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The location of kidney pain is usually isolated to the back, but the location of the pain varies for each person. Pain typically occurs on the mid or lower back, but pain can radiate across the side, upper back and other areas of the body in some people. According to the Discovery Health Channel, kidney pain can indicate and infection. However, pain in the kidneys may also indicate a more serious problem such as kidney disease, injury or stones.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Dull Pain in Upper Back
According to the Mayo Clinic, a symptom of kidney problems is a dull pain located on the upper back. The kidneys are located high on the mid-section of the back under the rib cage. The Mayo Clinic says a dull pain is usually a sign of a kidney infection. However, dull pain that continues may be a sign of a chronic problem such as kidney disease. Only a doctor can make a proper diagnosis. Other serious causes of kidney pain include kidney cancer, bleeding kidney or polycystic kidney disease.
- According to the Mayo Clinic, a symptom of kidney problems is a dull pain located on the upper back.
- The Mayo Clinic says a dull pain is usually a sign of a kidney infection.
Pain in the Groin or Testicles
Kidney Symptoms: Flank and Back Pain
According to the UK Kidney Foundation, the body experiences pain in unusual ways. A person with kidney problems can feel pain in other areas besides their back. The pain in the kidneys can be felt in the back and wrap around to the groin. A man's testicles may become large from swelling. The pain may become worse during urination. Pain in the testicles is not common, but it can happen.
Women with kidney problems may feel pain in their groin or abdomen.
- According to the UK Kidney Foundation, the body experiences pain in unusual ways.
Lower to Mid Back
Some people with kidney stones or underlying kidney disease also feel pain in their low to mid back. Sometimes the pain radiates around their back and to the side or front of their body. The location of the pain can also move, especially if a stone is causing the pain. The pain may start out high on the back and gradually move to the mid to lower back as the stone moves down toward the bladder.
- Some people with kidney stones or underlying kidney disease also feel pain in their low to mid back.
- The pain may start out high on the back and gradually move to the mid to lower back as the stone moves down toward the bladder.
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- Cleveland Clinic. Kidney Failure. Last Reviewed January 10, 2018.
- Potpara TS, Jokic V, Dagres N, et al. Cardiac Arrhythmias in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease: Implications of Renal Failure for Antiarrhythmic Drug Therapy. Curr Med Chem. 2016;23(19):2070-83. doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehy060
- Centers for Disease Control. National Chronic Kidney Disease Fact Sheet. 2017. Published 2017.
- Kazancioğlu R. Risk factors for chronic kidney disease: an update. Kidney Int Suppl (2011). 2013;3(4):368-371. doi:10.1038/kisup.2013.79
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Choosing a Treatment for Kidney Failure. Published January 2018.
- Kim, D., Kim, M, Kim, H. et al. Early Referral to a Nephrologist Improved Patient Survival: Prospective Cohort Study for End-Stage Renal Disease in Korea. PLoS One. 2013. 8(1):e55323.
- Smart, N., and T. Titus. Outcomes of Early versus Late Nephrology Referral in Chronic Kidney Disease: A Systematic Review. American Journal of Medicine. 2011. 124(11):1073-80.e2.
- Smart, N., Dieberg, G., Ladhani, M., and T. Titus. Early Referral to Specialist Nephrology Services for Preventing Progression to End-Stage Kidney Disease. Cochrane Database for Systematic Reviews. 2014. (6):CD007333.