Why Are Kidney Stones Excruciatingly Painful?

woman holding her lower back

One of the most common symptoms of kidney stones is excruciating pain. In fact, plenty of women describe this pain as being worse than giving birth — yes, in some cases, the pain is really that agonizing.

That being said, the pain level differs from one person to another. If the kidney stone doesn’t cause an obstruction when it moves through your urinary tract, you might not feel any pain.

But some might feel pain in their backs, close to where the kidneys are, which is below the ribcage or lower groin or abdomen.

Why does it feel so painful when kidney stones pass?

woman squeezing her stomachLet’s say your urinary tract system is the plumbing system of your body. Your kidney produces urine that goes directly into your urethra, which is a small tube used for transporting urine from your kidney to your bladder.

Your bladder will then pass the urine when it’s full. When you pass a kidney stone, it will travel from your kidney, pass your bladder, and pass through the entire urethra.

The passing kidney stone is very painful because your kidney is immensely sensitive, so when a kidney stone is clogging your urine flow, it can put an enormous strain on your kidney, causing excruciating pain.

How does a passing kidney stone feel like exactly?

The level and feeling of pain differ from person to person, and the location of the pain could change as your kidney stone travels from your kidney to your bladder. When it’s traveling to the urethra, you might feel pain in your back, side, or flank, and if it becomes stuck in the location where your kidney connects to your urethra, your pain might feel excruciating.

This specific kind of pain tends to appear and disappear in 10–30 minutes and could spread to your front thigh or groin area. It is also very crucial to note that as your kidney stone travels through your urethra, it could feel very similar to pain symptoms of other health conditions.

For instance, if your stone is passing on the left side of your body, the pain you feel might be akin to pain symptoms of inflammation, diverticulitis, or a large or small intestine infection. If it’s on the right side of your body, you might mistake it for pain symptoms of appendix inflammation or appendicitis.

In addition, when the stone is finding its way into your bladder, your pain might be mistaken for a UTI or urinary tract infection.

How long will I feel pain from a kidney stone?

The answer to this would depend on how long it would take your body to pass the kidney stone, which could be several days to several weeks, depending on where it is and how big it is. If you’ve had kidney stones before, and if you haven’t yet, it’s best that you work with your family doctor in South Jordan to come up with strategies that will help you prevent the recurrence of kidney stones.

In most cases, certain lifestyle and dietary changes, increasing your fluid intake, and medications could help lower your risk of developing kidney stones again.

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