Alternate Names : Flank Discomfort
The flanks are the sides of the abdomen, located between the ribs
and the pelvis, or hipbone. Flank pain refers to any pain or discomfort in this area.
What is going on in the body?
Flank pain usually only occurs on
one side, but may be mild or severe. There are many possible causes, ranging
from unimportant to serious.
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
There are many
possible causes of flank pain. Common causes include:
pyelonephritis, which is a
urinary tract infections, such as a bladder infection
irritable bowel syndrome, a
poorly understood condition which causes abdominal pain and irregular bowel
gallbladder pain due to gallstones
inflammation in the bowels, such as that caused by peptic ulcers or appendicitis
pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas
an enlarged or damaged spleen
a tumor or cancer inside the abdomen, such as colon cancer
Other causes are also possible. Sometimes a cause cannot be found.