The Weather and Your Joints
Some people check the news for the weather forecast. But for many people with arthritis and related joint pain, they already know when a storm is on the way.
Joint pain occurs from a variety of factors, one of the most common being arthritis, a broad term to describe the 100+ forms of chronic joint inflammation that can wear away at cartilage. Arthritis deteriorates this rubbery substance and its ability to absorb movement, until, in some people, it’s completely worn down to the point that bones rub against each other.
And there’s an interesting link between arthritis and the weather: many patients ï¿½ and the doctors who care for them ï¿½ report that joint pain and arthritis symptoms flare up before a storm or changes in the atmosphere.
What’s the Link?
The idea that weather influences pain goes back at least 1,600 years, to Hippocrates in the fourth century BC, and probably earlier. The scientific term is ‘human biometeorology’, and there’s a definitive link between the two in obvious scenarios; you’ll get burnt if you leave your skin unprotected in the sun for example. There are few studies between arthritis and weather changes, however.
So what’s the connection?
In theory, it’s caused by barometric pressure. This is the pressure exerted by air, and it often drops before a storm. If this drop in barometric pressure caused the tissues around the joints to swell, it is conceivable that changes in the weather, like an impending storm, could trigger a flare-up of arthritic symptoms.
There is some evidence to support this thesis. In the 1960s, researcher John Hollander isolated patients with rheumatoid arthritis in a sealed chamber and gradually increased the barometric conditions. The result? Minor swelling with a rise in humidity and decrease in pressure.
Bear in mind the huge variety of possible atmospheric conditions and combinations with joint pain symptoms. Many doctors are believers too, and experience a surge in patients complaining of joint pain on rainy days. There’s clearly a link between the weather and joint pain. Perhaps a better question is how do you manage that pain?
A Natural Way to Manage Joint Pain
The answer to this may already be within you. Specifically, several compounds that occur naturally in cartilage, including glucosamine and chondroitin. They’re both lost in the ageing process, and there are no rich food sources for either one.
A study conducted in 2006 revealed that patients who supplemented with glucosamine experienced a “significant improvement” for pain symptoms related to osteoarthritis. And four clinical studies suggest that chondroitin can lubricate the joints and block the enzymes that break down cartilage.
Further reason to use a natural joint relief supplement: traditional joint relief medications, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and cox-2 inhibitors are not recommended for long-term use because they’re linked to adverse side effects, including gastrointestinal bleeding and increased risk of stroke and heart attack.
Studies show comparable joint pain relief from willow bark extract ï¿½ found in Joint Relief Solution ï¿½ and even reduced loss of cartilage, from avocado soybean unsaponifiables, as seen in a 2002 study of patients with osteoarthritis of the hip.
You don’t control the weather. But many arthritis patients live with chronic pain that flares up from changes in the atmosphere. They literally “feel it in their bones”, and with roughly one in three Americans living with ongoing joint pain, they want relief.
The best way to reduce joint pain, quite frankly, may simply be to pursue natural treatment for arthritis with a joint relief supplement with Chondroitin and Glucosamine. Multiple studies demonstrate these two compounds not only reduce joint pain, they may also protect cartilage and offer greater mobility. That’s more that most arthritis medications offer, and probably safer as well.
Try Joint Relief Solution. A blend of natural ingredients, including glucosamine and chondroitin, it’s also formulated with willow bark extract. You might be surprised to learn that willow bark has the same active ingredient as aspirin, and shows dramatic reduction in pain symptoms, with less reliance on NSAIDs as well.
Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy
Lower Abdominal Pain
Many women experience lower abdominal pain during the early weeks of pregnancy. There are many reasons for this. For some women occasional or sporadic abdominal discomfort during pregnancy similar to menstrual cramps may simply be a sign that your uterus is preparing to carry your baby through the next nine months of pregnancy.
Many women will experience occasional bouts of Lower abdominal pain during pregnancy. While frightening at best abdominal pain during pregnancy is usually a normal and harmless condition. Lower abdominal pain during pregnancy can sometimes suggest a more serious problem however, so it is important you consult with your health care provider if you have any concerns regarding abdominal pain during pregnancy.
Abdominal pain that comes on suddenly, persistent, and severe, and associated with other problems such as nausea, vomiting, vaginal bleeding, or contractions suggests the pain is not due to normal pregnancy changes but some other problem.
Normal Changes in Pregnancy that Cause Abdominal Pain
The Enlarging uterus as it raises out of the pelvis places pressures on the lower back and abdomen and produces pain. The enlarged uterus may also compress the ureter, (the tube between the bladder and the kidney) making it difficult for urine to pass down the ureter causing intermittent severe lower abdominal pain. This pain can mimic the pain associated with passing a kidney stone, or bladder infection.
In addition, the Hormonal changes during pregnancy can decrease lower esophageal sphincter tone (esophageal reflux) causing symptoms of indigestion and dyspepsia.
Pregnancy Health Section
Pregnancy Related Causes of Abdominal Pain
Non-Pregnancy Related Causes of Lower Abdominal Pain
- Acute appendicitis — Appendicitis is the most common cause of right quadrant, lower abdominal pain that requires surgery during pregnancy. The most symptom of appendicitis, is low grade fever and right lower quadrant pain.
The good news is most women will experience mild abdominal discomfort throughout their pregnancy that occasionally occurs from the uterus stretching, from gas or even from constipation.
Treating Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy Trimesters
Lower back pain during pregnancy is a common complaint of every pregnant woman since it is an inevitable part and parcel of pregnancy. Some women experience back pain only towards the end of their pregnancy term, while others may have to bear with it right from the first trimester. Some women are also known to experience back pain for several months after delivery.
.common symptom during pregnancy and even a slightly strenuous activity can cause a strain on a range of muscles in the body resulting in various aches and pains, especially lower back pain during pregnancy – first trimestere
Furthermore, the hormone relaxin that flows freely through the blood stream during pregnancy starts loosening the ligaments in the pelvic region in anticipation of childbirtht This causes the bones to move slightly, out of alignment and this in turn leads to lower back paini As the uterus expands and the baby continues to grow, the ligaments that hold the uterus in place tend to get stretchede Hence, mild abdominal pain and back pain is experiencede The pressure exerted on the pelvic floor muscles is also bound to affect the normal functioning of the bodyd As the pregnancy progresses, weight gain is expectede The tummy begins to grow outwards and this alters the expectant woman's centre of gravityt In order to balance herself, the woman tilts backwards while working, walking or sittingn
This causes an inapt change in posture resulting in lower back pain during pregnancy, second trimestere The third trimester sees a larger increase in weight and hence, the problem of lower back pain during pregnancy, third trimester worsensn In addition to these factors, the uterus tends to exert pressure on the sciatic nerve in the back as it becomes larger and heaviere This more often than not, is responsible for sharp lower back pain during pregnancyc The pressure exerted on this crucial nerve is also known to result in pain in the buttocks, thighs and sometimes even travels down the legsg At times, it may even cause either left side lower back pain during pregnancy or right side lower back pain during pregnancy depending on the impact of the pressurer Stretches for lower back pain during pregnancy may be beneficial but it is always better to start an exercise schedule only after consulting your doctor with regard to the samem Towards the end of the 40 week long term, cramping and lower back pain during pregnancy must be expectede This could be a sign of labor and must not be ignorede
Left vs. Right Abdominal Pain and Back Pain In Men and Women: What Does It Mean?
Abdominal pain and back pain are some of the most common types of pain in men and women. The pain can feel like dull aches in the left or right abdomen, or sharp, jabbing pains in your lower belly or pelvic area. Many women experience abdominal cramping and low back pain as part of their menstrual cycle. It’s not unusual for the pain to radiate to other areas of your body. For example, pain could start in the middle of your back and spread to your flank or groin.
Many vital organs are located below your ribcage and around your belly that can cause pain if inflamed. For example, your digestive system, kidneys, liver, and heart can all be a source of abdominal pain and back pain. Along with abdominal pain and back pain, you may have other accompanying symptoms. For example, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal tenderness, and unexplained weight loss can happen with abdominal pain.
Knowing the exact cause of left or right abdominal pain or back pain can be a challenge. However, finding out the reason for back pain or abdominal pain is important because it can be a sign of a serious medical condition. For example, the upper abdominal pain associated with heartburn can mimic heart attack pain. Or, lower right-side belly pain may be trapped gas or could be a symptom of appendicitis.
In this article, you will learn what it means if you have left abdominal pain, right abdominal pain, or back pain. You will also find useful advice on how to treat the pain and when you should see a doctor for your symptoms.
Right vs. Left Back Pain
Left or right back pain is a common condition that most of us will suffer from at some point. Muscle strain, poor posture, a herniated disc, and damage to the spine can all be a source of chronic back pain. This can result in sharp pains when moving, or dull constant aching in the lower back when sitting or standing for a long time. Many studies point to the fact that instances of chronic lower back pain are on the rise.
Also, women are affected more by back pain than men. A study from 2015 found that cases of chronic lower back pain in women are about 50% higher than in men. 1 Changes during the menstrual cycle, ovulation, pregnancy, and fibroids can cause sharp, intermittent jabbing back pains.
The cause of left back pain or right back pain can often be determined by its location.
Upper Left Back Pain vs. Upper Right Back Pain
Your upper and middle back is the area of your back from the base of your neck to your lower ribcage. This is often called the thoracic region of the spine. Muscles and ligaments are attached to your ribs that help support your spine. Also, discs in your spine act as shock absorbers to help prevent inflammation and damage to your spinal vertebrae.
Upper left back pain or upper right back pain is usually caused by overuse, muscle strain, or injury to part of your musculoskeletal system. Here are some of the most common causes of upper right or left back pain:
- Poor posture puts extra strain on your upper or middle back causing muscle tightness and stiffness.
- A herniated disc in your thoracic spinal area can result in sharp pain in your middle back that can affect your mobility.
- Osteoarthritis causes extra wear and tear on the spine causing intense back pain that radiates to the left or right side of the back.
- Trauma or injury to your back can cause varying degrees of back pain depending on the extent of the trauma and damage to your ribs or spine.
Some of the associated symptoms of upper back pain include:
- Weakness in your arms or legs
- A tingling sensation or even numbness in your upper back, legs, arms, or chest
- General discomfort in the upper back that feels like aching throbs
- Stiffness that causes painful movement or even reduced mobility
- Pain that feels like electric shocks that radiate to your arms, stomach, chest, or legs
Very often, strengthening your upper back helps to alleviate back pain because less pressure is put on your spine and lower back.
Lower Right Back Pain
Back pain in the lower right-hand side can cause pain that can feel from anything like a dull ache to severe debilitating pain. You might even have lower right back pain that causes shooting pains down your right leg. In fact, lower back pain (or, lumbar pain) on the right side or left side is one of the most common types of back pain.
Some of the symptoms of lower right back pain include:
- Stiffness in your right lumbar region
- Pain that radiates from your lower back to your groin
- Burning sensation when you urinate (if one of your kidneys has an infection)
- Sharp pains that radiate down your leg
Let’s look briefly at some of the causes of lower right back pain in men and women.
Pulled muscle or muscle strain
A pulled muscle in your right lumbar region can be a cause of extreme pain in your lower right back. Some of the common reasons why people pull muscles in their lower back include lifting heavy items or carrying heavy bags. You can also strain your back muscles and suffer from chronic lower back is if you have poor posture.
Sciatica refers to a trapped nerve in your lower back and usually causes stabbing pains on just one side of your back. The sciatic nerve runs from your lower back down the length of your leg. If your sciatic nerve in your lower right back becomes trapped, you can feel shooting sharp pains in your back and down your right leg. This can also cause a burning sensation in your buttocks.
For more information on how to treat sciatica, please read my article on tricks to outsmart sciatica pain. You can also find out how to use a tennis ball to get rid of lower back pain or try these yoga poses or these stretches to relieve sciatic nerve pain.
There are many joints in your lower back that can result in aching discomfort or severe pain if they become inflamed and irritated. For example, a herniated disc or degenerative disc disease (DDD) can cause excruciating lower back pain because of the vertebrae in your lower back rubbing together.
Also, Sacroiliac joint dysfunction can cause inflammation in your lower back resulting in aching lower back pain on the right side or left side.
Your kidneys are located in your middle back and kidney stones can cause pain that radiates to your lower back or groin. If the kidney stones are in the right kidney, you may have sudden sharp pains in your lower back when they move.
Other reasons for lower right back pain include:
Of course, many of the above causes of lower right back pain can also affect the lower left back. For more information on how to resolve many issues that cause aches, pain, and discomfort in your right lower back, please see my article on how to treat lower right back pain.
