Flank Pain

Abdomen | Nephrology | Flank Pain (Symptom)


Flank pain is pain that is located on the sides, below the ribs and between the abdomens and back, and usually occurs on just one side of the body at a time. People with flank pain that persists after rest, is severe or is accompanied by other symptoms should be evaluated by a doctor.


Flank pain is the classic presenting symptom of urinary calculi and is the predominant cause of flank pain that occurs in the absence of fever. The term renal colic is actually a misnomer because this pain tends to remain constant. Acute onset of severe flank pain that radiates to the groin, gross or microscopic hematuria, nausea, and vomiting, not associated with an acute abdomen, are symptoms that most likely indicate renal colic caused by an acute ureteral or renal pelvic obstruction from a calculus.

People with arthritis of the spine may experience pain in the lower back and flank, which may cause difficulty with exercise and other physical activity. Degenerative disk disease or a slipped or herniated disk in the lower back may cause people to experience pain in the back and flank. People with a pulled or strained muscle or who have muscle spasms may also experience flank pain.


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