Book an appointment Feather-communication-phone
uti-back-pain

Blog UTI

UTI Causing You Back Pain?

writtenByWritten by: Tessa Chatham Registered Nurse
Tessa Chatham Registered Nurse

Tessa Chatham Registered Nurse

Tessa is a MSN prepared Registered Nurse with 10 years of critical care experience in healthcare. When not practicing clinical nursing, she enjoys academic writing and is passionate about helping those affected by medical aliments live healthy lives.

Read more posts by this author.

December 30, 2020 Read Time - 5 minutes

How to Get Rid of UTI Back Pain

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are infections that infect areas of your urinary system. The urinary system is made up of four parts:

  • The kidneys
  • The ureters
  • The bladder
  • The urethra

The urethra is a thin tube that connects the bladder to the outside of your body. When you urinate, the urine flows out of the bladder through the ureters and urethra.

Sometimes bacteria makes its way up the ureters, into your bladder, and sometimes all the way up into your kidneys. This can lead to back pain and is a sign of a serious infection.

  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

PlushCare-App-Steps

What to Know About UTIs and Back Pain

Do UTIs cause back pain? Some people report lower back pain with UTIs. UTIs typically do not cause back pain, and this should be taken seriously.

Pain on the lower side of the back, called flank pain, is a sign of a more serious infection.

Typically UTIs cause lower abdominal pain. The main signs and symptoms of a UTI include:

  • A strong, persistent urge to urinate
  • A burning sensation while urinating
  • Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
  • General malaise

How Long Does Back Pain Last With a UTI?

Minor back pain may accompany UTIs. Once antibiotics are started, you should feel better within 12 to 24 hours.

However, untreated UTIs can cause severe infection and complications. Constant, dull, or severe pain can signify a kidney infection. Unlike muscular pain, this pain will be persistent and unrelieved by any alleviating factors.

UTI back pain will last until you begin antibiotic treatment for your UTI.

A UTI that has spread to the kidneys is a serious infection that will typically not go away on its own. It’s extremely dangerous for an infection of this nature to go untreated.

If you are experiencing back pain from a UTI seek medical attention immediately, you’ll likely need antibiotics.

UTIs typically cause lower abdominal pain and not back pain. Lower abdominal pain can last 2-3 days with a UTI and longer for untreated UTIs.

What Should You Take for UTI Pain?

UTIs are best treated with antibiotics prescribed by a doctor. However, there are some preventative and comfort measures you can do at home to alleviate UTI pain while you wait for antibiotics to kick in.

Drinking liberal amounts of fluids daily will flush out the bacteria. It may be helpful to drink pure cranberry juice because it contains an ingredient called A-type proanthocyanidins that can prevent bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall. 

It is best to avoid coffee, tea, colas, alcohol, and other fluids that are known to irritate the urinary system.

Taking a vitamin C supplement may also help with UTIs because it makes your urine more acidic.

How do You Get Rid of Back Pain From a UTI?

Pain relief such as a heat pack can be applied to the perineum area, lower abdomen, or lower back to help relieve pain and spasms, in addition to antibiotic treatment for serious UTIs.

How do You Know if a UTI Has Spread to Your Kidneys?

Kidney infections usually present with a fever, chills, and back pain.

The main difference between UTI and kidney infection symptoms is:

  • High fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constant back pain

The most common kidney infection symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Severe flank (mid-lower back) pain
  • Nausea

Kidney back pain is concentrated on the back in between the ribs and hips. Constant dull or severe pain is usually reported. Pain increases with increase fluid intake or if someone presses on your back.

  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

PlushCare-App-Steps

How Long Does a UTI Last?

If treated, an uncomplicated UTI will last 2 to 3 days. Some people will have to take antibiotics for 7 to 14 days, depending on symptoms and other factors.

For complicated infections it may take 14 days or more to be treated.

Will a UTI Go Away on its Own?

Urinary tract infections are one of the most frequent clinical bacterial infections accounting for nearly 25% of all infections.

Around 50-60% of women will develop a UTI in her lifetime. UTIs typically do not go away on their own. Antibiotic therapy is the core medical treatment for UTIs.

What Happens if a UTI Goes Untreated for a Week?

If a UTI goes untreated for a week, it can turn into a severe kidney infection.

A kidney infection is medically known as pyelonephritis, which is a serious medical condition that can lead to serious complications if left untreated.

Complications of kidney infections include:

  • Kidney injury
  • Long-lasting kidney damage that leads to kidney failure
  • Infection that has moved to the bloodstream
  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

PlushCare-App-Steps

Get UTI Treatment 

UTIs are common conditions that can get worse over time, if not treated.

Do not wait for your UTI problems to get better on their own. If you have symptoms of a urinary tract infection, make an appointment with PlushCare today to speak with a doctor. 

You can schedule a same-day appointment to speak with a board-certified physician about your symptoms. If you are already diagnosed with a UTI, talk with your provider about treatment options and preventative kidney infection treatment.

You can also discuss questions about your medications or prescriptions.

You can book an appointment here, or download the free PlushCare mobile app. The average appointment lasts just 15 minutes and 97% of conditions are successfully treated on the first visit.


Read More About UTI Back Pain


Sources:

PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

Al-Badr, A., & Al-Shaikh, G. (2013). Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections Management in Women: A review. Sultan Qaboos University medical journal13(3), 359–367. https://doi.org/10.12816/0003256

Photo credit: Servier Medical Art by Servier is licensed under Creative Commons. Retrieved from: https://smart.servier.com/smart_image/urinary-tract/

Mayo Clinic. (2020). What are the symptoms of UTIs? Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/urinary-tract-infection/symptoms-causes/syc-20353447

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

Our commitment to you.

PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

  • right Tick Image

    Research from sources you can trust

  • right Tick Image

    Medical reviews by field experts

  • right Tick Image

    Frequent content updates

More to learn.

Kidney Infections vs Bladder Infections

Kidney Infections vs Bladder Infections

What is the Difference Between a Bladder Infection and a Kidney Infection? Kidney and bladder infections are both considered urinary…

Sara Menges 8 minutes
When Does a UTI Turn into a Kidney Infection?

When Does a UTI Turn into a Kidney Infection?

How Do You Know When a UTI Becomes a Kidney Infection? When you do not see a doctor, a urinary…

Margaret A Spera, NP, APRN 11 minutes
Can You Have Sex with a UTI?

Can You Have Sex with a UTI?

Can You Have Sex with a UTI? A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection anywhere along the urinary tract….

Sara Menges 6 minutes