How can you tell the difference between real kidney pain and just lower back pain?

Spine vs kidney pain. Kidney pain is felt directly over the kidney but can radiate to the back (in other words you have pain in both areas). Back pain is felt closer to the spine and generally radiates to the hips, and back of the legs.
Not always easy. Renal colic (pain from a kidney stone) is severe and crampy. It tends to be on one side, in the flank, but back pain can be similar. If you have blood in the urine, this points to the kidney. If you have had stones before or they run in the family, renal colic is more likely. Common back pain tends to be in the middle, but can be off to one side.

Related Questions

Can you actually tell the difference between kidney pain and muscular lower back pain?

I can. The major differences are in the physical exam not the description of pain and other subtlites fever strong smelling urine abnormal ua lean toward kidney pain kidney stone pain is very specidic colic severe. Read more...
Yes you could. Kidney pain is severe and occurs in waves. Pain experienced in the lower back to the left and right of spine and above the hips. Back pain; dull and continuous pain becoming worse with movement. Injury to back caused by mild sprains to severe cases of slip discs, cancer etc. Pain predominant in the back due to problems in muscles, nerves, bones and joints of the spinal cord. Thank you. Read more...

What is the difference between kidney pain and lower back pain?

Location. Like real estate, the difference is location, location, location. Kidney pain is usually flank pain more on the sides of the back than along the spine. Low back pain is located along the spinal column in the muscles. Read more...

What is treatmetn for lower back pain or kidney pain?

2 separate problems. For back pain, lifestyle changes are important like not smoking, weight control and regular exercise. You can use medication if no contraindications like ibuprophen or naproxen, try a back support, guided exercise & activity modification. If no better, then see your doctor for further evaluation and treatment. For kidney pain, you need to be seen and treated by your physician. Read more...

How to tell the difference between a kidney stone and lower back pain?

Not always easy. Kidney stone pain is generally unaffected by movement. Patients often bend and twist trying to get relief. Pain often radiates down into groin and may change in nature as the stone moves. Low back pain tends to be associated with an inciting event, tends to change with position and is often relieved by rest. Sometimes radiates to buttock or leg and may be felt across entire back. Read more...
Movement. I agree with my colleague above. Also kidney stone patients move restlessly trying to find a comfortable position & frequently have nausea/vomiting. Back pain patients try hard not to move, and nausea is rarely present. Kidney stones can produce blood in urine, while back pain can't. Read more...