Flank pain refers to a painful feeling perceived at the level of the left or right side of the abdomen (the abdomen is the area of the body between the end of the basin and the beginning of the cage chest). The causes behind the condition can be many and diverse. Some of them are: trauma suffered in that area of the body, problems with the urinary digestive and intestinal disorders (including infections, tumors, ulcers and constipation).

Depending on the cause, flank pain can be perceived as a dull and constant pain or occur through spasms (intermittent prolonged repeated contractions) with periods of acute pain alternating together with periods of absence of pain.


What kind of diseases can be associated with flank pain?

The following diseases may be associated with flank pain:

  • Appendicitis
  • Gallstones
  • Kidney stones
  • Ovarian cystitis
  • Colitis
  • Diverticulitis
  • Endometriosis
  • Hepatitis
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Gastritis
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Kidney infections
  • Urinary infections
  • Food intolerance
  • Food poisoning
  • Crohn's disease
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Constipation
  • Pancreatitis
  • Pyelonephritis
  • Groin
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Trauma
  • Gastric ulcer

Remember that this is not an exhaustive list and it is highly recommended to consult your doctor, in case of symptom’s persistence.


What is the therapy for flank pain?

The diseases that can be associated with flank pain are many and very different. Hence, in order to soothe the pain, it is important to understand what is the cause of it and then take action accordingly.


When is most likely to contact your doctor in case of flank pain?

In the case of trauma or if the pain is accompanied by other symptoms such as: fever, chills, blood in the urine, blood or mucus in the stool the patient should seek medical attention. The patient should consult with a specialist if they have been already diagnosed (or are at risk for) with one of the associated  diseases (see list of associated pathologies).