Kidney Pain Location

Most people confuse kidney pain location as a mere back pain. This could be because people don’t exactly know where the kidneys are located. Before we get any further about the symptoms, causes and treatment of kidney pain based on their location, let us first consider the anatomy of your kidneys.

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Kidney Anatomy(Diagram)

Kidneys are excretory organs belonging to the urinary system that weighs around 150 grams, about the size of a standard computer mouse. They are two-bean shaped structures located right above your waistline. However, the right kidney is situated a little bit lower than the left kidney primarily because the right kidney is located right under the liver. This slight distortion makes it more confusing to identify the exact kidney pain location. The primary function of the kidney is to filter and release waste products out from the body. Because of this, kidneys are susceptible to experience various problems. When something interferes with the normal kidney function, kidney pain is felt.

Different Kidney Pain Location

Kidney pain is a strong indication of kidney problems. Kidney pain location is usually localized at the back, often on the area where muscle pain is also felt. However, the exact location differ from person to person in which the pain could be felt on the mid to lower back and could spread towards the flank, upper back and other parts of the body. Some even feel kidney pain on the testicles or groin.

Kidney Pain Location: Mid to Lower Back Pain

Back pain and kidney pain share similar symptoms but have different causes. If you experience throbbing pain that worsens whenever you move around, it’s a back pain. But if the pain gets worse whenever you put some pressure on the area where the pain is felt, the pain could be from your kidney.

  • Symptoms and Causes

Kidney pain felt on the mid to lower back manifest symptoms such as strong, throbbing pain. This could be due to kidney infection and comes with other symptoms such as chills, fever, nausea, tenderness and backache. Aside from kidney infection, kidney injuries can also cause kidney pain at the lower back. Accidental fall could constrict one kidney affected by the fall and damage it. Moreover, kidney stones can also cause lower back pain which sometimes spread around the back, side or front part of the body.

  • Diagnosis and Treatment

Your physician will conduct several diagnostic and bacterial tests to determine your kidney functions. Treatment plan usually involves taking antibiotics for bacterial infection and rest which normally lasts for a number of weeks, while those who’ve got structural problem requires longer treatment.

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  • Recommendation

It is best that you avoid self-diagnosis and treatment as untreated or mistreated kidney infection could lead to tragic health complications. If someone in your family has a history of kidney problem or has been involved in recent injurious fall or car accident that traumatized the kidneys, it is best not to delay seeing the doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Kidney Pain Location: Groin or Testicles

Kidney pain is not only felt at the back, but it can also be felt down to the groin area or testicles in men. Women will experience pain in their groin area due to kidney problems while men will feel them on their testicles.

  • Symptoms and causes

Kidney pain that is felt on the groin area or testicles in men is due to kidney stones. Kidney stones refer to little crystalline stones which form in the kidneys. These stones may impede normal passage of urine to the gall bladder resulting to intense pain felt on the groin and lower back part of the body. And while the stone passes the bladder going to the urethra, the pain could aggravate into the testicles in men thus feeling a sharp, shooting pain.

  • Diagnosis and Treatment

Your doctor will conduct imaging test to determine the size and location of kidney stones such as CT scan, abdominal X-ray examination and ultrasound. Treatment plan depends on the type, cause, size and location of the kidney stones and may recommend taking preventive measures to inhibit future formation. Watchful waiting is the basic treatment method for small kidney stones along with drinking lots of water and prescription medications to help ease the discomfort related to passing stone. However, surgical procedure may be undertaken for large stones that cannot pass naturally or may have already caused bleeding, infections and kidney damage.

Kidney Pain Location: Upper Back Pain

If it’s not a mere upper back pain due to strenuous exercise, then it is definitely a kidney pain. Yes, many don’t realize that their kidneys might be signaling some problem by means of upper back pain. This could be because the kidney pain is somehow tricky as it moves from one place to another.

  • Symptoms and Causes

Kidney pain often exhibits tenderness associated with one-sided dull pain, urinary symptoms and fever. This could be due to passing kidney stones, kidney infection or kidney trauma. It is best not to delay doctor consultation to find out the underlying cause of the upper back pain.

  • Diagnosis and Treatment

Your physician will conduct thorough diagnostic tests and examinations to rule out other causes of your pain at the upper back. This may involve subjecting yourself into imaging tests such as abdominal X-rays, ultrasound, CT scan and other tests to determine your kidney function. Your treatment plan will be based on the cause of the kidney pain.

If the abovementioned kidney pain location is coupled with other symptoms such as bloody urine and fatigue, swelling hands and feet, painful or frequent urination and foul smelling urine, appetite loss and painful menstruation (in women), high blood pressure and nail abnormalities, then you definitely have a kidney problem which requires immediate doctor consultation.


Understanding the anatomy of your kidney helps a lot in knowing the exact kidney pain location so as not to confuse it as mere back pain. Remember that the kidney plays a vital role in the proper functioning of the human body and is more susceptible to various problems. Kidney pain location is the key for determining the underlying kidney problems.

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