Quadrants of abdominal pain

An Overview of Abdominal Pain in the Abdominal Quadrants

01 Aug 2021

Abdominal pain is a sharp, dull, achy, or cramp-like pain felt anywhere between the chest and the pelvic area. It is common due to simple reasons like indigestion or gas or severe conditions like diverticulitis.

Anatomists and specialists have divided the human abdomen into quadrants to study, diagnose and treat abdominal pain successfully.

These four abdomen regions are assessed to diagnose various conditions that may affect the organs present and cause severe abdominal pain.

Quadrants of the Abdomen and Their Indications

  • Right Upper Quadrant

This part of the abdomen is on the right side of the patient’s abdomen from the umbilical plane to the right rib cage. The organs found in the right upper quadrant are the gallbladder, liver, duodenum, upper part of the pancreas, right kidney, adrenal gland, and the colon’s hepatic fixture.

Pain in the right upper quadrant may be indicative of the following conditions:

  • Hepatitis
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Cholecystitis
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver conditions
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Gallbladder problems
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Pancreatic conditions
  • Right Lower Quadrant

It extends from the median plane to the right side of the abdomen, from the umbilical plane to the right inguinal ligament. Vital organs found in the right lower quadrant are the caecum, appendix, right Ureter, right ovary, fallopian tube, and ascending colon.

This part of the abdomen is assessed when diagnosing:

  • Appendicitis
  • Gas
  • Indigestion
  • Hernia
  • Kidney infection
  • Kidney stones
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Left Lower Quadrant

This is the area on the left of the midline below the umbilicus.  Vital organs found in this region are the left ureter, the descending colon, sigmoid colon, the left ovary, and the fallopian tube.

Pain in this quadrant may be caused by:

  • Colitis
  • Diverticulitis
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Ureteral colic
  • Difficile colitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Gas
  • Indigestion
  • Hernia
  • Kidney stones
  • Shingles
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Endometriosis
  • Ovarian cyst
  • Ovarian torsion
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Testicular torsion
  • Left Upper Quadrant

The left upper quadrant is on the left side of the abdomen from the umbilical plane to the left ribcage. The organs covered in this region are the spleen, stomach, the body of the pancreas, left kidney, adrenal gland, splenic flexure of the colon, parts of the transverse, and descending colon.

Conditions that may cause pain in the left upper quadrant of the abdomen requiring a visit to the emergency room in 77079 are:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Costochondritis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Broken or bruised ribs
  • Pericarditis
  • Kidney stones and infection
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Gastritis

When to Go to an Emergency Room for Abdominal Pain

You should go to an emergency room for abdominal pain or have someone urgently take you to an emergency room near you when your abdominal pain is related to an accident or injury.

Emergency room visits for abdominal pain may save your life when some of the symptoms below accompany your abdominal pain. They are:

  • Fever above 101 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Bloody stool
  • Dark or black stool
  • Lightheadedness that leads to fainting
  • Severe tenderness in the area that pains
  • Swelling of the affected area
  • Yellow-looking skin
  • Persistent nausea and vomiting blood
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Unexplainable weight loss
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Pain while urinating or passing stool
  • Inability to have bowel movement accompanied by vomiting

Abdominal pain accompanied by some pre-existing medical conditions requires immediate attention at a Houston emergency clinic or an ER near you. Some of these conditions are:

  • Pregnancy
  • Abdominal pain or chest tightness in individuals above 45 years old
  • After gastric by-pass surgery, colostomy or bowel resection
  • Recent abdominal surgery or endoscopy

ER Abdominal Pain Diagnosis

When you visit the emergency room for abdominal pain, the doctors will carry out some diagnoses to determine the cause of the pain. The common ones are:

  • Abdominal X-ray
  • Abdominal CT scan
  • Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography
  • Abdominal Ultrasound

Emergency Room Abdominal Pain Treatment

After diagnosing your abdominal pain, effective and appropriate treatment begins based on your diagnosis, health history, and severity of the pain. Then the doctor will prescribe or administer medication that will treat the cause of your abdominal pain.

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