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When your low back is sore, it’s common to chalk it up to poor posture, an old mattress, maybe even a strenuous workout. In many cases, you’re probably right. But would you be able to differentiate between low back pain and kidney pain? Probably not – and you wouldn’t be alone. If you’ve never given your kidneys a second thought, we’re changing that right now. Here’s what you should know about your kidneys, including the link between kidney health and low back pain.

Kidneys – Purpose and Function

Think way back to sophomore health class – the function and purpose of your kidneys is to remove excess fluid and waste from the body, remember? They also regulate the body’s concentration of water and salt, and they produce hormones that regulate circulation in the body and support healthy red blood cells and healthy bone density.

These fist-sized organs – and you have two – are situated in the upper abs, tucked up against the back muscles on either side of your spine. And here a few fast and interesting facts:

  • Your kidneys are about 1.5 percent of your body weight.
  • Your kidneys can filter about 200 quarts of fluid every 24 hours and of those, 198 quarts are recycled and the remaining two are excreted as urine.

Here’s another interesting thing – persistent back pain that presents as a deep, bilateral ache can actually be a sign that your kidneys have a problem. In most cases, you can differentiate kidney pain from back pain because it will be deeper and higher. Usually, kidney pain is caused by condition like urinary tract infections and kidney stones, and that back pain will typically be accompanied with additional symptoms, including fever, painful urination and nausea.

How to Love Your Kidneys

Keep your kidneys happy and healthy with these tips:

  • Drink plenty of water. Here in northern Nevada, you should shoot for a full gallon of water daily. When you’re dehydrated, your body’s filters have to work that much harder.
  • Monitor your sodium intake to maintain a healthy sodium-potassium level.
  • Pay attention to your health as a whole. Do you get annual check-ups to monitor things like your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels?

In the meantime, if you’re noticing low back pain more days that not, you might benefit from a visit to Dr. McSweeney. In addition to treating the obvious chiropractic-related conditions, like pain in the back, neck, shoulders, she also helps her patients with digestion issues, sugar metabolism and organ nutritional levels to reduce pain and inflammation. Learn more about what your first visit with Dr. McSweeney entails, and schedule an appointment today.