Can Kidney Problems Cause Back Pain?

man holding Back with Pain

Yes, kidney problems can indeed cause back pain. The kidneys are located near the middle of the back, just below the rib cage. Conditions that affect the kidneys, such as kidney stones, kidney infections (like pyelonephritis), polycystic kidney disease, or kidney infections, can cause back pain.

The type of back pain associated with kidney problems is typically felt in the flank area, which is the region on either side of the spine between the lower ribcage and the hips. The pain might be sharp, severe, and often concentrated on one side, depending on which kidney is affected.

Common kidney-related issues that can cause back pain include:

  • Kidney stones: When kidney stones move through the urinary tract or become lodged, they can cause intense and sudden pain in the back or side.
  • Kidney infection: Infections of the kidney (pyelonephritis) can lead to back pain, along with other symptoms such as fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and urinary symptoms like frequent urination or pain during urination.
  • Polycystic kidney disease: This genetic disorder leads to the growth of multiple cysts in the kidneys, often causing abdominal or back pain.
  • Kidney inflammation or damage: Various conditions that affect the kidneys can cause inflammation or damage, leading to chronic or acute back pain as a symptom.

It’s important to note that not all back pain is indicative of kidney issues. Back pain can arise from various causes, including muscle strains, spinal problems, or other internal issues. If someone experiences persistent or severe back pain, especially if accompanied by other symptoms like fever, changes in urination, or blood in the urine, it’s crucial to seek medical attention for proper evaluation and diagnosis.