Difference between Back Pain and Kidney Pain

If you're experiencing pain in the same place of your back as you would if you had kidney trouble, you could mistake it for back pain and not see a doctor about it. The kidneys sit at the rear of your lower abdomen. Kidney pain typically manifests as lower back pain, which can be hard to distinguish from the pain caused by regular strain on that portion of the body. You can be more certain that you are indeed suffering from back pain and not a renal disease if the discomfort is localized to the upper back and radiates into the shoulder region.

What is Kidney Pain?

The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs that sit at the very rear of your abdominal cavity. They help manage the concentration of waste products in the blood that must be eliminated by urination, as well as the levels of other electrolytes and water in the body. True kidney pain is piercing and excruciating; heat and massage do not alleviate the throbbing discomfort.

Kidney stones and infections are two frequent sources of discomfort in that area. Although the pain of a kidney infection is intense and flanked by sensitivity to the touch, the pain of a kidney stone may be excruciating and has been likened to that of delivery. Kidney cancer, polycystic kidney disease, obstructed urine flow, and bladder spasms are some of the more serious conditions that can cause kidney discomfort.

What is Back Pain?

Back pain in the lower portion of the back can be caused by a variety of factors. Any difficulty with bending, twisting, or even sitting might lead to a pull in the muscles. A herniated disc is another possible cause of these symptoms. Signs of a flare or start of arthritis include stiff and painful joints and a stiff and painful lower back.

Due to ligament stretching in the abdomen, pregnancy is a typical cause of reduced pressure felt in the back. A spinal fracture can produce intense, excruciating pain in any area of the back; if this is your experience, you should get to an emergency room as quickly as possible. Regular massage and the use of a heated pad can alleviate common back discomfort. You may use this to determine if your discomfort is due to renal issues or to simple backache.

Differences between Back Pain and Kidney Pain

Many people mistake kidney discomfort for back pain (also known as dorsalgia), yet there are significant distinctions between the two. Kidney pain tends to come in waves or cycles and is

often accompanied by other symptoms like chills, fever, and discomfort while urination, in contrast to back pain that can be dull, agonizing, and persistent or intermittent and abrupt.

While back pain and kidney discomfort may share certain symptoms, there are significant differences between the two


Back Pain

Kidney Pain

Area affected

Pain predominant in the back due to problems in muscles, nerves, bones and joints of the spinal cord.

Pain is experienced in the lower back to the left and right of spine and above the hips.


Dull and continuous pain becoming worse with movement. Generally, the pain recurs or increased immediately after some activity viz. exercise, front bending, etc.

Pain is severe and occurs in waves. Delayed occurrence of pain after exercises such as front or side bending.


Injury to the back caused by mild sprains to severe cases of slipped discs, cancer, etc.

Kidney stones, infection, or any other kidney-related problem.


Back pain can be remedied with a heat compress and massage.

Kidney pain will not be alleviated this way.


In this article, we explained the causes, the symptoms and the prescribed treatments of Back Pain and Knee Pain. We also highlighted how these two ailments are different from each other.

Updated on: 19-Jan-2023


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