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Back Pain or Kidney Pain?

How can you tell the difference?

I've had pain in my lower right of my back for just over a week now. It is sharp and comes in waves, and sometimes gets worse when i press on the area. Also, when its hurting, if i bend my back it makes it worse.

Getting a bit concerned that it may be a kidney infection, or even something connected to a flare up. But i don't want to call my Dr unless necessary because 1. i'm at uni at the moment and quite a while away from my dr/home. 2. i'm in the run up to exams and i cant afford to miss anything really.

What do you all think?

9 Replies

You can get to any gp or even walk in clinic to do a dipstick test of your urine for kidney infection. If that shows, then you can contact your specialist.

Having said that, if the pain increases with movement, it is likely to be a muscular pain. Have you tried laying on your back on the floor, knees up and see whether the pain goes away? Give it 5 minutes and relax into it, then if it doesn't help, try putting some ice on the area of the back for no more than 20 minutes and see how it goes.


well if it helps i have had a kidney infecion before and had no pain at first, it started for me with low discomfort and then sweats,tempreture and a general feeling of unwell, also later on my urine turned dark in colour. then servere back pain then got worse and then i new i needed the doctor.

i felt very poorly until the anti-biotics kicked in like i had the flu i also remember having bad headaches too.

if u feel quite unwell you must get it checked out.


You may have a small stone lodged in your right ureter (urinary tube) which may cause irritation, infection, and spasm /muscular pain. Are you passing any blood? As suggested by Purpletop you need to get your urine tested. To be on the safe side I would get it checked out. Take care.


I often wonder whether my back pain is kidney pain - I ignored it the first time and ended up in A&E with a kidney infection.... I now often go and get a dip test (I even bought some of the test sticks on Amazon so I could test it myself. A bit naughty I know, but much quicker!) and see whether I need antibiotics. Every time but once it has come back negative though, so I'm starting to think it's muscular.

I would go to a walk in clinic and ask for a dip test. It should only take an hour or so.

I like the idea of stretching the muscles there and seeing whether that helps - I'll try that next time....



Jennie, I don't think you are being naughty, but smart in having your own test strips. I was advised several years ago (before Lupus was on the table) by a GP to get my own supply. I was getting UT's that were involving my kidneys very quickly - before I could get to doctor for confirmation. He said I was probably the best judge of how I was feeling and I could test myself before worrying about getting to a doctor.


You can buy them on amazon?? omg I need to .I have hundreds of stones literally and the doctors every month driving me insane.I need to know if its just a stone or infection.


I have had problems with my lower back for the last couple of weeks. Mainly just feeling very weak and making me aware that I need to take care.

Yesterday morning I got up from sitting and something went again. I thought it had reset and went for my warfarin appointment without any sticks. Big mistake. They had to wheel me out in a wheelchair.

I have had this many times before so I know it will probably be more of the same. But this time I have had some sharp pains on the right side at the bottom of my rib cage. I think it is just muscular.

It could be that you are getting something similar.


Thanks for the suggestions everyone. The pains has settled now so I guess it must have been muscular :)


Heres what I have noticed over the last few days. Whatever I managed to do to myself has left my back unable to support itself at all on the right hand side. I am having to raise myself with sticks. I can occasionally get away with it if I am really careful and am not sitting too low if I dont allow any weight or movement towards my right hand side.

If or when I do the pain starts.

I have to constantly remember to make a tripod with my arms, legs, stick to support my right hand side.

I just hope it gets back to normal soon.

I hope yours is better now.


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