Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms Underlying Cause

Flank Pain Overview

What is flank pain?
A person with flank pain has discomfort on one side of the back, below the ribcage and above the pelvis. Flank pain is often caused by a muscle strain, but can also be caused by problems with the kidneys, ureters, or bladder. Common causes for flank pain include pyelonephritis, kidney stone, and back strain or sprain.

What are the symptoms of flank pain?
Symptoms of flank pain depend on the underlying cause. Symptoms may include pain that worsens with movement, muscle tenderness, difficulty urinating, pain during urination, red or pink urine, fever, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

How does the doctor treat flank pain?
Treatment for flank pain depends on underlying cause. Treatment may include hydration, pain medications, and antibiotics.

Continue to Flank Pain Symptoms

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Flank Pain References
  1. Anderson KR, Smith RC. CT for the evaluation of flank pain. J Endourol. 2001 Feb;15(1):25-9. [11248915]
  2. Pietrow PK, Karellas ME. Medical management of common urinary calculi. Am Fam Physician. 2006 Jul 1;74(1):86-94. [16848382]
  3. Rucker CM, Menias CO, Bhalla S. Mimics of renal colic: alternative diagnoses at unenhanced helical CT. Radiographics. 2004 Oct;24 Suppl 1:S11-28; discussion S28-33. [15486235]
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