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I have pain in my mid to upper back, is

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Posted on Fri, 15 Mar 2019
Question: I have pain in my mid to upper back, is it my kidneys?
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (42 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Unlikely to be caused by kidneys

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome to 'Ask A Doctor' Service,

Pain in the kidneys, such as from kidney stones or infection, is typically in the flanks - the sides of the low back, at the back of the waist on the sides.

Mid to upper back pain can be from a number of causes. The most common causes of pain in this area are musculoskeletal problems (muscle strain, arthritis, slipped disc). But other things can cause pain here too, including referred pain from the digestive organs (gall bladder, pancreas) or lungs. Rarely, pain can be referred there from the heart.

If the pain is from a musculoskeletal cause, it usually hurts with the movement of the back in certain positions, whereas that is less typical for other causes.

So - if this has been going on for months, it is time to see your doctor for an evaluation regarding the cause. If it is a musculoskeletal problem, physical therapy may help. Other causes will be addressed based on what is going on.

I hope this information helps.
Please let me know if I can provide further information or clarification.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
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Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3137 Questions

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I have pain in my mid to upper back, is

Brief Answer: Unlikely to be caused by kidneys Detailed Answer: Hello and welcome to 'Ask A Doctor' Service, Pain in the kidneys, such as from kidney stones or infection, is typically in the flanks - the sides of the low back, at the back of the waist on the sides. Mid to upper back pain can be from a number of causes. The most common causes of pain in this area are musculoskeletal problems (muscle strain, arthritis, slipped disc). But other things can cause pain here too, including referred pain from the digestive organs (gall bladder, pancreas) or lungs. Rarely, pain can be referred there from the heart. If the pain is from a musculoskeletal cause, it usually hurts with the movement of the back in certain positions, whereas that is less typical for other causes. So - if this has been going on for months, it is time to see your doctor for an evaluation regarding the cause. If it is a musculoskeletal problem, physical therapy may help. Other causes will be addressed based on what is going on. I hope this information helps. Please let me know if I can provide further information or clarification.