Renal colic typically begins in the abdomen and often radiates to the hypochondrium (the part of the anterior abdominal wall below the costal margins) or the groin. It is typically colicky (comes in waves) due to uretericperistalsis, but may be constant. It is often described as one of the strongest pain sensations known.
Although this condition can be quite painful, kidney stones usually cause no permanent physical damage. The experience is said to be traumatizing due to pain, and the experience of passing blood, blood clots, and pieces of the stone. Depending on the sufferer's situation, nothing more than imbibing significant amounts of water may be called for; in other instances, surgery may be needed. Preventive treatment can be instituted to minimize the likelihood of recurrence.