Side Pain – Classification, Symptoms, Types, Diagnostics, and Treatment

Pain in the side (Side Pain) is a nonspecific symptom of many diseases of the abdominal cavity, retroperitoneal space, and small pelvis. To determine the cause of side pain, the location and nature of the pain syndrome, as well as the conditions for its occurrence, and its combination with other symptoms, are important. The diagnosis is established taking into account clinical and physical data, ultrasound, endoscopic, X-ray, laboratory studies. The tactics of treatment are determined by the underlying pathology: for gastroenterological diseases, a diet, drug therapy is prescribed; in case of surgical pathology, urgent or planned surgical intervention is indicated.

Side Pain - Classification, Symptoms, Types, Diagnostics, and Treatment

Classification of side pain

Side Pain in the lateral parts of the abdomen occurs with diseases of the digestive system, urinary excretion, and the reproductive sphere. These pathologies can have an inflammatory, tumor, traumatic etiology, functional or organic genesis. By localization, pain in the side is divided into:

  1. pain in the left hypochondrium ;
  2. pain in the right hypochondrium ;
  3. pain in the left iliac region (side);
  4. pain in the right iliac region (side).


Side pain in the left hypochondrium

Topographically, the spleen, jejunum, partly the stomach and pancreas are located in the left hypochondrium. The defeat of these organs is always accompanied by the development of pain syndrome. Pain in the left hypochondrium is characteristic of pancreatitis, gastritis, gastric ulcer, eunitis. The pains are of a different nature and intensity and may occur on an empty stomach or after eating. Usually accompanied by dyspeptic symptoms (vomiting, nausea, belching).

Pain in the left hypochondrium can also signal spleen diseases: heart attack, abscess, organ rupture. Reflected pain in the left hypochondrium occurs with left-sided lower lobe pneumonia, pleurisy, rib fractures.


Side Pain in the right hypochondrium

In the right hypochondrium, the duodenum, liver, gallbladder, hepatic flexure of the colon are localized. The most common cause of pain in the hypochondrium on the right is duodenitis, cholecystitis, gallstone disease, hepatitis, biliary dyskinesia.

In the hypochondrium, side pain from the right half of the chest can radiate with pleurisy, pneumonia, intercostal neuralgia. For pain in the right side, pathological processes in the kidney, adrenal gland, and diaphragm can be masked. Pain in the right hypochondrium often occurs with the abdominal form of myocardial infarction.


Side Pain in the left side

The left iliac region is the seat of a part of the small intestine, sigmoid colon, urogenital organs – the left ureter, ovary and fallopian tube. With pain in this area, combined with digestive disorders, first of all, one should think about intestinal diseases – sigmoiditis, diverticulitis, tumors of the descending colon and sigmoid colon.

In women, the likely cause of pain in the left side may be an exacerbation of left-sided adnexitis. Pain in the pathology of the kidneys and urinary tract can radiate to the left iliac region: urolithiasis, pyelonephritis, urethritis.


Pain in the right side

In the right ileum are the ileum, cecum, appendix. Also here is the right ureter, in women – the appendages. Any pathological processes and injuries to these organs can cause the right side pain.

Pain in the right iliac region is typical for bowel diseases: ileitis, appendicitis, colitis. It can occur with tumors of the ascending colon and cecum. Pain in bowel diseases is often combined with stool disorders (diarrhea, constipation, the presence of pathological impurities in the feces).

Pain in the right side in women may be an indicator of right-sided salpingo-oophoritis, torsion of the ovarian cyst leg, ectopic pregnancy. Sharp soreness in the iliac region is characteristic of right-sided renal colic, accompanied by the discharge of calculi. Possible causes of pain in the right side are an inguinal or femoral hernia.


