What Are the Causes of Frequent Urination and Back Pain?

If left untreated, kidney problems can progress to chronic kidney disease and the danger of kidney failure.
A pelvic exam may be performed to determine the cause of a woman's frequent urination and back pain.
Urinary track infection may be a cause of frequent urination and back pain.
Article Details
  • Written By: T. Carrier
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 29 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Frequent urination and back pain are uncomfortable but often unrelated symptoms. When the two ailments occur together, however, an underlying medical condition may be responsible. Various types of urinary tract infections can cause back and urination problems, such as cystitis and kidney infection. Less common causes of both include kidney stones, reproductive disorders, and cancer.

The urinary tract helps the human body dispose of waste, and its network of urethra, ureters, bladder, and kidneys is one of the most common sources of bodily infection. As bacteria or other germs enter the urethra, they can cause infection of the bladder. This infection may then spread through the ureters to the kidneys. Due to a shorter urethra and its proximity to the germ-populated anus, women face a greater likelihood of developing urinary tract infections (UTIs). Other factors may also increase the likelihood of a UTI, including diabetes, pregnancy, bowel problems, a urinary catheter, or any substance that may block complete urine discharge.

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Cystitis, also called a bladder infection, is the first sign of a urinary tract ailment and therefore a common cause of frequent urination and back pain. In addition to these symptoms, a cystitis sufferer may experience pain during urination, a low-grade fever, and pressure or cramps in the abdominal area. Urine appearance can serve as the best indicator of a possible infection. Normal urine tends to be light yellow to clear and only slightly odorous, so cloudy, discolored urine with a strong odor may signal an infection. Urgent nighttime urination, known as nocturnia, also frequently accompanies a urinary tract infection.

Kidney dysfunction is a more serious condition, so it's important for sufferers to recognize an infection or other renal ailment. If a urinary tract infection spreads to the kidneys, symptoms may escalate and include fatigue, nausea, chills, night sweats, high fever, flushed skin, abdominal pain, and cognitive impairment. A buildup of urinary minerals in the kidney can lead to kidney stones, which may also cause severe back pain, along with the need to urinate frequently. If left untreated, kidney problems can progress to chronic kidney disease and the danger of kidney failure.

Disorders of the reproductive system sometimes cause urinary urgency or back problems as well. An enlarged prostate in men is one such cause, provided these symptoms are accompanied by abnormal urine, failure with bladder emptying, and possible erectile dysfunction. Likewise, women may experience reproductive issues associated with ovarian cysts or a lapsed uterus. These ailments often affect menstrual cycles and vaginal discharge as well.

Cancer represents the least common — but most serious — possible cause of frequent urination and back pain. Bladder cancer, kidney cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer all may affect the urinary tract and the back. Each of these cancers present with a diverse, varying range of other symptoms, however.

If an individual notices blood and any other abnormal discharges in their urine or experiences unyielding back pain, a medical professional should be consulted. A visit to a healthcare provider will often include detailed questions and possible tests, like a urinalysis or pelvic exam. Treatment may range from antibiotics to appointments with a specialist, depending on the suspected cause.

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Discuss this Article

serenesurface
Post 3

My back pain and frequent urination are unrelated. My pain is sciatica back pain because of a hernia in my lower back. My frequent urination is due to diabetes, I always experience this because I drink a lot of water.

I asked my doctor yesterday why I drink more and urinate more. He said that those who constantly have high blood sugar levels require more water to get rid of the sugar. Even though I take medication and try to keep my blood sugar levels in control, I continue to drink more water. I'm going through a bad phase right now because my hernia is acting up and causing sciatica pain in my back and leg.

ZipLine
Post 2

@ysmina-- Lower back pain, frequent urination and burning while urinating may also be due to a urinary tract infection like the article said. It needs to be treated right away or the infection may move up into other organs.

ysmina
Post 1

I was hospitalized due to severe back pain last week. The first questions the doctor asked me were if I had frequent urination or painful urination. That's when I found out that lower back pain and frequent, painful urination are signs of a kidney problem, such as kidney stones. I did not have those symptoms but they asked for a urine test just to make sure. My urine test came back normal.

My back pain was diagnosed as a muscle spasm and I was sent home with muscle relaxers and pain relievers. I was extremely worried for a while and I'm glad that my kidneys are okay.

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