Flank Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

If you are trying to get proper flank pain treatment, you would like to know a few facts about it. The pain around the side of the torso, just below the ribs, is termed as the “flank pain”. The pain may also affect the lower back, pelvis, and some other organs and muscles near the left and right flanks.

Flank Pain
It is a very common problem and can be caused by numerous things. It is usually a temporary discomfort. However, if you suffer from flank pain more frequently, it may be an indication of some serious conditions like dehydration, urinary tract infection, kidney problems, etc. Let’s reflect more on various aspects of flank pain.

Causes of flank pain:

You may suffer from flank pain due to numerous health factors. Some possible causes of flank pain are:

Problems related to kidneys:

  • Kidney stones
  • Kidney abscess
  • Kidney infections
  • Chronic dehydration
  • Bladder infection
  • Arthritis and particularly spinal arthritis.
  • Spinal fracture
  • Shingles
  • Muscle spasm
  • Disc disease 

Some less-common factors responsible for flank pain:

  • Pancreatitis
  • Appendicitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Blockage in the urinary tract
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm

What are the symptoms associated with flank pain?

The symptoms may vary, depending on the history and severity of the pain. You may feel aching, dull-like, cramp, or a sharp pain around the left or the right flank. The pain may come and go or may even remain for a few minutes.

Symptoms of flank pain: 

If it is due to kidney problems, you may feel the symptoms like fever, dizziness, skin rashes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, bloody urine, pain during urination, etc.
If dehydration is responsible for flank pain, you may feel symptoms like dizziness, excessive thirst, partial or complete loss of sweat, prolonged headaches, fever, absent or reduced urination or dark urine, and constipation, etc.

Diagnosing the cause of flank pain:

During your visit, your doctor may ask a few questions to know the exact causes of flank pain. You should be ready to give information on:

  • The exact location of pain
  • How long you have been experiencing the pain
  • What type of pain are you feeling
  • The duration and frequency of the pain
  • Any other symptom with this pain

In addition, your doctor may advise one or more of these tests:

  • Ultrasonography or X-rays of abdomen.
  • CT scan of the abdomen.
  • Urinalysis.
  • Urine culture. 

When to contact a medical professional? 

You should meet a healthcare professional if you suffer from any of these conditions:

  • Flank pain accompanied by high fever, chill, nausea or vomiting.
  • Bloody or dark urine.
  • Unexplained continuous flank pain for more than three days. 

What are the treatment options? 

Rest is the most important treatment in the case of flank pain. Rest and physical therapy are enough to improve minor pain. However, if flank pain is due to kidney problems or some other serious illness, your doctor may advise for hospitalization.

Prevention of flank pain: 

As we all know, prevention is always better than cure. You may keep flank pain at bay by:

  • Drinking 8 glasses of water per day.
  • Limiting your alcohol consumption.
  • Having a healthy diet containing fruits, vegetables, and a lot of fluids.
  • Practicing safe sex.
  • Maintaining proper hygiene of your body as well as the environment.


8-2-8 Urgent Care

8-2-8 Urgent Care, based in Oceanside, California is a state-of-the-art urgent care and walk-in clinic that provides immediate medical care to all your regular healthcare needs. We are an emergency urgent care facility capable of treating everything from minor illness, like a fever or flu, to the more severe illnesses and injuries such as fractures and lacerations, to work related injuries and pediatric urgent care needs. We have an all equipment ready lab that's able to provide immediate test results and we are open every day, including the holidays.

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