Causes of pain in the side

Pain in the right side:

  • liver disease, pain develops when the membrane of the organ and nearby organs is damaged. In the early stages of pathology, the patient does not experience discomfort. As the disease progresses, painful sensations, dryness, and peeling of the skin, dysfunction of the intestinal tract, dizziness attacks, and decreased appetite progress. Pain occurs when a large number of liver cells die off;
  • dyskinesia implies a violation of the motility of the biliary tract. It is accompanied by dull pains on the right under the ribs that occur after eating or exercising. It is characterized by a bitter taste, an unpleasant odor in the mouth;
  • biliary colic, develop in the absence of treatment of stones in the biliary tract. The pain syndrome is given to the lumbar region. Possible angina pectoris ;
  • cholecystitis implies painful sensations of a dull nature in the right hypochondrium. Chronic inflammation of the gallbladder is accompanied by bloating and diarrhea. More often diagnosed in women over 45;
  • disruption of the pancreas;
  • typhlitis, implies an inflammatory process of the rectum. It develops with the frequent use of alcoholic beverages, semi-finished products, diseases of the intestinal tract, infections . Painful sensations arise 3 to 4 hours after eating. It is accompanied by nausea and diarrhea;
  • appendicitis, implies inflammation of the appendix, painful sensations spread to the iliac region, aggravated by coughing. It is difficult for the patient to independently determine the focus of the pain syndrome.

Pain in the left side:

  • irritable bowel syndrome, in addition to side pain, is accompanied by stagnation of feces or diarrhea. There is mucus in the stool. Patients complain of a feeling of incomplete emptying;
  • Crohn’s disease , implies chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, develops when the immune system is disrupted, the spread of an infectious pathogen. It is accompanied by chronic fatigue, fever , lack of appetite;
  • colitis of an ulcerative nature, in addition to side pain, is accompanied by diarrhea with blood impurities. It is characterized by increased body temperature, rapid fatigue . It develops with frequent smoking, improper medication;
  • spleen infarction , develops when the blood channels are blocked. It is accompanied by sharp painful sensations in the side, which spread to the lower region of the intestinal tract. Develops with blood diseases, physical damage, sepsis;
  • spleen abscess progresses with infectious and purulent diseases, organ trauma. It is accompanied by a sharp pain syndrome, chills, tachycardia ;
  • spleen volvulus, more commonly diagnosed in women. It is accompanied by vomiting, pain in the left side, loss of consciousness;
  • ovarian disease in women, progressing during menstruation, intense physical exertion, accompanied by dysfunction of the bladder;
  • intercostal neuralgia , accompanied by acute pain that interferes with breathing. Implies squeezing or inflammation of the intercostal nerve endings. It develops with hypothermia or an infectious disease.


Types of side pain

Depending on the nature of the painful sensations, doctors distinguish the following types:

  • dull painful sensations imply a gradual increase in the intensity of the discomfort. They also disappear gradually. Evidence of chronic diseases of the abdominal organs;
  • sharp pains, discomfort occurs suddenly, have a cutting or stabbing character. Indicates hepatic colic. an acute type of pain is distinguished by a pronounced severity;
  • aching pains are diagnosed more often than others. Feels like a feeling of heaviness. Accompanying diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and gallbladder;
  • The cramping nature of pain implies a different intensity of the discomfort. Indicates diseases of the intestinal tract.



To establish the exact cause of the onset of painful sensations, the doctor conducts a visual examination. Abrasions indicate possible damage to internal organs. The inflammatory process in the renal system can be palpated. The patient is referred for x-rays, ultrasound, computed tomography, and MRI. If necessary, appoint a consultation with other specialists.


Side pain treatment

The course of treatment is made by the doctor based on the cause of the syndrome. If the gallbladder is damaged, the patient is advised to give up fatty and spicy foods. Medicines and folk recipes help to get rid of the pain. Restricting spices and coarse fiber will help cure bowel disease. With an exacerbation of pancreatitis, the patient needs fasting. The patient is prescribed reflexology, physiotherapy procedures. In severe cases, surgery is used.