Lower Left Back Pain
Many of the symptoms of lower left back pain are similar to pain that you might feel on the right side. Wear and tear on the joints, ligaments, and muscles in your left lumbar region can greatly affect your day-to-day activities. This can cause acute lower left back pain if you damage a disc, or intense chronic left lumbar pain if you suffer from damaged discs.
Some of the symptoms of lower left back pain include:
- Pain and general discomfort in your lower back while bending over or getting up
- Stinging pain that radiates from the lower left back down your left leg or to your left buttock
- Pain that intensifies after prolonged sitting
- Aching in the left pelvic or groin area
Let’s look briefly at some of the common reasons for left back pain that affects the lower back.
Injury to lower left back
Any kind of injury to your lower left back will cause varying degrees of pain. If the injury is slight, you might just have an ache or dull pain for a day or two. However, if damage has occurred to the joints or ligaments in your lower back, the pain may be severe and constant and become chronic low back pain.
Some common reasons for injury to your lower back include:
The vertebrae in your spine are cushioned by small jelly-like discs that support your spine. If a disc ruptures, it can cause severe agonizing pains in your lower left back or right lumbar area. The pain from your lower back can also spread down your left leg. Usually, strengthening your core muscles may help to prevent herniated disc because your spine has better support.
Ankylosing spondylitis causes nagging to intense pain in your lower back and spine. The lower back pain is caused by inflammation when vertebrae in your spine fuse together. This can also affect your range of movement and cause pain when you are sitting or walking.
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
Your sacroiliac joint (SI joint) is the joint between the triangular-shaped bone at the base of your spine and pelvic bone. Conditions like arthritis, inflammation, or wear and tear can cause the joint to widen and become irritated. The aching pains caused by SI joint dysfunction from your left lower back can radiate to your thigh, buttocks, and groin.
Other reasons for lower left back pain include:
Right and Left Back Pain in Women
As mentioned at the start of the article, women suffer from lower back pain more frequently than men. Part of the reason is due to the pelvic structure of women and reproductive organs in the pelvic area.
You may experience lower back pain as well as abdominal cramping in the few days before or after the start of your period. The pain in your pelvic area occurs due to the uterus contracting as well as other hormonal changes in your body.
Some of the other symptoms of lower back pain and premenstrual syndrome include:
- Nausea and possibly vomiting
- Pain that radiates from your groin down your legs
Ovarian cysts are considered a normal part of the menstrual cycle. However, if the cysts on your ovaries become enlarged or rupture, you may feel intense sharp pains in your lower back. The pain is usually felt on either side of your abdomen but radiates to your back.
Along with abdominal cramping and lower back pain, ovarian cysts may cause:
Endometriosis is a common condition that causes sharp shooting pains in the left or right lower back in women. Endometriosis occurs when the endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus. The pain that endometriosis causes is usually felt along with premenstrual pain and can intensify menstrual cramping and aches.
Other symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Pain while urinating or having a bowel movement
- Excessive vaginal bleeding
- Difficulty getting pregnant
- Abdominal pain
- Diarrhea or constipation
Lower back pain and pregnancy
Pain that is only felt on one side of the lower back often occurs during pregnancy. Pregnancy can affect your posture resulting in increased pressure on your lower back. As your baby grows and becomes heavier, your lower back is put under constant strain. Also, hormonal changes in your body affect the joints in your pelvic area which can become irritated and painful.
Abdominal Pain: Right Side vs. Left Side
Many organs in your abdominal area can be a source of pain in your lower chest, belly, or just above your pelvic area. Some causes of pain only affect one side or the other side. For example, appendicitis and gallstones generally cause right-sided abdominal pain. However, heart-related problems and diverticulitis can cause upper abdominal pain on the left side.
Doctors generally divide the abdominal area into 4 sections or quadrants:
- Left upper abdominal area. From the lower left ribcage to the navel. Also referred to as the left upper quadrant (LUQ).
- Right upper abdominal area. From the lower right ribcage to the navel. Referred to as the right upper (RUQ).
- Left lower abdominal area. The left area of your belly from below your navel to the top of your groin. Also called left lower quadrant (LLQ).
- Right lower abdominal area. The right side of your belly below your navel to the top of your right pelvic area. Referred to as right lower quadrant (RLQ).
Women can also experience lower abdominal pain caused by the menstrual cycle, infections in their reproductive organs, or other issues with the uterus, ovaries, or fallopian tubes. Very often the abdominal pain that women have is just felt in either the left lower quadrant or right lower quadrant.
