Possible causes of kidney pain include:
- Bleeding in your kidney (hemorrhage)
- Blood clots in kidney veins (renal vein thrombosis)
- Urinary tract infection
- Arteriosclerosis / atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries leading to the kidneys)
- Horseshoe kidney, a condition present at birth in which the two kidneys are fused together
- Kidney cancer or kidney tumor
- Kidney infection (pyelonephritis)
- Kidney swelling due to a backup of urine (hydronephrosis)
- Polycystic kidney disease
However, it's possible to have one of these conditions and experience few symptoms, including kidney pain.
Kidney stones cause pain, but it's not referred to as kidney pain. Kidney stones generally are painless — or relatively painless — as long as they remain in the kidneys. It's when the stones move out of the kidneys that pain typically occurs — waves of sharp, intense pain, which doctors call renal colic or ureteral colic.
May. 05, 2014
Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.
- Steinman TI, et al. Pain syndromes in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 8, 2014.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2014: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 8, 2014.
- Taal MW, et al. Brenner & Rector's The Kidney. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 8, 2014.
- Horseshoe kidney (renal fusion). Urology Care Foundation. http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=21. Accessed Jan. 8, 2014.
- Wein AJ, et al. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 9, 2014.
- Goldman L, et al. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 9, 2014.
- Wilkinson JM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 15, 2014.