Lower back pain and frequent urination often accompany each other. Pain in the lower back is a common complaint and is the number one reported reason for missing work. Lower back pain can be temporary or chronic, depending on the cause, and is usually considered chronic if it lasts for more than three months.
Frequent urination is when a person urinates more often than usual. Frequent urination often interrupts a person’s day-to-day activities, as they may be forced to get up repeatedly while watching a movie or when trying to sleep.
To determine whether your frequent urination and lower back pain are related, your doctor may ask several questions related to your kidneys and prostate.
Lower back pain and frequent urination signs and symptoms
Aside from pain experienced in the lower back and more frequent urination, you may experience bloody or cloudy urine, a constant urge to urinate, pain that moves from the lower back to the groin, difficulty beginning urination or fully emptying the bladder, painful ejaculation, fever, nausea, and vomiting.
Back pain and frequent urination causes
There are many different causes that can trigger both lower back pain and frequent urination, including:
Kidney problems: The kidneys are located around your lower back and are off to each side. Kidney problems may begin as pain in the lower back and travel to the abdomen. Kidney problems can cause changes to urination, making it painful or more frequent.
Prostate problems: Inflammation of the prostate not only changes urination habits, but can result in lower back pain too.
Other causes: Other causes that can lead to lower back pain and frequent urination include pregnancy, weight gain, bladder or prostate cancer, uterine or ovarian cancer, pelvic abscess, and other types of pelvic growths.
Lower back pain and frequent urination diagnosis
To properly diagnose the condition that is causing your symptoms, your doctor will perform a physical examination, ask about your medical and family history, and order blood and imaging tests.
Blood and urine tests can help you doctor determine if there are any abnormalities present, such as inflammation or infection. Imaging tests can determine any structural abnormalities that may be triggering your symptoms.
A thorough breakdown of your symptoms can also help your doctor better diagnose your condition.
Treatment for lower back pain and frequent urination
Treatment for lower back pain that’s accompanied by frequent urination is largely dependent on the cause. For example, antibiotics may be prescribed when an infection is present, and exercise may be recommended if weight loss is necessary or to strengthen the back muscles. Your doctor may also remove any abnormal tumors, abscesses, or growths.
Some causes of lower back pain and frequent urination aren’t preventable, but you can try and lower your risk by controlling factors that are. Regularly exercising, taking the necessary precautions or reducing your risk of urinary tract infections, and drinking plenty of water to flush out bacteria and toxins are all good tips for prevention.
When to see a doctor?
If your back pain and frequent urination are accompanied by vomiting, loss of bowel control, shaking chills, blood in the urine, cloudy urine, or unusual discharge from your penis or vagina, then you should see a doctor.
If you don’t experience any of these additional symptoms, but your back pain and frequent need to urinate interferes with your daily activities, then we also recommend you visit a doctor.
Related: Urine specific gravity test: How well your kidneys are diluting your urine