Upper Left Abdominal Pain: Main Causes
Your upper left abdominal area or LUQ contains your stomach, spleen, left kidney, left lung, part of your liver and part of your pancreas. Even though your heart is located in your left upper chest, cardiac related pain can often radiate to your upper left abdominal area.
Most pain related to your heart is felt on the left side of your chest. However, because your heart is located near the left upper quadrant, pains caused by cardiac-related issues can feel like upper left abdominal pain. The warning signs of a heart attack include squeezing pains on your left side that radiate to your neck, jaw, and left arm. Angina pains may be similar.
Symptoms that accompany heart attack or angina pains include:
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling of intense pressure in your chest
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and indigestion
If you suspect that your upper left abdominal pains are coming from your heart, you should call the emergency services immediately.
You might feel pain in the upper part of your left abdomen if you have indigestion or heartburn. Heartburn (or acid reflux) occurs when some of the acidic juices in your stomach escape up your esophagus. This can cause a painful burning sensation in your abdominal area and chest.
Other symptoms of heartburn or acid reflux include:
Doctors warn that sometimes the symptoms of a heart attack can be similar to heartburn. Heartburn can also cause burning chest pains in your upper middle abdomen or right upper abdomen.
Problems with your left kidney like urinary tract infections and kidney stones can cause upper left abdominal and flank pain. In many cases, the pain from kidney infections can be severe and is often also felt in the upper back. Kidney problems can also cause pain that spreads anywhere from one side of your upper abdomen or back to your groin.
Other related symptoms of kidney problems can include:
- Burning sensation when you pee
- Passing cloudy pee or noticing some blood in your urine
- Severe spasm-like pain in your flank (if you have kidney stones)
- A fever and chills
- Feeling nauseous and vomiting
Of course, if your right kidney is affected, then the above painful symptoms will be felt anywhere on your upper right abdomen to your groin.
Inflammation of the spleen
Your spleen is located in the LUQ and any inflammation in your spleen can result in pain just below your lower left ribs. Inflammation of the spleen is often caused by trauma to your left back or abdomen or a viral infection. In some cases, if your spleen ruptures, the pain will be sudden and severe in your upper left abdomen.
Problems that affect your left lung can cause upper left abdominal pain that can come on suddenly and be very severe. Some common painful lung problems include:
Some of the painful symptoms of lung problems include:
- Upper abdominal pain or chest pain that gets worse when you breathe deeply or cough
- Signs of a fever like aches, headaches, shivering, and chills (if you have a lung infection)
- Shortness of breath
For more information on causes of pain that affect your upper left quadrant, please see my article on how to treat pain on the left side.
Lower left Abdominal Pain: Main Causes
Your lower left abdominal area contains part of your colon. Therefore, many causes of LLQ pain are connected with your digestive system. In fact, digestive problems often cause pain on your left side because your stomach is in the LUQ.
If you have difficulty passing stools or you pass hard lumpy stool, constipation can cause cramping and stabbing pains in your lower left abdomen. Of course, depending on where the constipation occurs, you might have belly pain on the left side.
Along with finding it difficult to have a bowel movement, constipation can also cause the following:
- Straining to pass stools
- Having a bowel movement fewer than 3 times a week
- Bloating and pelvic cramping
Another digestive problem that can cause pain in the lower left abdominal area is trapped gas. A buildup of gas in your stomach or the left part of your colon can cause jabbing pains that occur suddenly. Usually, the best way to get rid of the pain that trapped gas causes is to pass gas.
Having trapped gas may also cause these symptoms:
- A knotted feeling in your lower left or lower right abdomen
- Cramping abdominal pains that make you clutch your stomach
- Swelling in your abdomen with signs of bloating
- Chest pain
Gastroenteritis is sometimes called the stomach flu and can be a reason for painful left-sided abdominal cramping and diarrhea. Viral infections are usually to blame for the stomach bug. They can make you feel very ill and can cause pain in your left or right lower abdominal area.
Gastroenteritis can also cause the following symptoms:
Diverticulitis is another digestive issue that can result in left-sided pain in your lower abdominal area. Although diverticulitis can affect any part of your colon, it generally causes aches and pains around the left side of your belly. Diverticulitis occurs when small, bulging pouches called diverticula form in the lining of the digestive tract and become infected.
