Kidney Pain

Kidney Pain Causes Image

Kidney pain, or renal pain, is usually centered in the lower back, just below the rib cage. The pain may spread to the sides, the abdomen, or down into the groin. In men, it may even radiate into the testicles.

Kidney pain may be a constant dull ache or it may be sharp and intermittent. Occasionally it may be accompanied by hematuria (blood in the urine). Diagnosing the cause of renal pain can be difficult as a number of kidney disorders can cause similar symptoms. These include kidney infection, kidney cysts, renal carcinoma and kidney stones. The kidneys are about two inches deep and lie just under the muscles in the back; this can make it difficult to differentiate between back and kidney pain.

The causes of renal pain accompanied by hematuria are due to abnormalities in the kidney tissues or structures. Understanding these structures is often helpful when discussing kidney pain symptoms with your doctor:

  • Nephrons are millions of tiny tubes in the kidneys responsible for filtering wastes and excess fluid from the body.
  • Ureters are long, thin tubes that transport urine from the kidneys to the bladder.
  • Bladder: The bladder stores urine until it is full, then excretes it through the urethra and out of the body.

This section is divided into multiple articles covering: