What are the symptoms of kidney stones?

Some kidney stones are as small as a grain of sand. Others are as large as a pebble, and a few are as large as a golf ball. As a general rule, the larger the stone, the more noticeable the symptoms.

Symptoms of kidney stones could be one or more of the following:

  • severe pain on either side of your lower back
  • more vague pain, or a stomach ache that doesn't go away
  • blood in the urine
  • nausea or vomiting
  • fever and chills
  • urine that smells bad or looks cloudy

Usually a person with a kidney stone experiences dull and achy back pain, though the pain can sometimes be sharp and intense. Symptoms of a kidney stone also include blood in urine, nausea, fatigue and fever.

This answer provided for NATA by the Southern Connecticut State University Athletic Training Education Program.

The symptoms begin to show when a kidney stone moves into the ureter, the tube connecting the kidney and the bladder. Symptoms include pain in the side and back, below the ribs and radiating to the lower abdomen and groin; bloody, cloudy or foul-smelling urine; painful urination; nausea and vomiting; a persistent urge to urinate; and fever and chills if an infection is present.

Symptoms of kidney stones are nausea, vomiting and a traveling pain.

Kidney stones can cause pain in the lower abdomen, especially the lower back, sides and groin area. Other symptoms include blood in the urine, vomiting or nausea, painful urination and an urge to urinate frequently. You might also experience chills and a fever if your stones are caused by an infection.

Kidney stones cause severe flank pain that can radiate to the groin.

If you have a kidney stone, you won’t necessarily have pain. It can sit painlessly in the kidney as long as its not blocking urine. If you do feel it, it can range from a constant dull ache to intermittent spasms known as colic.

However, if or when the stone gets stuck in the ureter, most people experience extreme pain. A stone lodged high in the ureter may cause sharp pain in the upper abdomen and back, while a stone lodged lower in the ureter can cause pain towards the groin. Pain on urination indicates proximity to the bladder. The location of pain can give doctors an idea of where the stone may be.

Continue Learning about Kidney Stones

Kidney Stones

Referred to as "silent stones," kidney stones often do not cause any symptoms. The first indication of a kidney stone is often a sudden feeling of extreme pain as the stone blocks the flow of urine. Kidney stones are one of the mo...

st painful urologic disorders and one of the most common disorders of the urinary tract.Most kidney stones - which are hardened masses that develop from crystals that separate from the urine in the urinary tract - are passed out of the body without surgical intervention by a doctor. A less common type of kidney stone, called a struvite or infection stone, is caused by infection in the urinary tract. Doctors are not always able to diagnose the cause of a kidney stone, which is why it's important to learn how to prevent them in the fist place. A person who has had a kidney stone in the past may likely form another one.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.