Lower back pain & kidneys: any link?

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Lower back pain can be caused by kidney-related health conditions such as kidney stones, infections, and cancer. The pain is usually sharp and sporadic, but can also be dull and constant. Medical attention is necessary, and pain relief can be found through over-the-counter medication and heat therapy.

Various health conditions can cause lower back pain, and some of these conditions are related to the kidneys. Sharp, wavy lower back pain is a common symptom of a trapped kidney stone or kidney infection. While dull, constant back pain is rarely a symptom of a kidney problem, when it is, the problem can be as serious as the cancer. Since most kidney problems require medical attention, a person experiencing low back pain and kidney pain should see their doctor. Meanwhile, over-the-counter pain medications and heat can help the sufferer ease the pain.

To determine whether there is a connection between low back pain and the kidneys, the sufferer must understand what kidney-related back pain usually feels like. Many people confuse dull, constant back pain with kidney problems, but back pain associated with these organs is usually sharper and more sporadic. In other words, most kidney problems that cause back pain will cause sudden, sharp waves of pain rather than a constant, dull ache. However, a dull lower back pain can be related to the kidneys. A dull, aching, constant pain could mean anything from kidney cancer or polycystic kidney disease to a blocked urine stream or bladder spasm that mimics kidney pain.

Several other common health conditions can cause a connection between lower back pain and the kidneys. For example, a kidney stone lodged in the ureter can cause sharp pains that come in waves. A kidney infection can also cause a sharp, aching lower back pain once the kidney becomes swollen and stretched. Both of these conditions can be accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and fever. Other types of low back pain associated with kidney problems include an injury that has caused bleeding into the kidney and a blockage in the artery that causes the blood supply to the organ to be cut off.

It is impossible to properly treat a kidney condition until the person knows exactly what the problem is. Most health conditions associated with low back and kidney pain require a doctor’s attention. Kidney infections also usually require a prescription for antibiotics. Until they can see a healthcare professional, a person experiencing back pain can use over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin. Heat can also help relieve back pain, so sufferers might try a hot shower or bath, or use a heating pad.

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