Renal colic is the name doctors use to describe the intense pain of a kidney stone passing through the urinary tract. Renal colic occurs in the lower back and lower abdomen and can sometimes radiate to the groin area. Stones cause renal colic as they move through the ureter. You might experience extreme waves of pain for up to an hour.
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Honor Society of Nursing (STTI) answered
Renal colic is the term generally used to describe the intense unilateral flank pain experienced as one passes a kidney stone from the kidney to the urinary bladder via the long muscular tube known as the ureter. A kidney stone will often cause moderate to complete obstruction to urine passage in the ureter, and the ureter will respond by expanding in girth to accommodate this growing column of urine. The nerve receptors in the ureter are exquisitely sensitive to this expansion and respond by causing intense pain. Frequently the pain cannot be adequately treated by over-the-counter pain remedies resulting in emergency room visits where X-rays or CT scans will usually identify the size and position of the offending stone. Most stones will pass spontaneously within a short time, but some will not and will require urological treatment to relieve the obstruction and pain.
Arthur Crowley, Urology, answered
Renal colic refers to the sharp or cramping, severe pain in the lower back that radiates to the front of the body associated with the passage of a kidney stone.
The pain usually starts suddenly as the stone moves into an area of the kidney and blocks the flow of urine. The most common first site of blockage is the ureteropelvic junction (this is where the urinary collecting system forms a funnel shape). Sharp or cramping pain is typically experienced in the lower back with some radiation of pain around to the front of the body. If the stone is relatively small, then it may continue to pass into the ureter (small channel connecting the kidney to the urinary bladder). The pain may become dull or cramping and more localized to the front of the body in the lower quadrant. As the stone continues to move toward the urinary bladder, “shooting” pains may be felt in the scrotum (men) or labia (women) and associated with the following additional symptoms:
- Frequency of urination
- Urgency (perceived need to urinate, although the urinary bladder is relatively empty)
- Dysuria (burning associated with urination)
- Hematuria (blood in the urine)
At any time during a kidney stone attack, nausea and vomiting may occur along with a loss of appetite. If the urine is infected, then a person may have a fever associated with chills.
The most common risk factor for kidney stone disease is dehydration (lack of water intake).Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.