Low Back Pain or Kidney Pain?

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Believe it or not, it is very common for people to be confused whether their pain is low back pain or kidney pain. While there are multiple causes and similarities between both conditions, there are definite differences between them. Low back pain may not be accompanied with anything else, and can be felt in the form of a dull, continuous ache and or some experience sharp and shooting pain that comes and goes. While kidney pain is usually accompanied by some other problematic symptoms such as difficulty or pain while urinating, and sometimes a fever. If you press on the area where your kidneys are located, it’s likely that you’ll feel sharp pain when you apply pressure. Let’s compare both a little further to help you identify whether you are experiencing low back pain or kidney pain.

Kidney pain

Kidney pain usually occurs in between your hip and ribs, or your side/flank area. Occasionally, kidney pain can appear in your abdomen area. For example, tf the cause of your pain were kidney stones, the pain could occur on your side or it could be felt incan appear on your side or in the lower right or left side of your abdomen. If you’re experiencing kidney pain, and it’s caused by an infection, pressing on the area is typically very painful. It‘s also usually accompanied by some other problematic symptoms such as difficulty or pain while urinating, and sometimes a fever.

Conditions that can cause kidney pain

  • Kidney Disease
  • Kidney infection
  • Kidney stones
  • Kidney hemorrhage
  • Tumor
  • Kidney cancer

Low Back Pain

Pain in your lower back can appear if there was an injury to your back muscles or spinal column. If your pain radiates into your buttocks or even down your legs or feet, there is a possibility your spinal nerves were injury in some form. If the issue that is causing your low back pain is mostly with the muscles, the pain may occur anywhere along your low back. Things like body position when you sleep, posture when you sit, or overuse can cause low back pain. If you have a weak core, you are more likely to incur issues with back. Where a lot of confusion sometimes comes from is when there is an underlying health condition, such as pancreatitis or appendicitis for example. People often remember if there was a blunt force injury or if they were pushing themselves too hard in the gym. But when there is a deeper health issue that has a symptom of low back pain, people are often unaware of why they are having that pain to begin with.

Common conditions that cause low back pain

  • Appendicitis
  • Constipation
  • Diverticulitis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • IBS
  • Pancreatitis
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Pregnancy
  • Spleen enlargement
  • Bad posture
  • Blunt trauma
  • Herniated Disc
  • Muscle Strain
  • Vertebrae Fracture
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pinched nerve
  • Scoliosis
  • Stress

As you can see there are multiple issues that can cause kidney pain and lower back pain, but both symptoms are in fact very different. If you have been experiencing pain, but you are not sure which it might be – please call your medical provider to make sure it is addressed. Ignoring either type of pain for too long can cause much more harm if you have an underlying condition that goes untreated.

Thank you for reading! – OSI Physical Therapy

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