The other symptoms of diverticulitis include:
- Tenderness in your lower left quadrant
- Signs of an infection like fever and chills
- Constipation or diarrhea
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Cramping belly pains on your left side could be a sign of irritable bowel syndrome. IBS is one reason why your digestion doesn’t work properly and seems to be connected to a sensitive gut. IBS causes cramping abdominal pains especially after eating. Many people find that finding out what foods trigger their IBS and then avoiding them can help manage the symptoms.
IBS also causes:
- Passing greasy stools
- Excessive gas
- Feeling like you still have to empty your bowels after passing stool
You can find more information on lower left abdominal pain in my article on causes and treatments for lower left abdominal pain.
Upper Right Abdominal Pain: Main Causes
Your upper right quadrant contains your gallbladder, pancreas, and your liver. Let’s look briefly at some of the symptoms of conditions that can affect those organs.
Your gallbladder helps to break down fatty foods by storing bile that the liver produces. Sometimes, a buildup of cholesterol can cause gallstones to form. These tiny stones can cause sudden severe abdominal pain just below your right ribs.
Other symptoms of gallstones include:
- Pain in the RUQ that spreads to the shoulder blade
- Sharp crampy pains in your right abdomen after eating fatty foods
- Fever and signs of infection if the gallstones have caused a serious obstruction
Your pancreas is also connected to your gallbladder and helps digest food and control blood sugar levels. Inflammation of the pancreas will cause upper abdominal pain on the right side. You may find that the pain also radiates to your back. Mild cases of pancreatitis usually resolve by themselves.
Other symptoms that may indicate your pancreas is inflamed include:
- Upper right abdominal pain that is worse after eating
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Tenderness in the RUQ
- Passing stools with mucus
- Unexplained weight loss (in cases of chronic pancreatitis)
The largest part of your liver is located in the right upper quadrant. Although the liver itself doesn’t become painful, conditions that lead to an enlarged liver can cause cramping aches in the upper right abdomen.
Some symptoms that occur with liver disease are:
- Yellowing of the skin (jaundice)
- General feeling of being unwell
- Tenderness in the upper right abdomen
- Losing weight without trying
For more information on right-sided abdominal pain, please see my article on possible causes and treatments for pain on the right side.
Lower Right Abdominal Pain: Main Causes
Although many of the digestive issues that affect your lower abdomen can affect both sides, there are a few conditions that generally cause right-sided abdominal pain.
Crohn’s disease is a symptom of inflammatory bowel syndrome and can cause discomfort anywhere in your digestive system. However, lower abdominal pain on the right side occurs with Crohn’s disease more often than on the left side.
Other symptoms of Crohn’s disease include:
- Leaky anus and diarrhea
- Intestinal ulcers that may cause blood with stools
- Unexplained weight loss
- Pain around the rectum
Inflammation of the appendix can quickly become a medical emergency if you don’t get the proper medical attention. RLQ pain associated with appendicitis starts off as cramping aches that become more intense. The pain can become constant and intense as the inflammation gets worse.
Along with appendicitis, you may also experience:
- Tenderness in the right lower quadrant when you press on the area
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Nausea and vomiting
You can get more helpful information about appendicitis in my article about appendicitis pain and its location.
Middle Abdominal Pain: Main Causes
There are a number of conditions that can cause pain in the middle of your abdomen.
Although the classic symptoms of appendicitis are severe aches and cramping in the lower right abdomen, appendicitis pain usually starts off around your belly button. The lower middle abdominal pain gets worse as it spread to the RLQ.
The majority of hernias occur around the lower abdominal area and groin and can cause a noticeable bulge. Hernias happen when part of an organ or tissue protrudes through the abdominal wall. Depending on where a hernia occurs in the middle of your lower abdomen, you may have mild to severe pain, although many hernias aren’t painful at all.
Other causes of abdominal pain in the middle of your belly include:
- Trapped gas
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Urinary tract infections
- Any kind of digestive upset
For more information on pain affecting the middle of your belly, please see my article on the causes of pain around your belly button.
Right and Left Abdominal Pain in Females
Issues connected with a woman’s reproductive organs usually cause cramping and aches in the lower abdomen. Although, as already mentioned in the article, they can also be a cause of low back pain.
