ZocdocAnswersIs my back pain due to a kidney problem?

Question

Is my back pain due to a kidney problem?

I have a sore, achy feeling in my lower back, but it is only on the right side. Does this mean that I have a problem with my kidney? If there was an infection or something in there would it cause back pain?

Answer

It is true that the kidneys are located in the lower back area. Therefore a kidney infection, called pyelonephritis, or a kidney stone can both cause pain in the lower back. However, there are usually other symptoms as well. For example, with pyelonephritis, there is usually urinary tract symptoms and fever. With kidney stones, the pain is typically cramping and radiates down the leg or into the groin and there may be blood in the urine. It is more likely that your low back pain is due to a strain or spams of the muscle in the low back. There are groups of vertical muscles, called the paraspinal muscles, that run up and down the sides of the spine. These muscles frequently become sore or spasm due to strain, bad posture, and many other mechanical causes. Most low back pain will respond to common over the counter anti inflammatory medications like ibuprofen. However, you should see your primary care doctor to rule out more serious issues. They will be able to instruct you on how to perform some back stretching and strengthening exercises to prevent further attacks of back pain. I hope you are feeling better soon!

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