The kidneys and the lower back work hand in hand, so it can be difficult to detect where your pain is coming from.

If you’re experiencing kidney or back pain, but can’t tell the difference, read on! This article explains everything you need to know about kidney pain vs. back pain.

Kidney Pain vs. Back Pain

Kidneys lie near your back muscles and help remove waste from your body. To identify the source of your pain, take into account where the pain stems from, the severity of the pain, and the symptoms associated with the pain.

What Causes Kidney Pain?

Different types of kidney pain include kidney stones and kidney infections.

Kidney stones occur when waste cannot exit the body properly. Some of these elements include calcium and phosphorus. When these elements back up in your system, they fuse together to cause kidney stones.

Some signs of kidney pain include sharp pangs or dull aches in your abs, groin, thighs, or sides. Kidney stones have the ability to exit your body via urine with minimal pain. However, other signs of kidney pain include kidney infections.

These arise when your body’s urinary tract system cannot fight a normal urinary tract infection or, you have a UTI, but don’t get it treated in time.

The infection can crawl up to your kidneys and result in painful thighs, groin pain, nausea, fevers, vomiting, dark stools, and painful passing of urine.

Is Kidney Pain Bad?

15% of the population experience kidney pain, according to the CDC. It is not bad to experience pain in the kidneys, but you should seek a doctor’s care if you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms.

What Causes Back Pain?

Back pain occurs when you lift heavy objects in an improper fashion, put too much stress or weight on a certain ligament, fall, have poor posture, or become injured in a sports accident or an automobile accident.

Symptoms of back pain include muscle spasms, aches, numbness of the feet or thighs, pain when changing positions, pain that might lessen in certain positions, and pain after moving. Back pain can coincide with neck pain, so when trying to identify if you have kidney pain or back pain, note the location of the pain.

Other symptoms of back pain include difficulty walking, inability to pass urine, incontinence, diarrhea, constipation, and difficulty standing up straight.

How Do You Tell the Difference Between Back Pain and Kidney Pain?

The symptoms of pain play a lot into the sources. Back pain tends to flare up in the low back and neck, while kidney pain affects the sides of the body. Kidney pain translates as a deep ache and back pain translates as a sore ache.

Kidney pain affects both sides of the back since the kidneys touch the rib cage, which lies along the back. Back pain affects the lower part of the back, but to be sure you’re identifying the correct source of pain, consult a medical professional.

When To Seek Help

Identifying kidney pain vs. back pain occurs frequently. To determine which affects you, take note of the source of the pain, the symptoms, and the type of pain.

The Kidney Institute can help you receive proper treatment and care when dealing with painful kidneys or back pain.