Right and left lower abdominal pain in women can be the result of painful ovulation (also called Mittelschmerz). Depending on which ovary releases the egg, the pain will be felt on that side of the pelvic area. The cramping usually happens about 2 weeks before the start of your next period and can last for up to 2 or 3 days.
Along with pelvic cramping on your left or right side, ovulation can cause the following symptoms:
Cramping associated with the menstrual period affects many women and can cause severe lower abdominal cramping that lasts a few days. For some women, the abdominal pain starts just after ovulation and continues 2 or 3 days into their period. Painful cramping associated with menstruation can also cause low back pain.
Premenstrual symptoms also include:
- Mood swings
- Increased food cravings
- Weight gain due to water retention
- Changes in sleep patterns
Fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) lumps that can grow on the uterus and cause pelvic pain and cramping. Fibroids can be the size of tiny seeds or they can grow large enough to push the uterus against the ribcage.
Many time, fibroids don’t have any noticeable symptoms. However, if they become large, they may cause some of the following symptoms:
- Heavy irregular menstrual bleeding
- Menstrual periods that last longer than 7 days
- Frequent urge to pee
- Lower back pain and/or pain down the legs
Other causes of abdominal pain in women include:
- Ovarian cysts
- Pelvic congestion syndrome
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
To find out ways to treat abdominal pain in women, please see my article on the causes and treatment methods for female abdominal pain.
Left vs. Right Side Abdominal Pain in Women Caused by Pregnancy
It is normal to have occasional left or right side abdominal pains during pregnancy. As your baby grows, changes in the uterus and pelvic area can cause extra pressure in your lower abdomen that causes mild abdominal cramping.
In the early stages of pregnancy, the abdominal cramps may feel worse when you sneeze, cough, or change position.
During the second and third trimester of pregnancy, occasional cramping can occur due to hormonal changes and muscles that stretch.
Some common reasons for left or right side abdominal pain in pregnancy include:
- Round ligament pain
- Increase levels of the hormone relaxin that cause the pelvis to relax more
- Braxton Hicks contractions
Serious causes of abdominal pain during pregnancy usually result in severe cramping that occurs frequently. Most doctors agree that you should talk to your healthcare advisor about any severe cramping you experience at any stage of your pregnancy.
Right or Left Abdominal Pain in Men
Let’s look at the 2 most common causes of abdominal pain in the lower abdomen that affect men.
Testicular torsion and lower abdominal pain
Testicular torsion describes the condition where one of the testicles rotates in the scrotum and cuts off the blood supply to the scrotum.
According to emergency medical consultant Dr. Timothy Rupp, the most common symptom of testicular torsion is severe scrotal pain that radiates to the lower abdomen. You may also have nausea and vomiting from the intense pelvic pain.
You should see a doctor immediately if you have sudden testicle pain as testicular torsion is a medical emergency.
Although inguinal hernia can affect anyone, it mostly happens in males of any age. Inguinal hernias cause lower abdominal pain when part of the small intestine pushes through the inguinal canal in the groin.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases reports that an inguinal hernia will cause a noticeable bulge in the lower abdomen. Other symptoms of an inguinal hernia are:
- Pain or discomfort in the groin that gets worse if you strain, lift something heavy, or exercise
- Burning sensation or constant aching in the groin
- Enlarged scrotum
When to See a Doctor
Most cases of abdominal pain or back pain are not signs of anything serious. The pain should go away in a short space of time and not be severe. However, abdominal pain or back pain can be a symptom of something more serious.
If you have pain in your upper body along with the following symptoms, you should see a doctor:
- Severe pain anywhere in your abdomen or back that doesn’t go away
- The pain is accompanied by nausea and/or vomiting
- Any area of your abdomen is tender to touch
- You have signs of redness around the painful area on your back or abdomen
- Back pain causes tingling in your legs below your knees
- You have unexplained weight loss with any type of pain
- You think that your upper abdominal left-sided pain is cardiac-related
Read these related articles:
Http://sites. google. com/site/rosemarienorbertganet/severe-cramping-and-lower-back-pain-during-pregnancy
Http://www. womenshealthcaretopics. com/preg_abdominal_pain. htm
Http://www. pregnancy-baby-care. com/conditions-during-pregnancy/lower-back-pain-during-pregnancy. html
Http://www. healthyandnaturalworld. com/left-or-right-back-abdominal-pain/