Where Does Your Back Hurt With a Kidney Infection?

Where Does Your Back Hurt with a Kidney Infection?

A kidney infection, also known as pyelonephritis, typically causes pain in the lower back or the flank area. This pain is usually felt on one side of the back, just below the ribs, and can extend to the side of the body where the affected kidney is located.

Details About the Pain Associated With a Kidney Infection

  • Location – The pain is generally felt in the lower back, just below the ribs. It often occurs on one side, depending on which kidney is infected, but it can also affect both sides.
  • Intensity – The pain from a kidney infection can range from a dull ache to a sharp, severe pain. It can be constant or intermittent and may worsen with movement.
  • Radiation – The pain may radiate to the lower abdomen or groin area. It can also be accompanied by tenderness when pressing on the affected area.

Associated Symptoms

A kidney infection and back pain may cause other symptoms such as…

  • Fever and chills
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Frequent urination
  • A strong, persistent urge to urinate
  • Pain or burning sensation during urination
  • Cloudy, dark, or bloody urine
  • Foul-smelling urine

Kidney infections can become serious if not treated properly, potentially leading to complications such as kidney damage or sepsis.

You can diagnose the infection through medical history, physical examination, and tests such as urine analysis and imaging studies. Treatment usually involves antibiotics to clear the infection and can require hospitalization in severe cases.