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Are Kidney Stones Always Painful?



Kidney stones are not always painful.

More Info: The size of the stone will dictate the pain involved in passing it.  Some kidney stones will form and simply pass without ever being noticed.  But it should be noted that the condition is considered “one of the most painful of the urologic disorders” .

How Painful Are They?

Kidney stones are one of the most common disorders of the urinary tract affecting more than 5% of the population.  Fortunately, most pass without intervention.  They can range in size small enough to easily pass without detection to large enough to block the passage of urination. [“Kidney Stones in Adults .” National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse]

Small and Painless

Many people have ‘silent’ stones that they aren’t even aware of that pass without detection.  These stones are often found on x-rays performed for other procedures.

Small and Painful

Most kidney stones can be treated without surgery and may cause pain as they pass through the urethra.  Traditional methods to assist a kidney stone in passing involve drinking large amounts of water to flush out your system.  You may require an alpha-blocker to help the muscles in the urethra relax for easier passage and to minimize pain.

Large and Excruciating

Large kidney stones can cause a variety of complications such as ongoing urinary tract infections, bleeding, and kidney damage.  These stones can block the passage of urine and will require medical attention for removal.



“Kidney Stones in Adults .” National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 May 2012.

“Kidney stones: Causes –” Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 May 2012. <>.

“Stone Disease (Kidney Stones) – The Scott Department of Urology – Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.” Baylor College of Medicine – Houston, Texas. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 May 2012. <>.

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