Experiencing Pain Due to Kidney Stones

October 25, 2022
Kidney Stones

You feel a sharp pain in your side and wonder if you injured yourself when swinging your golf club. The pain, however, persists, and you reluctantly make a doctor’s appointment. The diagnosis: kidney stones.  

Kidney stones are hard deposits made of minerals and salts that form in your kidneys, and they can be painful for both men and women, certainly distracting you from your work or your round of golf. 

It is also a common diagnosis that can impact anyone, including professional golfers like Bubba Watson.

A kidney stone may not cause symptoms until it starts to move within the kidney or through your urinary tract. If a kidney stone gets stuck in the ureters, it can block urine flow and cause the kidneys to swell and the ureter to spasm. 

Symptoms of a kidney stone can include: 

  • Pink, red or brown urine
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
  • Urinating more often than usual or urinating in small amounts
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever and chills
  • Severe, sharp pain in the side and back (below the ribs)
  • Pain that radiates to the lower abdomen and groin
  • Pain that fluctuates in intensity
  • Pain or burning sensation while urinating

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should contact your medical provider. It is important to keep your kidneys healthy because they help filter poisons out of your bloodstream and help regulate your body. 

Medical providers typically use an imaging test to determine if you have a kidney stone.  


If you have kidney stones, your medical provider may encourage you to take some over-the-counter pain medication and to drink a lot of water to help the stone pass through the urinary tract. In other instances, such as when a stone is stuck in the urinary tract, surgery may be needed.

“Treatment can depend on where a kidney stone is located, how big it is and your medical history,” says Dr. Timothy Siegrist, a Middlesex Health urologist. 

Urologists like Dr. Siegrist are surgical specialists who focus on kidney and urinary tract disorders. They physically remove kidney stones. If you frequently get kidney stones, you may ultimately be referred to a nephrologist, a medical specialist who focuses on disorders that affect the way kidneys work. Nephrologists can try to determine why you are getting kidney stones and can prescribe nonsurgical treatments. 

The Risk Factors

According to the National Kidney Foundation, the risk of getting kidney stones is about 11 percent in men and 9 percent in women. It is estimated that one in 10 people will have a kidney stone at some time in their lives. You are more likely to develop kidney stones if you:

  • Have already had a kidney stone, or if someone in your family has had kidney stones
  • Do not drink enough water
  • Eat a diet high in protein, salt and sugar
  • Are obese
  • Have a digestive disease or have had a digestive surgery
  • Take certain supplements or medications, such as vitamin C, dietary supplements or calcium-based antacids

For more information about Middlesex Health Urology, click here

Featured Provider

Timothy C. Siegrist, MD

Timothy C. Siegrist, MD

Specialties / Areas of Care

  • Urology
  • Surgical Oncology
  • LGBTQ+ Health


  • Middletown, CT
  • Marlborough, CT
  • Westbrook, CT

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