Knowing the difference between kidney stones back pain and other causes of back pain will help you decide when you need to see a doctor. Untreated kidney stones may lead to kidney infection symptoms and kidney failure symptoms.
"participate in the decisions regarding your care"
There are many possible causes of back pain and many possible causes of kidney back pain. Understanding the different possibilities helps you know when to seek medical treatment, and if you do see your doctor, you are better able to participate in the decisions regarding your care.
The Job of Your Kidneys
The job of your kidneys is to filter waste products from your blood. Your kidneys concentrate this waste by filtering out the water and forming urine. When certain waste products become too concentrated, they sometimes form into stones, kidney stones.
The stones must then be flushed out through the ureters into the bladder and then through the urethra and out of the body. If the stones are too large, or if they have sharp edges, they may injure the urinary tract or become stuck causing pain in other problems.
"it may become lodged and block the flow of urine"
Kidney stones back pain is felt at the kidney location in the flank area on the side of your lower back just below your ribs. This pain may migrate from the flank area around to the abdomen and then down into the groin.
If the stone is too large to pass through the upper urinary tract it may become lodged and block the flow of urine. When urine backs up into the kidney causing hydronephrosis, it can cause swelling and severe pain that is felt on the side of your lower back just below the ribs.
Pain from hydronephrosis or a swollen kidney will be similar to kidney failure symptoms or kidney infection symptoms. These all cause pain because the covering of the kidney, or renal capsule, is being stretched.
"microscopic traces of blood, small stones, and signs of infection"
If you're having kidney stones back pain it is important to see your doctor for evaluation and treatment. After examining you he can order the appropriate tests to evaluate your symptoms.
He may order a urinalysis to check for microscopic traces of blood, small stones, and signs of infection. Your urine may reveal traces of the elements that make up the stones such as uric acid or calcium oxalate.
Your doctor may order blood tests to check for infection and evaluate the function of your kidneys. He may also order imaging studies such as an ultrasound or a CT scan to identify the size and location of the stones.
If the stones are small, your doctor may ask you to drink lots of water, in an effort to flush the stones out of your system.
If the stones are larger you may be a candidate for lithotripsy. Lithotripsy uses very focused sound waves to break up the stone into smaller pieces that can be flushed out of your system.
Other ways to remove the stone involve using a scope to go in through the ureter then locate the stone and remove it.
Sometimes surgery is required if the stone is causing problems with your kidney or it is too large to be treated by other methods.
If you are having kidney stones back pain you need to see your doctor and be evaluated. Early evaluation and treatment is the key to relief of your symptoms.