How Long Do Kidney Stones Last?

January 30, 2024

Kidney stones, affecting nearly one in 10 Americans annually, pose a common and often painful health challenge. It’s essential to equip oneself with knowledge about kidney stones, including their formation, symptoms, and potential treatment options.

What Are Kidney Stones?

Renal calculi, commonly known as kidney stones, are solid formations originating in the kidneys. These crystals develop when certain waste products struggle to dissolve adequately in urine, resulting in an imbalance that triggers crystal formation. As these crystals accumulate waste over time, kidney stones of varying sizes and compositions take shape. The elimination of these stones through the urinary system underscores the importance of maintaining bodily balance to prevent their formation.

What are the symptoms of a kidney stone?

Identifying the symptoms of kidney stones is crucial for prompt intervention. Look out for:

  • Severe pain on either side of the lower back
  • Persistent stomachache or vague pain
  • Presence of blood in the urine
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fever and chills
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine

Managing Kidney Stones


Adequate water intake is fundamental in managing kidney stones. Increased fluid consumption helps flush out the stones through the urinary system, expediting their resolution. Individuals are advised to prioritize water intake to support the natural elimination of kidney stones.

Pain Management:

The discomfort associated with passing kidney stones can be alleviated with over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium. It’s crucial to adhere to recommended dosage guidelines and consult with a healthcare professional if necessary.

Medical Therapy:

In certain cases, medical intervention may be necessary. Doctors may prescribe alpha blockers to relax the muscles in the ureter, facilitating a faster and less painful passage of the kidney stone. This approach is particularly beneficial for larger stones causing significant discomfort.

Proactive Measures:

Taking proactive steps, such as staying well-hydrated, managing pain with appropriate medications, and exploring medical therapy if needed, significantly impacts the overall experience of dealing with kidney stones.

So, how long do they last?

Kidney stones typically last around a month, with the duration influenced by factors such as size and composition. Smaller stones (under 4 mm) often pass within one to two weeks, while larger ones (over 4 mm) may take two to three weeks. Upon reaching the bladder, stones usually pass within a few days, though this process may extend, especially in older individuals or men with a large prostate.

Tailoring treatment approaches based on these factors is crucial for personalized care. Understanding that kidney stones generally persist for about a month provides helpful context. Individual experiences may vary, and for specific concerns related to stone size or guidance on managing this common health issue, our AFC Urgent Care Chapman Highway team is ready to offer support and personalized information. Feel free to reach out for assistance, as we are dedicated to ensuring you have the care and information needed for a smoother journey with kidney stones.

Chapman Highway, found in Knoxville, Tennessee, is a lively connector of neighborhoods, adorned with diverse shops and eateries. Residents can immerse themselves in the warm hospitality and lively spirit of the city. Framed by scenic views of the Great Smoky Mountains, Chapman Highway is a vibrant hub embodying Knoxville’s dynamic community and cultural richness.

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