Kidney pain — also called renal pain — refers to pain from disease or injury to a kidney. You might feel kidney pain or discomfort as a dull, one-sided ache in your upper abdomen, side or back. But pain in these areas is often unrelated to your kidneys.
Your kidneys are situated in the back of your abdomen under your lower ribs, one on each side of your spine. People often are surprised at how high their kidneys are. Most conditions that cause kidney pain affect only one kidney. Fever and urinary symptoms often accompany kidney pain.
Call your doctor for a same-day appointment if:
- You have constant, dull, one-sided pain in your back or side
- You have fever, body aches and fatigue
- You've had a recent urinary tract infection
Seek emergency care if you develop sudden, severe kidney pain, with or without blood in your urine.
March 30, 2017
- Kidney pain. American Kidney Fund. http://www.kidneyfund.org/kidney-disease/kidney-problems/kidney-pain.html. Accessed Jan. 14, 2017.
- Steinman TI, et al. Pain syndromes in autosomal dominate polycystic kidney disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 14, 2017.
- Kidney infection (pyelonephritis). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/kidney-infection-pyelonephritis. Accessed Jan. 14, 2017.
- Douglas, G, et al. The renal system. In: Macleod's Clinical Examination. 13th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 14, 2017.