Kidney stones are small, hard mineral and salt deposits that form within the kidneys. When these stones pass through the urinary tract, they can cause excruciating pain. The location of kidney stone pain can vary depending on the stone’s size and position as it moves through the urinary system. In this article, we will explore the typical side and location in the stomach where kidney stone pain is experienced and understand the symptoms associated with this condition.
Location of Kidney Stone Pain
Flank Pain: The most common location of kidney stone pain is on the side of the abdomen, known as the flank. The flanks are located between the lower ribs and the hip bone. The pain is usually felt on one side of the back or abdomen, where the affected kidney is situated. If the stone is on the right side, the pain is often felt on the right flank, and vice versa for the left side.
Lower Abdomen: As the kidney stone progresses down the ureter (the tube connecting the kidney to the bladder), the pain may also radiate from the flank to the lower abdomen, closer to the area of the bladder.
Groin and Genital Area: In some cases, kidney stone pain can extend from the abdomen to the groin and genital area as the stone gets closer to the bladder and prepares to pass out of the body.
Characteristics of Kidney Stone Pain
Intensity: The pain caused by kidney stones is often intense and severe. It is commonly described as sharp, stabbing, or cramping in nature. The intensity of the pain can vary depending on the stone’s size and how it moves through the urinary tract.
Waves of Pain: Kidney stone pain typically comes in waves. The pain may suddenly worsen and then subside for a brief period before intensifying again. This wave-like pattern is a characteristic feature of kidney stone pain.
Colicky Pain: The pain caused by kidney stones is often referred to as “colicky” pain because it is similar to the pain experienced during gastrointestinal colic. Colicky pain comes and goes in spasms and can be quite distressing.
Nausea and Vomiting: Kidney stone pain can be so severe that it triggers nausea and vomiting in some individuals. These symptoms may occur as a response to the intense pain or due to the body’s attempt to cope with the discomfort.
Blood in Urine: As the kidney stone irritates and damages the urinary tract, it may cause blood to appear in the urine. Hematuria, the medical term for blood in the urine, can range from visible red discoloration to microscopic traces.
When to Seek Medical Attention
If you experience symptoms suggestive of kidney stones, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention. While some small stones may pass through the urinary tract on their own, larger stones or those causing severe symptoms may require medical intervention. Delaying treatment can lead to complications such as urinary tract infections, kidney damage, or obstruction of the urinary flow.
Kidney stone pain typically originates on one side of the abdomen, known as the flank, and may radiate to the lower abdomen, groin, and genital area as the stone moves through the urinary tract. The pain is often intense, coming in waves, and may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and blood in the urine. If you experience symptoms of kidney stones, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention to ensure proper diagnosis and appropriate management. Early intervention can alleviate pain, prevent complications, and promote a speedy recovery.