Kidney Stones of Kidney Infections
Most of the causes of back pain are directly related to the structures that move or protect the back, though problems with organs in the abdomino-thoracic cavities can cause back pain as well. Back pain may actually be one of the first symptoms of kidney stones and kidney infections. The kidney's location in the lower back makes them a possible source of back pain. Both kidney stones and kidney infections can cause pain, sometimes quite severe, that might be felt in the lower back. Enlarged kidneys may also cause pain by putting pressures on the back. Inflammation of the kidneys (nephritis) may also cause back pain.
Pain caused by kidney stones, infections, inflammation, and disease can be felt on the side or lower back. Sometimes, but not often, the pain radiates to the middle of the abdomen. Conditions that cause kidney problems, or disease of the kidney itself can cause stretching of the renal capsule (outer covering of the kidney), which is sensitive to pain. Kidney that are stretched as a result of infection or inflammation are tender if touched.
Kidney stones. Uterolithiasis (kidney stones) result from the formation of solid crystal formation called calculi formed in the kidney and passed through the ureter. Calculi are hard mineral salts with rough edges that are sometimes wide enough in diameter to obstruct or partially obstruct the ureter. Kidney stones causes intense pain when it enters a ureter. The ureter contracts in response to the stone, causing excruciating pain through the lower back and possibly radiating to the groin. Usually the ureter is not damaged in the process and the pain stops almost immediately once the stone leaved the ureter and enters the bladder.
Urinary calculi may form in the urine when the urine becomes too concentrated with salts or when the urine lacks the normal inhibitors of stone formation. Typically, the stones are composed of 80% calcium, with a remaining concentration of struvite, cystine, and uric acid. Struvite stones - a compound of phosphate, ammonium, and magnesium - are also called infection stones, because they are only found in infected urine.
Symptoms. Kidney stone small enough that they do not obstruct the ureter may not cause any pain. Stones in large enough to cause some blockage of the ureter or renal pelvis may cause awful back pain. The back pain, depending on the size of the stone, and the site of blockage, bay spread to the front of the body to the abdomen and even the genital area and the thigh. A person may feel a need for frequent urination, blood in the urine, abdominal distension, and nausea and vomiting. Other than physical pain, this hard crystal may cause a urinary tract infection that could cause symptoms after the stone has passed. More serious symptoms could cause lasting damage if the blockage in the ureter, renal pelvis of any of the drainage tubes causes a complete blockage of flow of urine. This blockage could cause the flow of urine to stop, and back up into the kidneys, causing pressure to build up there, causing a distension of the kidney (hydronephrosis).
Treatment. Kidney stones may affect patients only once or twice in an affected person, and won't require any regular medications. Kidney stones may pass themselves, and thus not require an aggressive treatment. Lithotripsy is an ultrasound treatment used for breaking up kidney stones.