What causes Flank Pain- Possible Symptoms and Treatment?

flank pain

flank pain

Do you experience pain in one side of the portion between the back and the upper belly, then you might be dealing with the Flank pain. However, the majority of you might though what is flank pain as you hadn’t heard about it yet. The majority of the people experience this kind of pain at least once in their life.

Before writing this article, I have done a deep research so that in order to tell you about this condition in detail.

What is Flank Pain?

In simple words, Flank pain can be defined as the extreme pain in the upper back or abdomen in the body. Over the past few years, it has become a common condition that affects the people of all the ages. Some of them experience the right flank pain while the others feel the pain in the left side. Depending on the trigger, this problem can show itself in several forms along with the other accompanying signs that feature kidney issues and lots of health problems.

The majority of the flank pain problems remain for a short period of time. However, it can be a sign of serious infection in the kidney or a case of urinary tract infection if the pain is severe. Generally, the severe pain is caused by the kidney stones. There is a great range of conditions and triggers that cause the left flank pain. The exact reason behind this kind of pain can be best recognized by a physician, but it doesn’t mean that you should be completely blank about it.



Causes of Flank Pain and its treatments

Knowing about the reasons that are responsible for the flank pain will help you in choosing whether the pain is serious and you should contact your family doctor or it can something that you can manage on your own. Look at all the possible reasons for the flank pain in the human body and how you can treat them:

Kidney Stones or Bladder Stones

One of the most common types of causes for left flank pain is the kidney or bladder stones. These kinds of stones are often made of calcium deposits that generally built in the relevant organ and become so big that it becomes difficult for them to pass through urination.

left flank pain

  • Symptoms of Kidney Stones

Generally, a sudden and severe type of flank pain caused by the kidney stones. The pain passes down to the groin area in some cases. Along with kidney stones, you may experience a painful

Urination, vomiting, and blood in the urine.


  • Kidney stones treatment

Smaller stones often pass by drinking a great amount of water and taking certain medications. If it has problems to pass on its own, you need to consult your family doctor and he/she will prescribe some medicines that will assist your body in passing the stones.


Bigger stones cannot pass through the urinary tract and required to be removed through surgery. Nowadays, a procedure named lithotripsy is also recommended by the doctors. It involves procedures for breaking the large stones to smaller ones so that it can pass easily on its own.

Urinary Tract Infection

A urinary tract can be defined as an infection when the bacteria enter the urinary tract that also consists of ureters, urethra, bladder, and kidney. These bacteria attach themselves to the bladder’s walls and reproduce quickly. It results in overwhelming the ability of the body to destroy the bacteria and can cause left flank pain.

what causes flank pain

  • Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection

Generally, the symptoms of UTI depend on the severity of the infection. One of the most common symptoms that one can notice during flank pain is a change in the color of the urine.


Some of other symptoms associated with urinary tract infection consist of burning or pain during urinating, bloody urine, foul smell in the urine and cramping in the lower back.


  • Urinary Tract Infection Treatments

A UTI should only treat by following your doctor’s advice and prescribed medicines. An antibiotic is commonly prescribed by the doctor that clear up the symptoms within some days. If you are dealing with severe UTIs, there is a chance that doctor may suggest you to a urologist.


Appendicitis can be termed as the inflammation of a 3 ½ inch long tissue tube that extends from the large intestine. The majority of the people face this problem between the age of 12 and 35. It is one of the most common causes of the flank pain in both the United States and India.

right flank pain

  • Symptoms of Appendicitis

Generally, it causes severe pain in the lower right side of the abdomen and can even result in diarrhea. Along with that, the common symptoms of appendicitis are vomiting, loss of appetite, a low fever, constipation, and nausea. It causes the right flank pain in the majority of the cases.


  • Appendicitis Treatments

The exact treatment for the appendicitis varies from one to another. In the most of the flank pain cases, the surgery is advised by the doctors and the decision on the type of surgery needed is made after the proper diagnosis of the case.


Moreover, the patient may feel better without any form of surgery and get relief from the flank pain through antibiotics in some rare cases.

Musculoskeletal Problems

There are many chances when a flank pain is caused due to the musculoskeletal problems. It can be a pain from lifting something heavier or tear from the increased physical activity or repetitive motion.

flank pain

  • Symptoms of Musculoskeletal Problems

These types of pain generally feel like a dull ache and get increased by the pressure, physical activity or actions that can sneeze the muscles. In addition to that, a person may feel flank pain because of the pinched nerve or spinal arthritis.


  • Musculoskeletal Problems Treatments

These types of problems can be easily treated at home. All you need to do is use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and after that, ice the area for 25 minutes. Repeat all this procedure after every few hours.


If you notice that redness or swelling along your sides, then it might be the case of severe left flank pain and you should visit your doctor as soon as possible.

Other Main Causes of Flank Pain

Along with the above-mentioned causes, there are lots of other reasons for the left or right flank pain:

  • Bladder Cancer

The bladder cancer or some types of lymphoma can cause persistent flank pain in the body. Its symptoms consist of vision problems, bloody urine, fatigue and an abdominal lump.


  • Hodgkin’s Disease

Hodgkin’s disease can be defined as a type of blood cancer that originates in the white blood cells. These cells help the body to offer protection against the germs and infections. It symptoms consist of night sweats, fatigue, persistent cough, enlarged spleen, lumps in the armpit or around the groin.


  • Pyelonephritis

Pyelonephritis can be defined as the severe infection in the kidney that mainly occurs in the pregnant women. The common symptoms consist of cloudy or bloody urine, high fever, and pain in the groin area.


  • Hydronephrosis

In Hydronephrosis, the kidney swells because it becomes fail to drain the urine from the kidney to the bladder. It affects only a single kidney in the majority of the cases, but it is possible that it may infect both the kidneys. The common symptoms of hydronephrosis are incomplete voiding, right flank pain and much more.

It is a very tricky task to diagnose the flank pain and needs several tests for finding the real problem. If you are feeling the unexplained pain that doesn’t go even on its own, then it is best to contact your family doctor. In addition to that, talk to the doctor if you feel symptoms of infection that include fatigue, fever, night sweat or muscle pain.


Mandy is a fun-loving guy who is crazy about fitness and loves to travel. He is on a mission to make the world healthier.

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