Kidneys filter all toxins and waste from our blood. Since there is small number of nerves in the kidneys, pain felt in the flank area usually starts in the bladder or other parts of the urinary system. However, pain from the kidneys themselves can also be felt as tenderness or ache in this part of a person's back.
Kidney Pain Causes
There are many things that might provoke pain in the kidneys, including kidneys stones or infection of these organs as well as some serious conditions such as polycystic kidney disease or even kidney cancer. Kidney stones stuck in the ureter (the tube between the kidneys and the bladder) are probably the most common cause of kidney pain. These stones usually block passage of urine, urine gets back to the kidneys and they grow in size because of that. For that reason pain starts to spread to surrounding tissue and is no longer limited only to kidneys.
Pyelonephritis is an infection of kidneys and is in almost all cases associated with severe pain. Patients usually feel some abdominal pain and urination problems such as increased urge to urinate, burning while urinating and there is sometimes blood or pus in the urine.
Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a genetic condition, characterized by formation of cysts inside the kidneys. Cysts may be filled with fluid and enlarge, damaging normal structure of kidneys and leading to kidney failure.
How to Relieve Kidney Pain?
Modern medicine recommends pain killers for the treatment of kidney pain and most doctors will advise their patients to use paracetamol. If pain is too intensive, painkillers may not work and you might need some antibiotic drugs or even surgery to sort this problem out. Patients diagnosed with kidney failure must have dialysis.
Traditional or alternative medicine might also be helpful for people suffering from kidney pain. Changes in your diet may help you to ease such pain, so try drinking a lot of water and other fluids, but avoid tea and coffee. Kidney stones may increase in size if you eat food rich in oxalate and, therefore, many naturopaths recommend avoiding spinach, coconuts, carrots, turnips, beets, cauliflower and chickpeas.
Fruits rich in water are great for your kidneys and you should use more of them. Include more watermelons, cranberries, grapes and celery into your menu to help your kidneys. Eating more egg whites may also be helpful, according to some experts, especially for patients on dialysis.
Soaking in a hot bath containing some essential oils (juniper, sandalwood, eucalyptus or thyme) may also help you relax and relieve the pain. Herbalists advise using parsley and artichoke, bearberry, oak bark, gravel root and goldenrod to ease kidney pain.