FAQ’s on Abdominal Pain
What is Abdominal Pain?
Abdominal Pain is the result of a wide variety of ailments within the abdomen. This pain can be problematic for patients as it can adversely affect the function of abdominal organs. Abdominal pain can be difficult to diagnose accurately, as some patients may experience these pains without a singular cause that can be tracked and prevented.
While many patients will attribute their abdominal pain to complications within the intestines: such as constipation- the pain is typically the result of one or more compressed spinal nerves in the abdominal region of the spine.
What causes Abdominal Pain?
Any number of causes may potentially result in abdominal pain for the patient. Some of the common causes include irritable bowel disorder, chronic constipation, hernia, urinary tract infection, kidney stones, menstrual cramps, routine stomach virus, and endometrial growth. Each of these causes may produce abdominal pain in a different way for the patient, potentially ranging from symptoms similar to indigestion to debilitating pain felt in the side or torso.
Abdominal pain can also result from a compressed spinal nerve, either as the result of spinal trauma or arthritic inflammation of the area. Each of these may produce swelling in the spine, putting excess pressure on the nerves connected to the abdominal tissue and organs.
The symptoms of Abdominal Pain
The symptoms present in a patient experiencing abdominal pain will vary based on what the root cause of the pain is. There are common symptoms shared between each cause. These include Feelings of Pain in the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, and potentially a feeling of bloating within the stomach. Some patients may experience intestinal distress, with complications of the bladder, difficulty passing stool, and inability to retain food in the stomach.
Women experiencing chronic abdominal pain may attribute their situation to being similar to menstrual cramps, resulting in abdominal cramping or pain spreading throughout the torso. Pain felt in similar locations of the abdomen and spine can be indicative of a compressed spinal nerve root as the source.
How is Abdominal Pain diagnosed?
Diagnosis of abdominal pain is the culmination of the patients’ medical history, evaluation of the symptoms present, and a recount of the events leading up to the pain. After this occurs, the physician will have a number of potential causes that may be the source of pain. Diagnostic testing will be used to rule out these potential causes until the actual source of pain is located. It is possible that the abdominal pain experienced by the patient does not have a singular cause that can be diagnosed accurately.
Certain activities of the patient may potentially provide brief relief to them, such as lying on one side of the body. These activities can be a strong indication of what the root pain cause is. Imaging techniques may also be used to examine the internal tissue of the abdomen, with the most common diagnostic technique used being a laparoscopy. This is a small lighted tube inserted into the abdomen allowing the physician to visually examine the tissue.
Treatment options for Abdominal Pain
The treatments available for the patient will vary based on the symptomatic causes. Some patients will be required to attend the clinic multiple times as the potential causes of abdominal pain are tested. Treatment can be similar to the diagnosis process as it may become a process of elimination as different treatments are tried for their effectiveness.
It is common for the treatment of abdominal to be closer to symptomatic management until the root cause is discovered. Even if the cause of pain is diagnosed accurately, the first treatment used may not be effective for an extended length of time.
Dallas pain management treatment options may include:
Home care: If you do not have fever, vomiting, passing out, chest pain, or other serious symptoms treatment at home may help a lot including NSAIDs, acetaminophen, antacids or heating pad.
- When it’s chronic or above symptoms are present, professional treatment should be obtained. Because there are so many abdominal conditions, a full list of treatments would take pages. However, there are quite a few medications for abdominal pain such as opiates which may provide relief.
- If one has inflammatory bowel disease, a GI doctor may give sulfasalazine or appropriate treatment.
- Pain management doctors in Dallas and Fort Worth can perform a celiac plexus block. This outpatient treatment relieves pain from all types of chronic abdominal pain including pancreatitis, upper abdominal cancers, and potentially IBD.