Abdominal Pain Relief and Treatment
Do you suffer from abdominal problems? Sometimes described as belly pain, stomach pain, or intestinal pain—abdominal pain may develop from a wide variety of conditions and ailments.
Something as common as acute/chronic acid reflux can cause significant upper abdominal pain.
What’s abdominal pain?
Abdominal pain may be an achy, dull, intermittent, or sharp sensation located below the chest and above the pelvis. You may experience abdominal pain for a short or long-term timeframe, depending on the cause and severity. Abdominal discomfort may get better or worse when you have an empty stomach, and may include other symptoms such as bloating, weight loss and anemia. In some cases, pain in the abdomen can be made worse by certain foods, alcohol, coughing or moving rapidly, or in women, the menstrual cycle.
Where is abdominal pain located?
Pain locations can include lower, middle, or upper abdomen, and can include one or both sides. Pain can also radiate from the abdomen out to other parts of the body. Abdominal pain can be steady and ongoing, intermittent, or get worse over time.
What is the first step to feeling better?
The first step in treating abdominal pain is to get an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your symptoms. Based on your diagnosis, you and your doctor or pain specialist can determine your best treatment options.
At The Pain Center, we may be able to help diagnose the cause of your abdominal pain. We offer a range of therapies to treat your pain symptoms. We understand that chronic pain not only affects the sufferer, but everyone who depends on or cares about the person with pain.
Causes of Abdominal Pain
The answer to what is causing your abdominal pain depends on the underlying condition. Causes of abdominal pain can include numerous conditions, such as:
- Crohn’s disease
- Food allergies
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Kidney stones
- Stomach cancer
- Ulcers: peptic, gastric, or duodenal
- Inflamed appendix
- Gallbladder conditions
- Food poisoning
- Painful menstruation
- Gynecological issues such as fibroids and cysts
- Acid reflux
- Vascular conditions
It is important to find out what causes your pain, as there are many potential causes. At The Pain Center, we can help diagnose the cause to help you find relief.
Abdominal Pain Symptoms and Diagnosis
Be sure to inform your doctor of all your symptoms. Depending on the cause, symptoms of abdominal pain can vary from a mild ache to severe pain. Symptoms may also include:
- Inability to pass stool (constipation)
- Frequent urination
- Pain when urinating
- Pain that comes in waves
- Pain on the side of the ribcage down to the groin
- Nausea and vomiting
- Burning pain in the abdomen, under the chest and above the belly button
- Pain that gradually grows in intensity
- Loss of appetite
- Discomfort when you bend over
- Swelling or tenderness
- Urgent need to use the restroom
- Burning pain
- Weight loss
- Passing gas
- Bloody stools
To diagnose the cause of your pain, your doctor will ask you questions about your health and family history, and do a physical examination. Other tests that can help diagnose the source of your pain include X-rays, MRI scan, CT scan and blood tests. It is important that your condition is properly diagnosed so that you can receive the most effective treatment.
Based on your diagnosis, you and your doctor can determine your best treatment options.
How to Treat Abdominal Pain
How can you ease the discomfort of abdominal pain symptoms? Your treatment options depend on the underlying cause and severity of your abdominal pain. At The Pain Center, we offer both traditional and state-of-the-art therapies for pain treatment.
Treatment may start with conservative therapies, such as over-the-counter pain relievers and home care such as drinking plenty of water, eating certain foods such as fiber, or avoiding certain foods, and using antacids.
The pain management specialists at The Pain Center may also recommend one or more interventional pain therapies to reduce your abdominal pain, such as:
- Prescription medications / medication management
- Nerve blocks
- Nutritional counseling
Some of the interventional medical therapies we provide at The Pain Center include:
Our pain specialists can prescribe and regulate medication to help control your pain. We provide you with the knowledge you need to take your mediations properly. The Pain Center takes a conservative approach with medication management. We limit prescription medications whenever possible, to help avoid dependence.
A nerve block is an injection therapy that reduces pain caused by nerves. The injection contains a combination of local anesthetic agents. Peripheral nerve blocks provide relief that can last from a few weeks to a few months, depending upon your condition.
Contact The Pain Center today to learn more about how we can help you effectively manage your abdominal pain.
When Further Abdominal Pain Treatment is Required
Based on the underlying condition, further treatments may be required. If there is something that can be addressed by another type of specialist, we will refer you to the appropriate specialty doctor.
Commonly Asked Questions about Abdominal Pain
What causes abdominal pain?
Because abdominal pain can be caused by any of a number of conditions, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis. Your doctor or pain specialist will help to diagnose and assess the cause of your abdominal pain to determine the most effective course of treatment for you.
What is the best treatment for abdominal pain symptoms?
The best treatment for you will depend upon your health situation and the cause of your pain. Your pain specialist will work with you to create a custom set of treatments to help you get relief from your pain and get back to your normal routine of activities. Your pain specialist will give you the information you need to understand and manage your condition.What can I do at home to help ease my discomfort?How can the cause of my abdominal pain be diagnosed?Why do I have abdominal pain?Is my abdominal pain an emergency?What tests can be done to discover the source of my pain?
What can I do at home to help ease my discomfort?
You can try using a heading pad, or taking a warm bath. Antacids may provide some relief, depending upon the cause of the pain. You might also try acetaminophen, but consult your doctor because some pain medications can make the pain worse if caused by a stomach issue such as an ulcer. Avoid NSAIDS (e.g. ibuprofen), nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol if you have stomach pain caused by ulcers. Greasy foods should be avoided if you have gallbladder disease.How can the cause of my abdominal pain be diagnosed?Why do I have abdominal pain?Is my abdominal pain an emergency?What tests can be done to discover the source of my pain?
How can the cause of my abdominal pain be diagnosed?
The Pain Center will work to diagnose your pain, or work with another specialist to help, if necessary. We will do an examination and ask you about your health and family history, and can provide additional tests such as blood tests or medical imaging (such as CT or MRI scans).Why do I have abdominal pain?Is my abdominal pain an emergency?What tests can be done to discover the source of my pain?
Why do I have abdominal pain?
Abdominal discomfort can be caused by a wide range of underlying conditions, it may be short-term and not serious. However, sudden onset of severe pain is a cause for concern, and you should see your doctor as soon as possible. Abdominal pain can be caused by a condition that is not stomach-related.Is my abdominal pain an emergency?What tests can be done to discover the source of my pain?
Is my abdominal pain an emergency?
Some symptoms may indicate that you should seek urgent medical care. Blood in the urine or feces, or vomiting blood are a cause to seek urgent care. If you have severe nausea and cannot eat or take important medications, you should seek medical attention right away. If you experience severe pain, high fever, or if you have a history of heart attack, contact your doctor immediately.What tests can be done to discover the source of my pain?
What tests can be done to discover the source of my pain?
Your doctor may perform tests to determine your white blood count, which can indicate whether you may have an infection. Red blood count can be checked to determine whether you could be bleeding internally. Your urine may be checked to assess whether a kidney stone could be the issue. Other blood tests such as liver enzymes and pancreas enzymes can help determine what organ may be associated with your pain.
X-ray imaging can show if the bowel has been ruptured, and can also help diagnose a bowel obstruction. Ultrasound can help diagnose issues with the gallbladder, pancreas, liver, or reproductive organs, as well as problems with the kidneys, spleen, and blood vessels.
If you have debilitating or chronic abdominal pain, contact one of our local clinics to learn more about your treatment options. Our pain specialists will work with you to diagnose and treat your condition so you can get back to your normal routine.