From a dull ache to a sharp, searing sensation, abdominal pain comes in many versions. It can be acute or chronic, intermittent or constant, and mildly annoying or debilitating. Given all these variables, how can you tell when your abdominal pain is something that will resolve on its own or if it requires professional medical attention?
The short answer is: You can’t.
The long answer is that abdominal pain is a symptom of many different conditions, and just because the pain is mild or intermittent doesn’t mean it’s not serious. While some types of abdominal pain need no medical attention whatsoever, the only way to know for sure whether your abdominal pain indicates a medical condition is to consult an expert like those on our team at Regency Pain & Therapy Institute in Mansfield, Texas.
Our experienced pain management physicians specialize in diagnosing and treating the root causes of abdominal pain so you can get back to your active life. Here are some clues about when to keep an eye on your abdominal pain at home and when to call us.
What abdominal pain indicates
Pain always means something’s wrong. It’s your body’s way of alerting you to a problem so you can give it attention and get help, if needed. Internal pain, like abdominal pain, can be tricky because you can’t see what’s going on inside.
The location, severity, and accompanying symptoms can give you a clue about what’s causing your pain, but it’s often just guesswork until you seek medical help. The list of potential causes is lengthy and includes more conditions than we can discuss meaningfully in this blog post, but here are some of the most common causes of abdominal pain:
- Kidney stones
- Urinary tract infections
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Depending on the underlying cause, symptoms can vary significantly. For example, you may experience nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and changes in bowel habits, to name a few.