Any time you experience pain, it’s your body’s way of signaling that something’s wrong. Unfortunately, back pain can be a sign of several conditions, ranging from a spinal injury to an infection. Here, the experts at Infinite Wellness Integrative Medical Center, home to Glen Carbon chiropractors, address the question, “Can a UTI cause back pain?” and when you should seek treatment.
What Is a UTI?
A urinary tract infection is a common infection that attacks one or more parts of the urinary system, including the bladder, kidneys, and urethra. It’s the result of foreign bacteria, most often E. coli, entering the urinary system. Women are more likely to develop a UTI because they have a shorter urethra, but men are also vulnerable, especially as they get older.
Doctors classify UTIs as upper or lower, depending on which part of the urinary system they affect. An untreated infection can spread to the kidneys, which can become severe. That’s why you should never ignore UTI symptoms and back discomfort.
The Symptoms of a UTI
The most common symptom of a urinary tract infection is pain or a burning sensation while urinating. Other signs of illness include:
- Lower abdominal pain
- Frequent urination
- A feeling of urgency without any urine
- Cloudy or dark-colored urine
- Strong-smelling urine
- Blood in the urine
- Back pain
- Low-grade fever
Symptoms become more severe if the infection spreads into the upper urinary tract. In fact, if it reaches the kidneys, the answer to “Can a UTI cause back pain?” becomes a resounding “yes.” Back pain symptoms are just one sign of a worsening infection that requires immediate medical care.
In addition to the symptoms of a lower UTI, other signs of a possible kidney infection include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- High fever
- Confusion and hallucinations
- Difficulty speaking
Diagnosing a UTI
If you have symptoms of a UTI, with or without back pain, you need to see a doctor for testing. The most common diagnostic test is a urinalysis, which measures white blood cell counts and detects bacteria in the urine. The test also determines the type of bacteria causing the problem so doctors can prescribe the correct treatment.
In cases of a suspected kidney infection, doctors may need to perform more detailed imaging tests, including CT scans, ultrasounds, or MRI, to confirm the diagnosis.
Managing a UTI-Related Backache
Although doctors recognize back pain as a symptom of UTIs, they are never the only symptom. In fact, the urinary tract infection and back pain can be connected to illness in the kidneys, which will always have additional symptoms.
Back pain linked to urinary tract infections will continue until the infection clears. The most common treatment is antibiotics; doctors may also recommend pain relievers to help alleviate the discomfort.
Treatment can take anywhere from a few days to up to six weeks, depending on the severity of the infection. In some cases, patients need hospitalization to treat the illness with intravenous antibiotics and fluids.
You can also reduce UTI-related backaches by using a heating pad and drinking plenty of water and clear liquids to stimulate urination. However, these approaches only help you manage discomfort and don’t address the actual infection.
How UTIs Affect The Lower Back
Back pain is a common complaint among adults. By some estimates, more than 85% of adults experience lower back pain at some point. If you suddenly develop pain without an obvious cause, you might wonder, “Can a UTI cause lower back pain?”
As mentioned, lower back pain is just one potential symptom of a UTI. If you don’t have any other symptoms, like changes to your urine or difficulty urinating, it’s unlikely that a UTI is the source of your discomfort. At the same time, if you do have additional symptoms, worsening or severe back pain is a sign that the infection is spreading and intensifying, and you need prompt treatment.
Get Help With Back Pain from Infinite Wellness Integrative Medical Center
Since the answer to “Can a UTI cause back pain?” is yes, you must make an appointment with a physician if you have UTI symptoms accompanied by back pain. Ignoring the problem can result in significant complications and health issues.
If you have lower back pain due to other causes and want answers and relief, make an appointment to see a chiropractor at Glen Carbon, Illiniose’s Infinite Wellness Integrative Medical Center by calling (618) 747-3200. We’ll help you find a non-invasive, natural solution for your ongoing pain.