Potential Causes of Pain in Lower Back Kidney Area (Flank Pain)

When experiencing back pain, musculoskeletal problems are usually the culprit. Occasionally, however, pain in the lower back kidney area is a symptom of kidney-related troubles. If you experience pain in your lower back as well as pain radiating to your side and your groin, your kidneys are a likely culprit. If urinary problems or a fever accompany the pain, a kidney problem is even more likely. Here’s everything you need to know about pain in the kidney area (also called flank pain).

Pain in Lower Back Kidney Area treatmentYour Kidneys and Flank Area

The kidneys are just beneath the ribs in the human body. Because of the location, people mistake kidney problems for back or side pain.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Urinary tract infections (UTI) and yeast infections are the results of unwanted bacteria entering the urinary tract. The bacteria can also spread to the bladder, kidneys, urethra, or uterus.


UTI Symptoms

Lingering or throbbing pain in the abdomen, lower back, upper back, or side could be a sign of a UTI. Other symptoms of a UTI include:


  • Frequent Need to Urinate
  • Bloody Urine
  • Fever
  • Burning while Urinating
  • Itchiness in Genital Area


An individual with a UTI experiences a general feeling of discomfort below the waist.

Urinary Tract Infection Treatment

A doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat a UTI. Frequently, UTI infections merit an appointment with a urologist to find the cause. Cranberry juice and probiotics are effective in assisting in clearing out UTIs as well as yeast infections.

Kidney Stones

Crystals that form in urine and collect in kidneys are kidney stones. They cause deliberating pain.

Symptoms of Kidney Stones

A person with kidney stones experiences sudden and painful flank pain. The pain usually comes in waves and radiates to the groin. The pain continues until the stone leaves the body. If the stone is small enough, it will leave when a person urinates. Larger stones require surgical removal. Other symptoms of kidney stones include:


  • Bloody Urine
  • Upset Stomach and Vomiting
  • Pain when Urinating


If experiencing potential kidney stones, a trip to the doctor to ensure the stones can pass through the urinary tract is necessary.


Kidney Stones Treatment

Pain medication and drinking lots of water will help with the pain and passing of the stone. In some cases, a doctor can provide medication to help pass the stone.

Musculoskeletal Problems

If the kidneys do not cause flank pain, a person’s musculoskeletal system is a likely culprit. It could be the result of increased physical activity, a muscle tear, a strain, or a sprain. Pain relief in the form of steroid injections or physical therapy is ideal courses of treatment for this.

Other Causes of Flank Pain

If you’ve yet to find the cause of the pain in your lower back near your kidney area, there are other potential causes of your pain:


  • Spinal Arthritis
  • Pinched Nerve
  • Diverticulitis
  • Gallbladder Disease
  • Appendicitis
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease
  • Renal Vein Thrombosis


Diagnosing the cause of flank pain is a difficult task. It may require multiple tests to pinpoint the source of the pain.