Symptom: Kidney pain

    Kidney pain — also called renal pain — refers to pain arising from infection, injury or inflammation of a kidney. You may feel kidney pain as a dull, one-sided ache in your upper back, often accompanied by fever and urinary symptoms.

    Some people are surprised to learn exactly where the kidneys are located. Your kidneys are located relatively high in your body, under your lower ribs. It's not unusual to attribute back pain or side (flank) pain to your kidneys. But more often than not, your kidneys probably aren't the cause of your back or flank pain.

    Kidney pain

    Possible causes of kidney pain include:

    1. Bleeding in your kidney (hemorrhage)
    2. Blood clots in kidney veins (renal vein thrombosis)
    3. Urinary tract infection
    4. Arteriosclerosis / atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries leading to the kidneys)
    5. Horseshoe kidney, a condition present at birth in which the two kidneys are fused together
    6. Kidney cancer or kidney tumor
    7. Kidney infection (pyelonephritis)
    8. Kidney swelling due to a backup of urine (hydronephrosis)
    9. Polycystic kidney disease

    However, it's possible to have one of these conditions and experience few symptoms, including kidney pain.

    Kidney stones cause pain, but it's not referred to as kidney pain. Kidney stones generally are painless — or relatively painless — as long as they remain in the kidneys. It's when the stones move out of the kidneys that pain typically occurs — waves of sharp, intense pain, which doctors call renal colic or ureteral colic.

    Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.


    Call your doctor for a same-day appointment if:

    • You have constant, dull, one-sided pain in your back or flank
    • You experience fever, body aches and fatigue
    • You've recently had a urinary tract infection

    Seek emergency care if you develop sudden, severe kidney pain, with or without blood in your urine. This could mean you have a problem with the blood circulation in your kidneys, such as a blood clot or hemorrhage, and it's important to have it evaluated right away.


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    Orthopedics Health an online symptom search and symptom directory. Here you can find what is the symptom Kidney pain and what does it mean, you can also check what illnesses and diseases this symptom relates to.