Home > Causes of Back Pain > Infection and Back Pain

Infection and Back Pain

By: Suzanne Elvidge BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 17 Feb 2013 |
 
Back Pain Infection Urinary Tract

Back pain can be a symptom of a number of different bacterial infections, including infections in the urinary tract, or in the spine.

Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are infections of any part of the urinary system, which includes:
  • The kidneys - which filter the blood and produce urine
  • The ureters - which carry the urine to the bladder
  • The bladder - which stores the urine
  • The urethra - which carries the urine out of the body

They are more common in women than men. Men can also develop infections in the prostate, the gland that supports sperm production.

Urinary tract infections are generally caused by bacteria from the outside of the body moving upwards into the urinary tract, though some infections are caused by bloodstream infections entering the kidney and moving down the urinary tract. Doctors will treat these with antibiotics. Drinking plenty of water, and not waiting too long to urinate may prevent urinary tract infections.

Bladder Infections

An infection of the bladder is known as cystitis. Symptoms include lower back pain, and frequent and painful urination, with pain particularly in the middle of urination.

Infections of the Urethra

An infection of the urethra is known as urethritis. This can also cause back pain, and pain or stinging, particularly at the beginning of urination.

Kidney Infections

Kidneys infections are known as pyelonephritis. When kidneys become infected, they become inflamed and this can cause pain in the back, on both sides of the spine above the hips. People often describe the pain from a kidney infection as a sharp ache or tenderness, and it may come in waves. It can be worse when the bladder is full. People with a kidney infection may also have a fever and chills. They may find urination painful, and may see blood in their urine. Severe kidney infections can lead to kidney damage and failure.

Prostate Infections

An infection in the prostate (the gland that supports sperm production) is known as acute bacterial prostatitis. This is usually linked with a urinary tract infection, and can cause lower back pain, as well as fever, frequent urination, and pain on urination.

Infections of the Spine

Spinal infections can be in the bones of the back (the vertebrae), known as osteomyelitis, or the discs between the vertebrae, known as discitis. Spinal infections can cause tenderness and back pain, which may be severe, and which usually gets worse with weight-bearing exercise.

The most common cause of spinal osteomyelitis is a bacterial urinary tract infection that spreads to the bone. It is occasionally caused by a fungal infection.

Doctors treat osteomyelitis and discitis with antibiotics, but treatment may take a long time. Patients may need to wear a back brace, or be put in a body cast to protect against bone damage.

Tuberculosis (historically called consumption) is a bacterial infection that usually affects the lungs, but it can also affect the spine and the long bones, causing pain. Tuberculosis infection can weaken and damage the vertebrae. If these collapse, it can cause paralysis. Doctors treat tuberculosis with long-term antibiotics.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • rAY
    Re: Dehydrated Discs
    hI THERE, I have Dyhydration L3/l4 and ll4/l5 and disprotrusion and sequestrated discu after MRI i am aged 52. I had hip pain all night for 3…
    3 April 2019
  • UKez
    Re: A Spinal Tap Caused My Back Pain
    Hi . I also had a spinal Tap to check the stages of a bleeiding in my brain. This has caused me serious back pain almost…
    3 July 2018
  • BackPainExpert
    Re: Dehydrated Discs
    Alex - Your Question:I am a 27 yr old male who up until last year was working 84-108 hrs/week and always had back problems but all the doctors I…
    23 May 2018
  • Alex
    Re: Dehydrated Discs
    I am a 27 yr old male who up until last year was working 84-108 hrs/week and always had back problems but all the doctors i had seen told me its…
    16 May 2018
  • Salsybar
    Re: Stem Cell Repair and Back Problems
    Hi I have annulus bulges at c4 -c5- c6 I have disc dessication,bulges , minmally prominent of the spinal cord t6-t7 t7-t8…
    9 May 2018
  • malky
    Re: Back Pain: Information for Employers
    I've enjoyed reading all your stuff and hope the stem cell injections come on to the market soon as I've been off work 5…
    8 May 2018
  • Jeeva
    Re: Spinal Dislocation
    My friend have pain in lumbar region. It cause breathing effects during sleeping.in MRI scan it shows that there is a dislocation in lumbar region
    17 April 2018
  • Agsmith78
    Re: A Spinal Tap Caused My Back Pain
    I had a spinal tap 3 years ago and still suffering from back, hip and left leg pain along with occasional weakness. Nothing…
    5 April 2018
  • Rubi
    Re: Stem Cell Repair and Back Problems
    What are the 2 basic functions of the spine?
    24 March 2018
  • Kumar
    Re: Dehydrated Discs
    What is the surgical procedure of disc dehydration
    9 March 2018