Kidney pain: causes, treatment & when to call a doctor

Kidney pain is felt in your sides, back, belly or groin. It’s often mistaken for back pain. Kidney pain can be caused by kidney stones, kidney infection, an injury or kidney cancer. Kidney pain treatment depends on the underlying cause.

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Several different health conditions can result in kidney pain, including trauma, infection, kidney stones and cancer.

What is kidney pain?

Kidney pain (renal pain) is discomfort near your kidneys. Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs located just below your ribcage, on each side of your spine. Kidney pain doesn’t always mean there’s a problem with your kidneys specifically — but it does usually indicate an issue somewhere in your urinary system.

What does it feel like when your kidneys hurt?

People often mistake kidney pain for back pain. But there are some key differences between kidney pain và how it feels compared lớn back pain.

Kidney pain vs back pain

Back pain usually affects the middle of your back, over your spine, và most commonly in the lower back. Spine-related issues can also cause back pain to sometimes radiate down your legs.

In comparison, kidney pain is typically located higher on your back and it often feels deeper. Most of the time, kidney pain symptoms occur under your ribs, to the right or left of your spine. Kidney pain may also radiate khổng lồ other areas, such as your abdomen or groin. Sometimes, hip pain is confused with kidney pain, but hip pain is lower down in your back than kidney pain.

Possible Causes

What are the most common causes of kidney pain?

Your kidneys are connected to lớn your bladder và ureters (the tubes that carry pee from your kidneys khổng lồ your bladder). Problems with any of these areas can result in pain and discomfort. Possible causes of kidney pain include:

Ureteral stricture. This refers to lớn a narrowing of your ureter. The ureters are the tubes that carry urine from your kidneys khổng lồ your bladder. Ureteral stricture can occur on one or both sides.Injury or trauma. Impact from tương tác sports, accidents or other blunt force trauma may cause physical damage to your kidneys. This could result in blood in the urine or around the kidneys as well as leakage of urine from the kidneys.

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What are common kidney pain symptoms?

People with kidney pain may experience different symptoms. Some of the most common kidney pain symptoms include:

A constant, dull ache in your back.Pain in your sides, under your rib cage or in your abdomen.Severe or sharp pain that comes in waves.Pain that spreads to lớn your groin area.Kidney pain is often accompanied by nausea or vomiting, especially if the pain is due khổng lồ kidney stones.

Care and Treatment

How is kidney pain treated?

Kidney pain treatment depends on the condition that’s causing it. For example, if you have kidney pain due lớn an infection, your healthcare provider will prescribe antibiotics. If you have kidney pain due khổng lồ stones, then you may need to have treatment lớn remove them.

What tests can help determine the cause of kidney pain?

In order to pinpoint a cause, a number of tools are available to lớn help your healthcare provider make a diagnosis:

What should I do if kidneys hurt?

If you have kidney pain that doesn’t go away, the first thing you should vày is gọi your healthcare provider lớn schedule an appointment or go khổng lồ the emergency room if you have symptoms such as uncontrolled pain, severe nausea or vomiting, fevers or chills, or an inability to lớn pee. In the meantime, here are some things you can bởi to ease discomfort:

Stay hydrated. Drinking lots of water will help flush bacteria from your urinary tracts. Avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol.Use heat. Place a heating pad on your back, abdomen or side to help reduce kidney pain.

What drinks are bad for the kidneys?

In general, water is the best. Drinks that are high in sugar can lead lớn diabetes and those with lots of salt or caffeine can cause dehydration, both of which can lead khổng lồ kidney damage over time.

When to call the Doctor

When should I call healthcare provider?

See your doctor if you have persistent pain in the kidney area, or if you have back pain along with any of the following symptoms:

Fever or chills.Nausea or vomiting such that you cannot eat or drink.Oddly colored pee.Pain when you pee.Blood in your pee.A repeated urgent need to lớn pee that is unusual for you.The appearance of solid material (kidney stones) in your pee.A general feeling of illness or lethargy that won’t go away.

A lưu ý from Cleveland Clinic

Kidney pain may be mild or severe. Sometimes it’s harmless, but in most cases, it means that you have a problem somewhere in your urinary system. If you develop back pain along with fever, vomiting, pain when you pee or other worrisome symptoms, see a healthcare provider right away. They can find out what’s causing your kidney pain và figure out how to treat the problem.


Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps tư vấn our mission. We vì chưng not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy

The Glickman Urological và Kidney Institute offers innovative treatments in urology và kidney medicine, including minimally invasive, scarless options for urologic procedures và medical management of kidney disease.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps tư vấn our mission. We vị not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy

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