The region between the back and the upper abdomen is flank. If you are experiencing pain in the left flank, then it could be a symptom of a common condition like a muscle spasm or a serious infection like acute pyelonephritis. No matter what the condition is, it is important to get yourself checked by a physician to figure out the underlying cause of the left flank pain. Given below is a list of the related causes, which include kidney disorders, urinary tract problems, gastrointestinal problems, colon disorders, diverticulitis, and muscle spasms.
Kidney Disorders: Kidney stones if present on the right side show similar symptoms to that of appendicitis. However, kidney stones pain can be on the left side too. This can cause a lot of discomfort and pain. Infection of kidneys, which is condition called pyelonephritis can also give a person pain in the flank area. Other disorders of kidneys like kidney cysts or tumors can also cause chronic side/back pain and discomfort.
Urinary Tract Problems: Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) which is obstruction of the urethra is a condition that can also cause flank pain. Other symptoms with UTI are frequent urination, fever, and pain while urinating. If there is a urethral stone, then the pain can be severe. One of the common cause of this pain is urethral stone which is lodged in the urethra.
Muscle Spasms: Many times due to a muscle cramp people tend to experience waist pain. This can occur on the left or right side. Muscle spasms don't need special medical treatment, unless the pain is severe. For muscle spasms, rest and compress help to recover.
Gastrointestinal Problems: Many gastrointestinal disorders can also contribute to flank pain. Sometimes, a person might also experience left side pain after eating. Conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, viruses, food poisoning, ulcers, and abscesses can cause pain in the flank region. However, apart from having pain, a person will also have other symptoms of gastrointestinal disorder like stomach pain or discomfort, bloating, etc.
Diverticulitis: In this condition, bacteria gets trapped inside the small pouches present on the wall of the colon. This causes infection and inflammation. Apart from having pain in the left flank region, a person in diverticulitis will also experience symptoms like nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, abdominal pain, bloating, fever, constipation, or diarrhea. If you are experiencing these symptoms, then it is likely that you are having this condition.
Consult a doctor to get yourself diagnosed and find out about the underlying cause behind the left flank pain. The doctor will perform a physical examination and will ask a series of question regarding your symptoms. The doctor might also recommend certain tests. With the physical examination and tests, the doctor will be able to find out the underlying cause that is giving you flank or abdominal pain. According to the condition, the appropriate treatment will be given. For pain caused due to infections the doctor might prescribe antibiotics, while for inflammation-related disorders the doctor might prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs.
Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.