Health and MedicineDiseasesHow to differentiate kidney pain from lumbago and what to do to...

How to differentiate kidney pain from lumbago and what to do to relieve them

It is very common to confuse low back pain or low back pain with kidney pain, which is why it is useful to know its symptoms to differentiate them and take effective measures to alleviate them.

Throughout the day we can suffer from different aches and pains as a result of certain conditions, disorders or diseases, or even simply because of having a bad posture when working or studying. In this sense, we must differentiate between muscle and joint pain, from those effectively produced by some more internal pathology. However, depending on the location, it can be very difficult to know how to differentiate them.

This is what happens, for example, with kidney pain and lumbago pain. It is quite common to confuse them, especially when the pain caused by the kidneys is not actually as sharp, intense and strong as it usually is on most occasions. And, above all, this confusion occurs because it is common for both pains to be more or less in the same location.

As you probably know, the kidneys are two bean-shaped organs no bigger than a child’s fist. Under normal conditions they can measure 13 centimeters long by 8 centimeters wide. And among other very important functions of the kidneys, they are responsible for filtering the blood and eliminating through urine all those toxins and waste products that our body has produced and accumulated.

In fact, did you know that about 1 liter of blood passes through the kidneys every minute? Moreover, every day about 1,600 liters of blood pass through them, being able to completely purify the blood of our body every 50 minutes.

The kidneys are located on the back, specifically under the rib cage, one on each side (left and right). However, the right kidney sits somewhat lower than the left precisely because it is below the liver. For this reason, when we feel pain in the lower back area, we quickly tend to rush into self-diagnosis, and it is very common to make a mistake thinking that the kidney can hurt us when in reality it is lumbago or low back pain.

Low back or kidney pain?

The truth is that low back pain is extremely frequent and is usually associated with some kidney disease, although it also usually arises as a result of some muscular problem.

When we are faced with kidney pain, it is common for the pain to appear suddenly without having previously existed any sudden movement or situation that could have caused its appearance (for example, carrying too much weight, maintaining a bad posture when sitting for a long time…), being characterized also because it is very intense and constant, so much so that it can cause nausea and vomiting, as well as fever.

This is what happens, for example, with renal colic, one of the most common causes of pain in the kidneys. This pain arises as a result of the formation of kidney stones, especially due to the infection they produce inside the urinary system.

However, lumbago pain is one that is located in the lower back area and that worsens when bending forward, lasts less than 4 weeks and is relieved with the application of heat and therapeutic massages.

Useful tips to relieve lower back pain and kidney pain

When following some useful tips and tricks to reduce the most intense and painful symptoms of low back pain or kidney pain, it is essential to keep in mind that the steps to follow will be different depending on whether it is one condition or another:

  • In case of low back pain caused by lumbago or lower back pain: contrary to what is thought, rest is not recommended at all, it is much better to try to stay active as much as possible. It is necessary to stimulate circulation, and for this nothing better than getting up and walking 30 minutes every 3 hours.
  • In case of kidney pain: it is necessary to check the house, although it is true that kidney pain is much more easily distinguishable from low back pain because it tends to be more intense and constant. If, for example, the pain is due to renal colic, other symptoms such as fever, nausea and vomiting are also common. Pain relievers can help relieve pain until the stone or calculus is expelled.

As we can see, although it is common to confuse both pains in case of doubts, or very serious and intense symptoms, it is clear that the key is to quickly go to the doctor or the nearest emergency center to where we are.


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