Back pain or kidney pain, what’s the differ... - Kidney Disease

Kidney Disease
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Back pain or kidney pain, what’s the difference??


So, I’ve always wondered that when I have lower left side pain is it my back or my kidney? I never lift anything too heavy either to really think it’s my back muscle that I strained. My doc always told me to be cautious of this and to put a heating pad over the pain to see if it went away. I’ve been experiencing this pain for almost 3 weeks now and can’t seem to pin point the issue.

Any thoughts?

Thanks, Alyssa

8 Replies

Knowing the difference between back pain and kidney pain can be difficult under the best circumstances. The link to an article I found is below and may help you understand what you are dealing with. Over the last few weeks, I've had some on again, off again pain that has caused some concern. I'm fairly sure that it's due to excessive activity. I'm heading home in a few weeks and since the pain isn't constant, I've adjusted my schedule and made plans to see the doctors on my Care Team when I get back. Hope the article helps to give you some idea of what direction you should take.

Appreciate the thoughtful response!! I just recently read the article and seemed to narrow it down. Thanks again.

in reply to Mr_Kidney

Thanks for the article. I may have missed it as I breezed through the article, but I don't think they mentioned cysts on the kidney. I had a cyst last year which caused me pain every time I ate. My doctor said it shouldn't cause pain, but our bodies all react differently to things. The cyst apparently went away on its own and so did the pain after eating. Go figure. Maybe a coincidence, maybe not.

Hmm, well that’s one I’ve never heard of/ thought of before. I’ve complained about this pain to my doctor maybe a year ago and gone away but unfortunately came back. I go back in 2 months for a check up.

When I complained of the pain, my nephrologist had me go in for an ultrasound. That's when they found the cysts. Luckily it wasn't anything to be concerned about, but you might discuss that with your doctor.

Glad all is okay on your end with that! But I did have one last year, all was in the clear so I’m more so thinking infection due to my urine.

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in reply to Hidden

It’s wonderful that you are considering living donation. To start, you’ll need to contact transplant centers (hospitals that perform transplant operations) in your area and ask to speak with a “Kidney Transplant Coordinator,” who will provide you with more information and help you begin the evaluation process to become a donor.

To find a transplant center in your area visit: Select “member” then “Find a member”, under member type select “transplant center” and then select your state.

You can find more detailed information about living donation on NKF's website at:

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