Pyelonephritis, or a kidney infection, may cause kidney back pain. You may also experience fever and chills, along with a headache and vomiting. These infections can occur when bacteria in your bladder, travels up your ureter into the kidney. If these are not treated, they can cause an infection in your blood, which can be very serious.
If you have an infection in your kidney, you may also have abdominal pain, which radiates to the low back on the affected side. Your low back on that side, just below the ribs will be very sensitive to any pressure or impact. Even a light punch in that area will cause severe pain.
Kidney back pain from the infection is caused by the swelling of the kidney. The outer capsule, with all of its nerve endings, becomes very tight and sensitive. Pain will not be relieved by lying down, but gentle movement, will not make it worse.
If you are having kidney infection symptoms :
You must see your doctor immediately. IV antibiotics are needed for kidney infection treatment, and if an infection is not treated, you can develop a life threatening infection in your blood
Your doctor will examine you, then order the appropriate tests on your blood and urine, and start you on antibiotic therapy.
"trauma is probably the most difficult to separate"
Kidney back pain from trauma is probably the most difficult to separate from a middle or lower back injury, because after a fall or a motor vehicle accident, you may have both. In such cases, your doctor will evaluate you, and treat you for both.
A strong impact or punch to the kidney area may produce a contusion or bruising of the kidney. If the bleeding in the kidney is substantial, there may be swelling. This can cause severe pain and tenderness, because the outer capsule of the kidney is full of nerve endings, and as it becomes taut it becomes very tender.
"monitor your blood pressure closely"
If your kidney back pain is from a contusion, your doctor may order a urine test to check for blood. Generally the treatment is watchful waiting, and just giving the kidney a chance to heal.
If the trauma is more severe, and your doctor is worried about a laceration or a rupture of the kidney, he will monitor your blood pressure closely. He may also order a pyelogram or an aortogram for a better evaluation. In these studies dye is injected into the bloodstream, and special x-rays are taken to watch how the kidneys process the dye and to check the blood flow in and around the kidney.
If there is bleeding into the abdomen, you will probably require surgery. This way the doctor can stop the bleeding and better evaluate the kidney and surrounding structures.
"urine backs up into the kidney"
Hydronephrosis, kidney failure, and cancer are much less common, these may or may not cause kidney back pain, and will usually begin with a gradual onset over weeks or months.
Hydronephrosis occurs when the ureter that carries urine from the kidney becomes blocked and urine backs up into the kidney causing painful swelling. Your doctor can evaluate this with a pyelogram, placing dye in the blood and then watching the dye pass through your kidneys, ureters, and bladder. Treatment will depend on what is causing the obstruction, but you may require surgery.
"cancer may cause blood in your urine"
There are a number of disease conditions that can cause kidney failure, and this does not usually cause back pain. As kidney failure progresses you may develop weakness and shortness of breath, there may also be generalized swelling and lethargy, as the waste products and chemical imbalances build up in the blood.
Kidney cancer may cause blood in your urine, and a constant pain in your side or flank. Cancer may also cause weight loss, fever, and a general feeling of poor health. If you have any of these symptoms you need to see your doctor, and be evaluated. He may want to order tests of your urine and blood, and imaging studies to look at your kidney, to check for possible cancer.
"immediate evaluation is mandatory"
If you think you may have cancer, immediate evaluation is mandatory. Early diagnosis means early treatment, and the best chance for a cure.
Kidney back pain may be a sign of a much more serious condition, and it can sometimes mimic other problems with your back. If you think your back pain may be caused by your kidneys, you need to discuss it with your doctor.
He can order the appropriate tests, and get you started on the correct treatment plan. Don't let a little problem turn into a major life threatening crisis, because you didn't take time to get it checked.
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