kidney Infection

HOME TREATMENT

Antibiotics and painkillers can handle the kidney infection in most of the cases. It involves the following:

• Antibiotics – If doctors suspect some infection, they may even recommend antibiotic even before the urine test as it reduces the pain in kidney.

• Painkillers – To lower the fever painkillers like lbuprofen and paracetamol are helpful. Painkillers also help in easing the pain. If you have kidney disease or asthma or liver problem then these painkillers are not recommended.

• Fluids – Whether you are suffering from pain or not, you should drink two liters of water every day. If you have any other problem like heart disease then you should consult your doctor.

• Hospitalization – If the infectivity is not harsh then there is no need to get hospitalized. If there is no or less effect of antibiotics, frequent vomiting and lose bowel movement only then hospitalization is required. If you have other diseases like diabetes then you may need to stay at the hospital as that problems can be checked too.

If you have a very high fever or are pregnant then intravenous antibiotics may be given to you. This medicine is also given to patients that have low tolerance or weak immune system. To prevent dehydration the doctor may put liquids directly into your veins.

Dull Aching Kidney Pain

A slowly developing block may not cause any kind of pain at all, so kidney pain is rarely dull or aching. But in case you suffer from this problem too then following are the causes:

• Kidney Cancer – Kidney tumor can stretch the pain-sensitive shell and grow around the kidneys and it can be removed through surgery.

• Polycystic Kidney Disease – This disease can lead to enormous magnification of kidneys as this disease is hereditary. The problem is felt in front of the abdomen rather than back due to this disease. When the end state of this disease is reached only then the treatment is done which involves kidney transplantation and dialysis.

• Chronic Bilateral Obstructive Uropathy – Other than sudden obstruction due to kidney stones, the kidney blockage can also occur steadily. Chronic bilateral obstructive uropathy gets worse over time in both kidneys. It all depends on blockage that what type of action is to be taken like inflamed prostate is treated with heat therapy while UTI is treated with antibiotics.

Until extreme pain is experienced most people don’t care about their kidneys. You should exercise regularly and eat a balanced diet to have healthy kidneys. Detoxification is another good way. You should remember that prevention is always better than cure.


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Lucas Beaumont
Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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