Many people experience flank pain a minimum of when in their life, and the pain is normally temporary. Nevertheless, constant or severe flank pain may indicate a serious medical condition, such as dehydration or a urinary tract infection. Kidney stones or another kidney problem might also cause persistent flank pain.
What Is Flank Pain?
Flank pain describes discomfort in your upper abdomen or back and sides. It establishes in the area below the ribs and above the pelvis. Generally, the pain is worse on one side of your body. That’s why it also known as ‘side pain’.
Though flank pain is often a symptom of a kidney problem, it can likewise be the result of other medical conditions if it happens along with additional symptoms. It’s crucial to see your doctor if you have chronic or severe flank pain, specifically if you’re also experiencing other symptoms.
Why You Should Pay Attention to Flank Pain?
Flank pain can be a sign of a kidney problem. However, since lots of organs are in this area, other causes are possible. If you have flank pain and fever, chills, blood in the urine, or frequent or immediate urination, then a kidney issue is the most likely cause. It might be a sign of kidney stones.
What Causes Flank Pain?
Flank pain in human may be triggered by any of the following:
- Muscle spasm
- Arthritis or infection of the spine
- Gallbladder disease
- Shingles (pain with one-sided rash)
- Spinal fracture
- Gastrointestinal disease
- Kidney stone, infection, or abscess
- Liver disease
- Back problem, such as disk disease
Causes of Right Flank Pain
1. Adrenal Gland Tumor
The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys and are comprised of two distinct parts: the cortex and the medulla. Amongst the most common types of main adrenal gland tumors, or tumors that manifest within the adrenal glands, are adenomas, adrenocortical cancers, neuroblastomas and pheochromocytomas. Main adrenal gland tumors are rare, and normally develop in people in between the ages of 45 and 50. Women are more commonly affected than men. Symptoms related to adrenal gland tumors consist of abdominal and flank pain, elevated high blood pressure, inexplicable weight-loss, weak point, extreme hair growth, modifications in sex drive, anxiousness and stress and anxiety.
2. Polycystic Kidney Disease
Polycystic kidney disease is a condition where clusters of cysts – noncancerous fluid-filled sacs – form in the kidneys. Although the kidneys are usually the most severely impacted organ, cysts can develop in other organs too. Typical signs associated with polycystic kidney disease include raised high blood pressure, back and flank pain, headache, increased abdominal girth, blood in the urine, frequent urination, kidney stones, kidney failure and urinary tract infections. Two of the most unsafe complications related to polycystic kidney disease are high blood pressure and loss of kidney function. High blood pressure can cause heart disease and stroke, while loss of kidney function can mean long-lasting kidney dialysis or a kidney transplant to extend life.
3. Side Stitch
Side stitches, likewise known as exercise-related short-term abdominal pains, prevail amongst professional athletes, including soccer and rugby players, swimmers, runners, horse riders, aerobics lovers and basketball gamers. Side stitches happen when the ligaments that attach the liver to the diaphragm end up being stretched or damaged. Side stitch-related pain is generally felt simply listed below the ribs, although some people might experience a stabbing pain at the tip of the shoulder blade on the afflicted side. In many cases, side stitch pain can imitate the pain of a myocardial infarction, or heart attack. Changing breathing patterns, reinforcing the stomach muscles, and preventing food and water prior to activity may help reduce the probability of a side stitch.
Causes of Left Flank Pain
Shingles is an outbreak of skin rash or blisters that’s brought on by the varicella-zoster virus– the same virus responsible for chicken pox. Although shingles can manifest anywhere on the body, it normally looks like a band of blisters that wraps around one side of the upper body, from the middle of the back to the breast bone or breastbone. Typical symptoms and signs connected with shingles include pain, burning, numbness and tingling in the affected area, a red rash that establishes numerous days after the beginning of pain, fluid-filled blisters that ultimately burst and extreme itching. In some cases, an individual with shingles may likewise experience fever and chills, body aches– possibly including left flank pain – headaches and tiredness.
Pyelonephritis, likewise referred to as kidney infection, is most typically caused by bacteria that spread from the bladder to the kidney. Common symptoms and signs connected with pyelonephritis consist of back, flank and groin pain or discomfort, the urge to urinate, pain or burning with urination, fever, nausea, vomiting, and pus and blood in the urine. In some cases, pyelonephritis can cause serious health complications, such as intense renal failure, permanent kidney damage and chronic kidney disease. In other cases, kidney infection can spread to the bloodstream, causing a life-threatening condition known as sepsis. A diagnosis of kidney infection is made following a positive urine test in which bacteria and leukocyte developments called casts are determined.
3. Bruised Ribs
Chest pain – including pain on the side of the torso, over the flank – includes any pain or discomfort in the rib area. Two of the most typical causes of rib cage pain are fractured or bruised ribs. Symptoms include inflammation over the afflicted area, reduced trunk active range-of-motion due to pain and trunk muscle spasms, and pleuritic pain, or pain that’s associated with deep breathing. A person who sustains a left-sided rib injury must be assessed by a competent health care specialist for possible lung and spleen damage. In many cases, a chest X-ray might reveal a collapsed or bruised lung. Rest and temporary immobilization are handy in treating rib cage injuries. Other possible treatments include instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization, cold laser therapy and kinesio taping methods.
How Is Flank Pain Treated?
Treatment depends on the cause.
Rest, physical therapy, and exercise may be recommended if the pain is caused by muscle convulsion. You will be taught how to do these exercises at home.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and physical therapy may be prescribed for flank pain triggered by back arthritis.
Antibiotics are used to treat a lot of kidney infections. You will also get fluids and pain medication. You may need to remain in the medical facility.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if you have any of the following:
- Flank pain along with a high fever, chills, nausea, or vomiting.
- Blood (red or brown color) in the urine.
- Unusual flank pain that continues.
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
The supplier will analyze you. You will be asked about your medical history and symptoms, consisting of:.
- Area of the pain.
- When a flank pain began, if it’s always there or comes and goes, if it’s becoming worse.
- What flank pain seems like, such as dull and aching or sharp.
- What other symptoms you have.
The following tests might be done:
- Lumbosacral spinal column x-ray.
- Blood tests to inspect kidney and liver function.
- Tests to examine the kidneys and bladder, such as urinalysis and urine culture, or cystourethrogram.
- Abdominal CT scan.
- Kidney or abdominal ultrasound.
- Chest x-ray.
Last modified: October 29, 2017