ZocdocAnswersWhat is the cramping feeling I have in my lower back?

Question

What is the cramping feeling I have in my lower back?

I?ve got this cramping feeling in my lower back on both sides. The muscles don?t seem to hurt, but it?s like its inside my body. I know this is where your kidneys are located. Is this a kidney problem I should see a doctor about?

Answer

I would recommend going to see your primary care doctor. The pain that you are describing could be from several different conditions. It could still be simply low back pain. In particular paraspinal muscle spasm (cramps in the muscles that run up and down the two sides of the lower back) is very common and the pain can sometimes feel like it is "deep" - because the muscles involved are actually fairly deep inside your back. You are right, however, that this part of your back is also where your kidneys are located. A kidney infection, called pyelonephritis, can develop particularly in the context of a progressive or untreated urine infection. Symptoms can include burning with urination, back pain, and fever. Similarly, a kidney stone can also present as back pain. Usually the pain comes and goes in fits, and it often radiates from the side of the back down the leg and into the groin. It is often a very severe pain. Your primary care doctor will be able to perform some simple tests and a basic physical examination in order to help figure out what is going on. You will probably need to give a urine sample for testing to rule out stones and infection.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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