Updated: Mar 22
Back pain is a very common ailment, especially among the adult population. In fact, most adults over the age of 40 tend to suffer with some form of back discomfort. The level of pain or discomfort can range from mild to severe and the causes can be numerous.
The back can be weakened by long periods inactivity, bad posture, stress and diseases. When the back becomes weak, it is more susceptible to injury and pain. Discs degeneration, nerve damage and strained muscles are among the most common causes of back pain.
There are, however, a number of other conditions that can contribute to discomfort or pain in the back. Some of these include pregnancy, arthritis, osteoporosis, prostate disorder, pelvic disorder and disorders within the urinary system (including the kidneys).
BACK PAIN CAUSED BY KIDNEY DISORDERS
Back pain is one of the most common symptom of kidney disorder. In fact, many people only discover that they are affected by kidney disease after the onset of back pain. It is probably one of the first noticeable symptom of kidney problems… although chronic kidney disease can begin to affect the kidneys long before there are any noticeable signs.
The following are some kidney conditions that tend to manifest back pain:
Kidney Cysts – These are pouches or sacs that develop on the kidneys and contain liquid or semisolid material. In most cases, kidney cysts are benign and do not affect kidney function. However, they can become problematic if they become unusually large. Also, when there are multiple cysts (polycystic kidney disease), the likelihood of complications increases. Pain or discomfort in the back is one of the major symptoms of polycystic kidney disease.
Kidney Infection – Kidney infection primarily occurs when bacteria affect the kidneys and cause inflammation. Mild cases of kidney infection tend to display minor symptoms… but if the infection becomes severe, the symptoms can become quite troubling. Lower back pain is a primary symptom of kidney infection. Symptoms are similar for urinary tract infection (UTI).
Hydronephrosis – This is a little known kidney condition. It is actually a urinary tract defect that causes swelling of the kidneys, which often results in UTI. Hydronephrosis also causes pain in the back area.
Kidney Cancer – Kidney cancer causes cells within the kidneys to grow abnormally and form malignant tumors. This is a very serious condition. Not only do these tumors affect the kidneys but they can actually spread to other parts of the body. This condition usually exhibits pain in the lower back or sides.
Kidney Stones - Back pain is a major symptom of kidney stones. Some people who have suffered with kidney stones describe it is one of the worst pains to endure… On a scale of 1 – 10, some say it’s an 11. When a kidney stone is large and causes blockage within the urinary tract, urine cannot pass and this places tremendous pressure on the kidneys and ureters. As pressure builds, it triggers severe pain in the back, flanks or in the groin area.
Back pain treatment depends on the underlying cause(s). For kidney-related conditions, treatment could include medication (traditional and alternative), dietary changes (including increased water consumption), regular exercise, dialysis and surgery (including kidney transplant). Essentially, treatment is determined by the type of kidney condition and its severity.
For back pain caused by muscular problems, poor posture or spinal misalignment, treatment may include medication and injections, physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, chiropractic care and surgical and other procedures.
To prevent or minimize the onset of back pain, exercise regularly, eat healthy nutritious foods, adopt good posture (especially when sitting), manage stress and take care of your kidneys. If you develop back pain that lasts for extended periods, consult your doctor promptly.