By Healthtrip Team Blog Published on - 07 April - 2022

Where Does It Hurt When You Have A Kidney Infection?

Often people confuse between back pain and kidney infection pain. The best way to identify kidney pain is to feel tenderness and pain on the sides and lower back. However, that is not always the case. There can be instances when pain is due to the kidney but felt elsewhere. Moreover, the pain can be sharp and sudden, or one might experience constant dull aches.

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This article will help you identify kidney infection pain and how it is different from back pain.

Where Can You Feel The Kidney Infection Pain?

Apart from the lower back or sides, kidney pain can be felt by an individual under the rib cage’s lower part. The pain can be felt on either the right or left side or both sides simultaneously. In addition, kidney pain can be felt in the middle of the upper back. There can be a pain in the urinary system and even the bladder.

Here are some of the areas where kidney infection can cause pain.


If a person experiences sharp stabbing pain at the upper or middle of the pack and it radiates, it is most likely due to kidney stones. The pain can feel like spasms, often spreading to the groin area.


Pain in the groin due to kidney infection occurs. The pain at times radiates to other areas of the body from where it originated. At times males may experience kidney infection pain in their testicles.


When someone experiences a burning or stinging sensation during urination, they are likely to have bladder, urine, and even kidney infections. Other symptoms related to urination may include:

• Cloudy urine

• Pain at the bottom of the abdomen while urinating

• Foul-smelling urine

• Urge to urinate often

Related Article - How Long Can You Have A Kidney Infection Without Knowing

The Difference Between Kidney Infection Pain and Back Pain

It is difficult to distinguish between kidney infection pain and back pain, mainly when kidney pain can often be felt in the back. However, there are ways to differentiate between the two:


Kidney Pain:

Typically kidney infection pain is felt in the lower area of the rib cage on the other side of the spinal cord. A person can feel it on each side or both depending on the condition of the infection. The pain then can radiate to

• the abdomen

• sides

• thigh

• groin

Back pain:

Back pain is one of the most common issues faced by people. Almost 80 percent of adults will experience back pain at some point. It can happen anywhere in the back, but people feel it in their lower back.

Pain Severity

Kidney pain :

Adding to this, the pain caused due to kidney infection will remain stable; there is a constant dull ache and soreness in the area.

Back pain:

Muscle: If the back pain is due to the muscle, there will be soreness and a dull ache, which will amplify with specific body movements. The severity can fluctuate in response to stretching.

Nerve: When back pain is due to a nerve, there is a stabbing or burning sensation that will travel across the other areas of the body. For instance, sciatica pain starts at the lower back but radiates to the buttocks and even the thigh area.

Bone: Due to irregular-shaped spine or vertebral fractures can cause bone pain. It is experienced suddenly, and the pain usually worsens with a specific movement. The severity can be between moderate to extreme.

Related Article - UTI vs Kidney Infection - Understand The Difference

When To See A Doctor?

Whether you are experiencing kidney or back pain, it is wise to visit a doctor. In both cases, early detection of the issue can help you recover early. So, if you are experiencing back pain, instead of considering whether it is due to a muscle pull or kidney infection, visit a doctor.


A kidney infection, also known as pyelonephritis, is a type of urinary tract infection (UTI) that specifically affects the kidneys.
The kidneys are located on either side of the spine, just below the ribcage, in the back of the abdomen.
Common symptoms of a kidney infection include pain in the lower back or side, a high fever, frequent urination, and pain or burning during urination.
Typically, the pain associated with a kidney infection is felt in the lower back, near the area of the affected kidney.
Kidney infections are usually caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract and traveling up to the kidneys. Common culprits include E. coli and other bacteria.
Yes, kidney infections can be serious if left untreated. They may lead to complications such as kidney damage, abscess formation, or sepsis, a life-threatening condition.
Doctors usually diagnose kidney infections through a combination of medical history, physical examination, and urine tests. Imaging studies like CT scans may also be used.
The primary treatment for a kidney infection involves antibiotics prescribed by a healthcare provider. Drinking plenty of fluids and resting are also recommended.
You can reduce your risk of kidney infections by practicing good hygiene, staying hydrated, urinating regularly, and avoiding holding in urine for extended periods.
If you experience symptoms such as severe back pain, high fever, chills, nausea, or vomiting, it's important to seek medical attention promptly, as kidney infections require treatment to prevent complications.
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