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Alternative namesPain - side; Side pain
DefinitionFlank pain refers to pain in the side of the trunk between the right or left upper abdomen and the back.
Flank pain often means kidney trouble. If flank pain is accompanied by fever , chills, or urinary problems, then a kidney is the likely source.
One in seven people in the US has kidney stones at some time. The pain from a kidney stone is agonizing, comes in sharp stabbing waves or spasms, and usually radiates into the groin.
Treatment depends on the cause. Follow your health care provider's instructions.
Rest, physical therapy, and exercise may be recommended for flank pain caused by muscle spasm .
Anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy may be prescribed for flank pain caused by spinal arthritis . Continue physical therapy exercises at home.
Antibiotics are used to treat most cases of pyelonephritis. Plenty of fluids and pain medications are used to treat kidney stones. Sometimes hospitalization is required for either of these conditions.
Call your health care provider if
If the pain is related to an injury, the condition will first be stabilized. Then the health care provider will obtain your medical history and will perform a physical examination .
Medical history questions documenting flank pain in detail may include the following:
Fluid intake and output may be monitored and recorded.
Diagnostic tests that may be performed include the following:
Update Date: 5/4/2003Bridget Martell, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT