Bloody Urine and Back Pain 
What do they mean?

Bloody urine or blood in your urine is called hematuria. Blood in your urine, commonly occurs when you have a problem in your urinary tract. This can occur as gross hematuria, where you can actually see the blood in your urine, or microscopic hematuria that you cannot see but it can be seen through a microscope. 






Bloody Urine is Hematuria

Any time that you have disease, infection, or other issues in your urinary tract it can cause pain that radiates to your back.

You may feel the pain in your back, and it may feel like it is coming from your back, but the real problem is in your kidneys or other parts of your urinary system.

Microhematuria or Gross Hematuria

Blood in your urine may turn your urine pink or cola colored, or you may see streaks of red.

You may also have blood clots in your urine. This will commonly cause pain with urination.

Areas of Pain related to Your Urinary Tract

Image thanks to NIH via Wikimedia Commons

  Your Kidney Health is Important

When You Think About It

Healthy Kidneys Do Not
Cause Pain

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Avoid NSAIDs when You have Hematuria

The more benign or less dangerous causes of bloody urine are unlikely to cause significant back pain. However, you may have back pain that is unrelated to the hematuria. You may have more than one problem at the same time.

For example you may have back pain from a degenerative disc that is causing pain following a vigorous activity that causes blood in your urine.

If you have a history of back pain in the past it is probably more important that you see your doctor and evaluate your hematuria first. You can safely take Tylenol for your back pain but you should avoid anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen until your kidneys are evaluated. Anti-inflammatory drugs can be dangerous for your kidneys.

Benign causes of Hematuria:

• Menstruation

• Vigorous Exercise

• Sexual Activity

• Urinary Tract Infection

• Trauma

More serious causes of hematuria are more likely to cause significant back pain especially problems with your kidneys. Your kidneys lie on either side of your spine in front of your lowest ribs.

Any swelling or inflammation in your kidneys can cause severe pain that radiates to your back. Other parts of your urinary tract such as your ureters and bladder can also cause pain that radiates to your flanks and lower abdomen.

More Serious Causes of Hematuria:

• Bladder or Kidney Cancer

• Inflammation of the Urinary Tract

• Polycystic kidney disease

• Kidney stones

• Sickle cell disease

Bloody Urine Needs to be Evaluated First

Any time you are experiencing hematuria and back pain it is important to see your doctor and find out what is causing the blood in your urine.

Your back pain can safely be treated with over the counter Tylenol. Finding out what is causing the hematuria, and fixing that, may make your back pain go away.

Then You Can Worry About Your Back Pain

If you continue to have back pain after your kidneys and urinary tract have been assessed, your doctor can order x-rays or other studies for a more complete evaluation of your back.

After clearing your urinary system your doctor making a diagnosis of your back pain and get you on the road to recovery with an appropriate treatment plan. 



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