Renal Colic


Renal colic is severe pain in your lower back or sides.


Drink liquids as directed:

This will help decrease your pain and flush blockages from your urinary system. Ask your primary healthcare provider (PHP) how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. You may need to drink about 3 liters (12 glasses) of liquids each day. Half of your total daily liquids should be water. Limit coffee, tea, and soda to 2 cups daily. Your urine should be pale and clear.

Strain your urine every time you urinate:

Urinate into a strainer (funnel with a fine mesh on the bottom) or glass jar to collect kidney stones. Give the kidney stones to your PHP at your next visit.

Look for Stones in the Filter

Eat a variety of healthy foods:

Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. You may need to increase the amount of citrus fruit you eat, such as oranges. Ask your PHP how much salt, calcium, and protein you should eat.

Avoid activity in heat:

Heat may cause you to become dehydrated and urinate less.


  • Medicines can help decrease pain and muscle spasms. You may also need medicine to calm your stomach and stop vomiting.

  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your PHP if you think your medicine is not helping or you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your PHP or urologist as directed:

You may need to return for tests to check if your blockage has cleared. Bring a list of any questions you have so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Contact your PHP if:

  • You have fever.

  • You need to urinate more often than usual, or right away.

  • You see a stone in your urine strainer after you urinate.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You cannot stop vomiting.

  • You see new or increased bleeding when you urinate.

  • You are urinating less than usual, or not at all.

  • Your pain is not getting better even after you take your medicine.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Renal Colic (Aftercare Instructions)