Kidney Pain vs Back Pain

Kidney Pain

This article was provided by Dr. Rashad R. Khan, a chiropractor at Pain Relief Chiropractor in Yuba City, CA. To learn more about Dr. Khan, please visit

A classic sign of kidney stones is back pain. Here’s how can differentiate between kidney stone and actual back pain, read on to end.  Any BACK PAIN with fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, or flu is a RED FLAG as it may indicate that you have an infection that maybe more than your average cold of flu. These 10 factors will help you identify back pain from kidney pain:

1. There is pain on one side of the lower back or in the flank (underneath ribcage): General back pain is felt more in other areas than the flank. If pain is in upper back and shoulder blade, most likely it’s not a kidney stone.
2. You have pain that comes and goes, not constant in its presentation: When kidney stone pass through the urinary tract, the pain is felt differently. When it’s a true backache, the pain is usually constant. Kidney stone pain often starts high near the kidney and migrates toward the front of the abdomen and eventually moves down towards the groin when the stones are ready to go into the bladder.
3. The pain does not change with movement: True back pain with change with position, meaning if you lay down it may feel better, if someone presses in it feels better. Kidney stone pain rarely changes with movement and remains constant; it feels as nothing makes that pain go away.
4. Severe pain: True back pain can vary from dull achy to sharp and fluctuate in intensity, meaning some days its less and some days in more. Kidney stone pain almost always presents as sever and high in intensity, it is said to be that kidney pain is just as sever as childbirth.
5. Blood in urine: Kidney stones can cause your urine to be pink, red or brown.
6. Painful urination: Kidney stones will cause you to have burning pain when you pee, may even feel like you cannot stand up strait pee, back pain will be sever and radiate into groin region.
7. More frequent urination: Kidney stones will give you an urge to pee, it will feel as you are going any second and when you go to pee it may stop or become less in intensity. The stones alter the stretch receptor mechanism within the urinary track causing false alarms.
8. Foul-smelling urine: Your urine will smell as a chemical has been added to it, very strong a unique smell.
9. Nausea and vomiting: Very rare, but people have experienced nausea and vomiting associated with kidney stones.
10. Fever and chills along with your back pain:

This also could mean that you have a urinary tract infection. If you have any of these symptoms along with your back pain, you should call your doctor right away. If your pain is unbearable, is associated with fevers or chills or you have nausea and vomiting that is preventing you from keeping down fluids or medications, you should seek immediate medical attention, head to the Emergency Room, you many have a blood born infection or other types of foreign invasion. Don’t try to guess this one, let the experts at the emergency room determine what it is.

Actual Back Pain

Let’s keep this brief, actual back pain has many different presentations, once doctors have ruled out any serious or life threatening ailments, visit a Chiropractor and let him or her do a muscular-skeletal examination, orthopedic examination, and take a complete history to determine the cause of the backache.

Actual back pain starts to have a response to soft-tissue mobilization, range of motion exercises, and spinal manipulation within two weeks. Meaning if it is a skeletal issue, you should start to see improvement within 2-4 weeks of regular treatment. If the pain still does not change much after 4 weeks of treatment, you want to consult a medical doctor as it may be other visceral issues.

For the most part, one may know the true cause of their back pain, either the person lifted something, the person slipped and caught themselves, the person was exercising and herd a pop, the person fell of a ladder, the person sits a lot and all the sudden went to get up and felt a pull in the back. These all are the basic scenarios a person with back pain usually comes in with, meaning it has a functional component to it. At other times it may not be so clear as to why the pain started; the pain is present after the patient work up and did not do anything to cause the back ache, the person in a receptionist of someone who sits for 8 hours and now feels pain when sitting constantly. These previous ones don’t have a direct cause of trauma but still cause true back pain.