Back pain is a part of our lives and can affect anyone at any point in time. Back pain may occur periodically, remain for a short time, and then quickly disappear. This is known as acute back pain and can be taken care of with medication and rest. The pain would be deemed chronic back pain when it remains for over three months. Many people are on constant medication for back pain.
However, if you are experiencing back pains near the kidney area, its time to pay a visit to the doctor. Kidney infection may cause pain, which is similar to lower back pain. The kidneys are located on either side of the spinal column just above the hip. That is why any kind of pain in that area may be diagnosed as kidney infection. The pain originates in the kidney and radiates to the lower back. This is known as referred pain. Therefore, very often kidney infection is confused with lower back pain.
So how does one distinguish between pain caused by kidney infection and lower back pain? One symptom is that pain due to kidney infection comes on rapidly and disappears once the course of medication is over. With back pain, the pain continues even after the infection has cleared up. The symptoms of kidney infection or kidney stone could be pain during urination, blood in the urine or fever with accompanying chills. If the doctor presses on the kidneys at the time of physical examination, there will be shooting pain in the area. If, on the other hand, you have a stretched, torn or twisted muscle, the pain will be specific to the area. The pain may occur either in the lower back, or between shoulder blades, below the waist or over the spinal column. This type of pain will get worse with movement and ease away while resting. Kidney infection can be safely ruled out in this scenario.
If you happen to suffer from kidney infection, the pain will occur on one side of the back, above the waist but just below the rib cage. The pain may increase as the bladder gets full or it may travel to the genital area. During the time you may have bouts of vomiting, pain while urination, blood in the urine and even fever. Lower back pain could be another symptom of kidney infection. These are general guidelines, which give an idea how to diagnose the pain in the lower back area. If you still are not sure what you are dealing with, any such symptoms call for an urgent visit to the doctor. It is always better to be safe than sorry. If there is an earlier history of kidney infections, then there may be another attack coming on. On the other hand, it may just be a stretched back muscle. Therefore, it is better to visit the doctor so that he can make the proper diagnosis and begin treatment for the pain or kidney infection as the case may be. The kidney infection and resultant back pain will probably clear up with a dose of antibiotics. Lower back pain treatment may call for physiotherapy or medication in the form of pain relievers.