A main indicator of whether a urinary tract infection has migrated from the bladder to the kidneys is a fever and back pain. Learning what an infection is and how kidney infection back pains feel and differ from other back pains can help you seek treatment promptly to ensure recovery. Read on to be able to answer questions like “where does it hurt when you have a kidney infection?”,“can kidney infection cause back pain”,“could lower back pain be kidney infection” “what does kidney infection back pain feel like?” and “how to cure kidney infection back pain?”。

Kidney Infection Back Pain and General Back Pain

Back or flank pain is a common result of kidney infections but has main differences between general back pain so it can be useful to understand where does it hurt when you have a kidney infection and what does kidney infection back pain feel like.

Back pain generally can be experienced anywhere in the lower or upper back and butt muscles. Back pains can be caused by multiple things including strains and sprains that can damage the muscles or ligaments in the back. This can occur from lifting heavy objects, sudden movements that place too much stress on the back, and twisting or impactful sport injuries. If the pain is associated to the kidneys it can cause pain on both sides of the lower back and will be concentrated in the area between the ribs and hips, also known as flanks making kidney infection pain often referred to as flank pain. Severe kidney infections like that from a kidney stone can result in severe pains. Additional areas that may be in pain due to a kidney infection are the upper abdomen or the genital areas.

Back pain may come and go depending on bodily movement and may be triggered by prolonged positions such as sitting in one posture or standing in place for a while. There is usually tenderness to the touch in any area that a muscle has been strained to cause the back pain. Bruises may even be noticeable with back pains.

Kidney infection back pain will generally be constant and can be dull or severe depending on the source of the infection. An increase in pain may be triggered by excessive intake of fluids or when pressure is applied on the kidneys that is located toward your back, to the sides of your spine, and directly above your hips. There will not be bruising and, besides areas surrounding the kidneys, there shouldn’t be any tenderness to the touch. Taking into consideration other signs and symptoms of kidney infections such as nausea, vomiting, and fevers can also be great indicators that your back pain is due to an infection in the urinary tract as opposed to other back injuries.

Indications of the major signs and symptoms of a kidney infection on top of a significant change to your usual pattern of urination are good indicators to contact your doctor. People who have greater risk of developing a kidney infection, including pregnant women, should be extra vigilant about noticing signs early on to prevent complications.

Lower back pain can be debilitating. Finding the root cause of it can be nearly as frustrating. Part of the reason is the complexity of the human muscular-skeletal system, and the fact that so many stresses from our erect posture can come home to roost in our lower backs.

The source of back discomfort can be muscular in nature, such as back spasms or a pulled muscle. Or it can be related to our skeletal system, ranging from hip and pelvic injuries to a misaligned spine compressing nerve tissue. But lower back pain can also be attributed, in certain instances, to internal organs, and specifically kidney problems.

Kidney pain, ranging from mild infection and kidney stones to acute renal failure, can often be mistaken for lower back pain because that's exactly where they're located. Our kidneys -- two fist-sized organs responsible for maintaining a healthy blood composition -- are found just above our pelvic saddle, one on each side of our spine . To make matters more complicated, pain from an infected kidney can even radiate to our hips and groin area.

A key factor is determining whether your lower back pain is accompanied by other symptoms of kidney infection, including fevers and high temperatures, an upset stomach, cloudy, bloody or malodorous urine, and more frequent urination.

Treating kidney infection 

Most people with a kidney infection can be treated at home with a course of antibiotics, and possibly painkillers as well.

See your GP if you have a fever and persistent tummy, lower back or genital pain, or if you notice a change to your usual pattern of urination.

All children with symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI) or kidney infection, includingcystitis, should see their GP or out-of-hours emergency service.



If you're being treated at home, you'll usually be prescribed a course of antibiotic tablets or capsules that lasts between seven and 14 days.

For most people – apart from pregnant women – antibiotics called ciprofloxacin or Co-amoxiclav are recommended. However, other antibiotics may also be used.

Common side effects of ciprofloxacin include feeling sick and diarrhoea.

Co-amoxiclav can make the contraceptive pill and contraceptive patches less effective, so you may need to use another form of contraception during the course of treatment.

A 14-day course of an antibiotic called cefalexin is recommended for pregnant women.

Usually, you'll start to feel better quite soon after treatment starts and you should feel completely better after about two weeks.

If your symptoms show no sign of improvement 24 hours after treatment starts, contact your GP for advice.


Taking a painkiller such as paracetamol should help relieve symptoms of pain and a high temperature.

However, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen aren't usually recommended to relieve pain during a kidney infection. This is because they may increase the risk of further kidney problems.

Self-help tips

If you have a kidney infection, try not to "hover" over the toilet seat when you go to the loo, because it can result in your bladder not being fully emptied.

It's also important to drink plenty of fluids, because this will help prevent dehydration and will help to flush out the bacteria from your kidneys. Aim to drink enough so that you're frequently passing pale-coloured urine.

Make sure that you get plenty of rest. A kidney infection can be physically draining, even if you're normally healthy and strong. It may take up to two weeks before you're fit enough to return to work.

Treatment at hospital

Your GP may refer you to hospital if you have an underlying problem with your urinary tract, which makes you vulnerable to kidney infections.

It's standard practice to further investigate all men with a kidney infection simply because the condition is much rarer in men. Only women who have had two or more kidney infections tend to be referred. Most children with a kidney infection will be treated in hospital.

Hospital treatment may also be needed if:

♦you're severely dehydrated

you're unable to swallow or keep down any fluids or medications

you have additional symptoms that suggest you may have blood poisoning, such as a rapid heartbeat and losing consciousness

you're pregnant and you also have a high temperature

you're particularly frail and your general health is poor 

your symptoms fail to improve within 24 hours of starting treatment with antibiotics

you have a weakened immune system

you have a foreign body inside your urinary tract, such as a kidney stone or aurinary catheter

you have diabetes

you're over the age of 65

you have an underlying condition that affects the way your kidneys work, such as polycystic kidney disease or chronic kidney disease

If you're admitted to hospital with a kidney infection, you'll probably be attached to a drip so you can be given fluids to help keep you hydrated. Antibiotics can also be given through the drip.

You'll have regular blood and urine tests to monitor your health and how effectively the antibiotics are fighting off the infection.

Most people respond well to treatment. As long as there are no complications, they're usually well enough to leave hospital within three to seven days. Treatment will usually switch to tablets or capsules after you stop receiving antibiotics through a drip.