The 4 Quadrants of Abdominal Pain and When You Should Seek Medical Attention

The 4 Quadrants of Abdominal Pain and When You Should Seek Medical Attention

Dec 06, 2021

Abdominal pain or discomfort is one of the most common reasons why people visit a 24-hour emergency room. The pain may be located in the upper abdomen (above the navel) or the lower abdomen (below the navel).

Acute abdominal pain is constant and severe, and it may feel like sharp or dull cramping. The pain can worsen with movement or breath-holding.

The following are some of the many causes of acute abdominal pain:

  • Gallstones
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Appendicitis
  • Hernia
  • Kidney stones
  • Constipation

What is Abdominal Pain?

The abdomen is the part of the body between the chest and pelvis. Abdominal pain is discomfort in this region caused by stomach problems such as gastroenteritis, ulcers, and intestinal obstruction, among other conditions.

Stomach pain can misleadingly be labeled as an abdominal problem when it originates from a different organ in the abdomen, such as a kidney stone or a peptic ulcer. In this case, an individual may have pain in their back instead of their stomach. Pain originating from the stomach region can be dangerous, and it is advisable to visit a stomach pain emergency room if you have severe pain.

What are the Quadrants of Abdominal Pain?

Abdominal pain is a common symptom and can be caused by different reasons. It is important to know the four quadrants of abdominal pain.

The quadrants of abdominal pain are:

  • Quadrant 1 is the upper right part below the bottom of the ribs and above the navel.
  • Quadrant 2 is the upper left area, below the bottom of the ribs
  • Quadrant 3 is the lower left part of the abdomen
  • Quadrant 4 refers to pain in the lower right abdomen.

Important Factors of Differentiating Between Upper or Lower Abdominal Pain

When experiencing a case of abdominal pain, it is important to differentiate between upper and lower abdominal pain. Upper abdominal pain can be caused by several things, such as heartburn, ulcers, or a hiatal hernia.

In general, left-sided lower abdominal pain is usually caused by gastrointestinal problems such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), constipation, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Lower abdominal pain is generally more intense and will be felt in the lower right side of your stomach. Some of the contributing factors include whether or not you are experiencing symptoms, the type of symptoms present, your age, your family history, any pre-existing conditions you may have, among other things.

Lower abdominal pain can be caused by infection, menstrual pain, endometriosis, or even kidney stones.

It is crucial to seek emergency treatment for abdominal pain if you are vomiting blood, have bloody stools, or have stopped having bowel movements.

What Causes Abdominal Pain and Signs/Symptoms?

Abdominal pain symptoms include gas, constipation, kidney stones, appendicitis, liver disease, gallbladder disease, and more.

Several risk factors can increase the chance of developing abdominal pain or other digestive health concerns. These include a family history of these conditions or taking certain medications such as opiates for chronic pain relief.

When Should You Go to The ER for Abdominal Pain? 

Abdominal pain can be a symptom of several different health problems, and it is vital to know when to seek medical attention. Stomach aches can range anywhere from mild discomfort to severe pain. If you are experiencing stomach aches regularly, you should get urgent care or ER for abdominal pain.

  • A stomach ache involving vomiting, fever, or blood in the stool should be seen immediately by a physician
  • Colic or gas pains that occur on the upper right side of the abdomen may not require emergency care
  • Sudden onset of severe abdominal pain with nausea or vomiting may need immediate attention

Abdominal Pain Treatment

Abdominal pain treatment near you can vary based on the cause and type of pain.

But, regardless of the cause, you should never ignore abdominal pain, as it can quickly become serious if not treated right away. It’s also important to discuss your symptoms with your doctor to figure out what type of treatment will work best for you!

In most cases, the most effective way to relieve abdominal pain is to prescribe medication. These will help with inflammation and ease some of the discomforts that accompany stomach or intestinal issues like gas or bloating. Home remedies can also work great, but consult a doctor first before using them, especially if you don’t know the cause.

Take Action

Visit Express ER for assistance if you have severe, persistent, and unexplainable abdominal pain.

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