The flank is an area located between the hip and the rib cage. There are several diseases and conditions causing a lot of pain on the left flank. Additionally, these conditions and disorders may become mild or severe and may eventually cause the patient to be incapacitated if it is left untreated for a long time. The following section discusses the causes and treatment of the left flank pain.
Urinary Tract Disorders
It is possible that urinary tract disorders can cause a lot of pain in the left flank. These disorders are obstruction of the Urethra and the urinary tract infections. A urinary tract infection is accompanied by the frequent need to urinate and can be accompanied by pain. Urethral obstruction is a severe disorder by a urethral stone which normally cause pain on both flanks.
Disorders in the kidney are known to cause pain in the left flank. These disorders are renal inflammation, renal cyst and urinary tract infections that have just moved to the kidney. Although doctors argue that kidney cancer causes the pain, it generally it doesn’t occur suddenly, but accompanied by hematuria, that is blood stains within the urinary tract.
Diverticulitis normally occurs when traces of bacteria are trapped within the small pouches in the walls of small colon, therefore, causing inflammation. Typical symptoms include fever, diarrhea, nausea, bloating, pain and constipation. Diverticulitis can cause pain in the left flank, though accompanied by other symptoms of the disease.
Left flank pain may also be caused by the gastrointestinal diseases. These include abscesses, viruses, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers and food poisoning. These diseases will normally present together with other gastrointestinal symptoms, but can cause other abdominal discomfort and bilateral flank pain other than left flank pain.
There are several other causes of the left flank pain, and these include shingles, chest disease and pancreatitis. Chest diseases such as pulmonary embolism or heart disease may cause pain that usually radiates to the left flank. Pancreatitis may also cause the left flank pain in conjunction with body fever, rapid pulse and a tender abdomen. On the other hand, shingles may contribute to the left flank pain accompanied by the blistering rash all over the body.
When to Consult a Doctor
Individuals with the left flank pain are advised to see a doctor immediately if they experience unexplained pain and bloody urine which is usually accompanied by vomiting, nausea and a body fever.
In order to investigate left flank pain, doctors normally use several medical tests such as x-ray on the lower spine, urinalysis or the use of computerized tomography scan on the abdominal. All these tests can be conducted, and results conveyed within a shortest time possible.
Treatment For Flank Pain Left Side
Doctors treat patients with the left flank pain normally according to the cause and then prescribe physical therapy to cure muscle spasms or spinal arthritis and prescribe antibiotics for kidney infections treatment. Additionally, patients can take pain medications or anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve the flank pain.