Does Kidney Stone Pain Always Occur in Your Flanks?

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Kidney stones are often listed as one of the top three most painful experiences a person can have. For most patients, kidney stone pain first develops in the back or flanks, but these are not the only places where kidney stone pain can be felt. Furthermore, pain from kidney stones often radiates to other parts of the body, which can make it challenging for patients to be certain about the cause of their pain. At Kasraeian Urology in Jacksonville, FL, board-certified urologists Drs. Ahmad and Ali Kasraeian understand the painful and disruptive nature of kidney stones and are committed to making accurate diagnoses and providing effective treatments to give patients rapid and long-lasting relief. In this blog, we’ll explore the common signs and symptoms of kidney stones, including flank pain, and find out where else patients may experience pain associated with a kidney stone.

Who is most likely to get kidney stones?

Virtually anyone can develop kidney stones, also known as nephrolithiasis, though some patients are more likely to form stones than others. Kidney stones, which are hardened deposits of minerals, salts, or acids, have a number of causes and risk factors, some of the most common of which include:

  • Dehydration
  • Diet high in protein, sugar, or salt
  • Obesity
  • Certain medications
  • Underlying renal condition
  • Pregnancy
  • Personal or family history of stones

How do I know if I have a kidney stone?

For most patients, single-sided flank or back pain is the first sign of a kidney stone. The pain may occur suddenly or come on gradually, and it may be dull or sharp, mild or severe, and constant or intermittent. Interestingly, kidney stone pain can – and often does – radiate to other areas, which can lead patients to question if they really do have a kidney stone after all. To accurately diagnose a kidney stone, Dr. Kasraeian may perform one or more diagnostic tests, including lab work, urinalysis, ultrasound, or ureteroscopy.

Where does kidney stone pain radiate to?

In addition to the back and flanks, patients with kidney stones may experience pain in one or more of the following areas:

  • Lower abdomen
  • Groin
  • Pelvis
  • Testicles (men)
  • Vagina/labia (women)

When pain in these areas is accompanied by dark urine, blood in the urine, fever, chills, nausea, and/or vomiting, the likelihood of a stone is even greater.

How are kidney stones treated?

Oftentimes, kidney stones measuring 4mm or less will pass on their own without the need for intervention. For patients with larger stones, severe pain, or other extreme symptoms, urological treatment may be necessary to provide relief and prevent complications, including infection. Depending on the size and location of the stone, the severity of the patient’s symptoms, and other factors, Dr. Kasraeian may recommend one of the following kidney stone treatment options:

  • Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL)
  • Percutaneous nephrolithotomy
  • Ureteroscopy

To reduce the risk of developing subsequent kidney stones, patients should:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Limit dietary intake of protein, salt, oxalate, and sugar
  • Drink citrus juices

Get kidney stone treatment in Jacksonville, FL

Whether this is your first-ever kidney stone or you have struggled with recurrent stones for many years, we can help. To get the rapid and long-lasting kidney stone relief you deserve, call Kasraeian Urology to schedule your private consultation with Jacksonville, FL board-certified urologists Dr. Ahmad Kasraeian and Dr. Ali Kasraeian today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.