Most kidney stones will be small enough to be passed out in your urine. 

However, small kidney stones may still cause pain especially when stuck in the tube down from the kidney known as the ureter. 

The pain from smaller kidney stones usually lasts a couple of days and disappears if the stone has been passed.


If you have severe pain, your Urologist may instruct to inject you with a painkiller. A second dose can be given after half an hour if you are still experiencing pain.

Medication can also be injected to treat the symptoms of nausea  and vomiting. 

You may also be given a prescription for painkillers, anti-emetics, or both, to take at home.


If you are given a suggestion to wait for your kidney stone to pass, you may try to collect the stone from your urine.

This can be done by filtering your urine through a strainer or a muslin cloth. The stone can be analysed in a laboratory at a later date.

You should drink enough water to make your urine colourless. If your urine is yellow or brown, you are not drinking enough.

Hydrotherapy or flushing of stone by drinking excess water / use of diuretics ( drugs which produce excess urine) or beer intake to increase urine production are ill advised and condemned from use.

Admission to Hospital

If your kidney stone has moved into your ureter and it is causing severe pain, your Urologist may admit you to hospital for treatment.

This may be necessary if:

  • you are at an increased risk of your kidneys failing (for example, because you only have one kidney)
  • your symptoms do not improve within an hour of being given painkillers or anti-sickness medication
  • you are dehydrated and you are vomiting too much to keep fluids down
  • you are pregnant
  • you are a child or over 60 years of age
  • kidney function is affected

Treating Large Kidney Stones

If a kidney stone is too big to be passed naturally (6-7mm in diameter or larger), you may need to have treatment to remove it another way.

This could include:

  • extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL)
  • ureteroscopy
  • percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL)
  • open surgery

These procedures will be explained in more detail in subsequent posts The type of treatment you have will depend on the size and location of your stones.