If you have ever gone through a period of lower back pain you probably did what most people do and that is to guess it is your kidneys. If you made that leap of logic then you probably also made the next one. It must be caused by kidney stones.
Before you get ahead of yourself with your self-diagnosis you need to know that not all kidney pain is caused by kidney stones and not all lower back pain can be linked to the kidneys.
Is Yours Kidney Or Just Lower Back
Many people mistake one pain for the other because of where the kidneys lay. They are just below the ribs on either side of the spine and this makes people think that any pain back there is from them. If it is a bull pain directly on the back you can guess it is not the kidneys but instead it is your back muscles. A little warm heat like from a pad should help.
If the pain is on the flank you might have a much different problem. Kidney pain is very sharp, not dull like muscle pain.
Causes and Fixes
Your kidneys expel urine and that urine is a solution of minerals. If there is not enough liquid to carry out the mineral they can form crystal. This is basically the same way some sorts of rocks form (hence kidney stones). These will eventually block the flow of fluids. The pain caused by this is called colic. It is intense and comes in waves, much like child birth.
Do it at home. Once you know you have a kidney stone you can treat it at home. If it is small, and most of them are, it will most likely pass on its own. To help this there are some things you can do.
- Water. Drink lots of water. Drink enough that your urine is clear.
- Pain medication. Use a pain medication of your choice just make sure it does not contain steroids
- No grapefruit juice. All that grapefruit juice will do is help you form more stones
- Medications of other types. Doctors might prescribe calcium-blockers or alpha-blockers to help you pass them as well.
If this does not work you then go to the hospital for a relatively easy treatment. There are several forms of treatment that doctor to chose from
- ESWL. In this procedure, sound waves are used to break up the stone to let it pas.
- Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy. If the stone did not break up or did not pass this is used. A small hole is made in the back and the material is extracted that way.
- Ureteroscopy. This can be used if the stone started to pass but got stuck in the urethra.
Other Kidney Pains
If your dull pain is kidney related you have something worse than a stone and with different treatments
- Kidney Cancer. This is just what it sounds like. Rather than treating it the kidney is simply removed.
- Polycystic Kidney Disease. This is hereditary. It is not treatable so it involves dialysis till a transplant can be done.
- Chronic Bilateral Obstructive Uropathy . It is similar to a kidney stone in that there is a blockage. How it is treated will depend on what is causing it.
Kidney problems can be very painful. It is a much better idea to take care of them while they are healthy.