Flank Pain

Flank pain refers to pain that is located on the side of the body between the upper abdomen and the back. It can be caused by many things.

CAUSES

Some of the more common causes of flank pain include:

  • Muscle strain.

  • Muscle spasms.

  • A disease of your spine (vertebral disk disease).

  • A lung infection (pneumonia).

  • Fluid around your lungs (pulmonary edema).

  • A kidney infection.

  • Kidney stones.

  • A very painful skin rash on only one side of your body (shingles).

  • Gallbladder disease.

DIAGNOSIS

Blood tests, urine tests, and X-rays may help your caregiver determine what is wrong.

TREATMENT

The treatment of pain depends on the cause. Your caregiver will determine what treatment will work best for you.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Home care will depend on the cause of your pain.

  • Some medications may help relieve the pain. Take medication for relief of pain as directed by your caregiver.

  • Tell your caregiver about any changes in your pain.

  • Follow up with your caregiver.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • Your pain is not controlled with medication.

  • The pain increases.

  • You have abdominal pain.

  • You have shortness of breath.

  • You have persistent nausea or vomiting.

  • You have swelling in your abdomen.

  • You feel faint or pass out.

  • You have a temperature by mouth above 102° F (38.9° C), not controlled by medicine.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.