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When Flank Pain Strikes: How to Identify, Address, and Prevent It

Jun 22, 2023

Common Illnesses Treatment


Flank pain can be a distressing experience for many individuals, causing discomfort and interfering with daily activities. Understanding the causes, recognizing the symptoms, and taking preventive measures can make a significant difference in managing and mitigating flank pain. This blog post will explore helpful insights to embark on the appropriate flank pain treatment at the right time.

Understanding Flank Pain

Flank pain describes discomfort on either side of the lower back, directly below the ribs. It may indicate an underlying problem and present as a severe, throbbing, or dull ache. Right flank pain is the soreness felt on the right side, whereas left flank pain particularly refers to pain on the left side. These localized identifiers help identify plausible reasons and limit the range of possible diagnoses. Left flank pain is generally caused by illnesses such as kidney stones, urinary tract infections, or inflammation of the left kidney. Right flank pain, on the other hand, can be related to similar disorders affecting the right kidney or organs in that area. Growing individuals experience episodes of flank pain and associated spasms. According to the WHO, 570 million cases of back pain, spasms, and other abdomen pain worldwide have made flank discomfort common!

Common Causes of Flank Pain

Typical flank pain causes include the following:

  • Renal Stones

    Hard mineral deposits accumulating in the kidneys can cause significant flank discomfort when clogging the urine tract.

  • UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections)

    Along with other symptoms like frequent urination and a burning feeling, kidney, bladder, or ureter infections can cause flank pain.

  • Strained Muscles

    Overexertion, rapid movements, or injuries to the muscles in the flank area can cause localized pain.

  • Digestive Problems 

    Gallstones, pancreatitis, and other conditions can cause pain radiating to the flank area.

  • Spinal Issues

    Issues such as herniated discs or spinal misalignment can cause referred pain to the flank area.

Key Symptoms That Accompany Flank Pain

Several common signs include:

  • Pain

    The major sign of flank pain is generally described as severe, dull, or throbbing pain just below the ribs.

  • Fever

    Fever may be present when an infection, such as a kidney or urinary tract infection, is the root of the flank pain.

  • Urine Adjustments

    It is possible to experience frequent urination, urgency, discomfort or burning feeling during urination, murky or blood-tinged urine, or trouble initiating or halting urine flow.

  • Vomiting and Nauseous

    Flank pain caused by conditions such as kidney stones, kidney infections, or gastrointestinal issues may trigger feelings of nausea and lead to episodes of vomiting.

Associated Kidney Problem Symptoms

Flank pain can signify an underlying kidney problem, with symptoms appearing—

  • Hematuria or blood in the urine
  • Urethral urgency
  • Pain and burning sensation while urination
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Back pain

Dehydration Symptoms

Flank pain and dehydration are related to symptoms appearing—

  • Dry mouth
  • Reduced saliva production
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Headache and muscle cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting

When to Consult a Doctor for Flank Pain?

Seek medical attention in the following scenarios—-

  • Duration and Intensity

    It is imperative to get medical help if the pain is severe, ongoing, or worsens over time.

  • Severe Symptoms

    See a doctor if flank pain is accompanied by symptoms like fever, blood in the urine, difficulty urinating, nausea, vomiting, or unexplained weight loss.

  • History of Renal Problems

    Suppose you already have a background of kidney stones, infections, or diseases. In that case, you should see your doctor for an evaluation and treatment of flank pain.

  • Pre-Existing Diseases

    It is best to visit your doctor about any new or persistent flank pain if you have underlying medical issues, including diabetes, hypertension, or a weakened immune system.

How Can I Prevent Flank Pain?

Take into account the following methods to assist in reducing flank pain—

  • Drink enough water to support kidney function. 
  • To promote general health, exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet, and limit alcohol use. 
  • Use good body mechanics and refrain from twisting to prevent muscle strains or other injuries that could result in flank pain.
  • Maintain proper cleanliness, empty your bladder regularly, and urinate after sexual activity to lower the incidence of UTIs.
  • Utilize stress-relieving practices like yoga, meditation, or relaxation techniques to lessen your risk of experiencing flank pain.

Care and Compassion—Get the Best of Both the Worlds with Metro Urgent Care!

Take the reins of your well-being today! Visit Metro Urgent Care for trusted and timely medical care. Our skilled medical staff is prepared to give you the required treatment. Make an appointment today and experience compassionate, efficient, and effective treatment.

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