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Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain that persists or seems unusual may require medical attention.

Types of Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain may be characterized as one of the following types of pain:

  • Generalized pain is abdominal pain felt in more than half of the abdomen. It is commonly caused by a stomach virus, indigestion, or virus. Severe pain may be caused by a blockage in the intestines.

  • Localized pain is abdominal pain in one part of the abdomen. It may be caused by an organ, such as the appendix, gallbladder, or stomach.

  • Cramp-like pain is typically caused by gas and bloating and often followed by diarrhea.
Woman with abdominal pain speaking to physician
Male patient with abdominal pain speaking to physician


  • Colicky pain is abrupt and leads to severe pain that comes in waves. This type of pain is typically caused by kidney stones and gallstones

Causes of Abdominal Pain

The following conditions may lead to abdominal pain:

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm

  • Appendicitis

  • Cholangitis


  • Cholecystitis

  • Cystitis

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis

  • Diverticulitis

  • Duodenitis

  • Ectopic pregnancy

  • Fecal impaction

  • Heart attack

  • Injury

  • Intestinal obstruction

  • Intussusception (in children)

  • Kidney infection

  • Kidney stones

  • Liver abscess

Man experiencing abdominal pain
  • Mesenteric ischemia

  • Mesenteric lymphadenitis

  • Mesenteric thrombosis

  • Pancreatitis

  • Pericarditis

  • Peritonitis

  • Pleurisy

  • Pneumonia

  • Pulmonary infarction

  • Ruptured spleen

  • Salpingitis

  • Sclerosing mesenteritis

  • Shingles

  • Spleen infection

  • Splenic abscess

  • Torn colon

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)

  • Viral gastroenteritis

The following conditions may cause chronic abdominal pain:

  • Angina

  • Celiac disease

  • Endometriosis

  • Functional dyspepsia

  • Gallstones

  • Gastritis

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

  • Hiatal hernia

  • Inguinal hernia

  • Irritable bowel syndrome

  • Mittelschmerz

  • Ovarian cysts

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

  • Peptic ulcer

  • Sickle cell anemia

  • Strained or pulled abdominal muscle

  • Ulcerative colitis

Progressive abdominal pain may be caused by the following conditions:

  • Cancer

  • Crohn’s disease

  • Enlarged spleen

  • Gallbladder cancer

  • Hepatitis

  • Kidney cancer

  • Lead poisoning

  • Liver cancer

  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

  • Pancreatic cancer

  • Stomach cancer

  • Tubo-ovarian abscess

  • Uremia

When to Seek Medical Attention for Abdominal Pain

Patients experiencing any of the following symptoms should call 911 or visit the emergency room:

  • Difficulty passing stool accompanied with vomiting

  • Vomiting blood

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Blood in the stool (bright red, maroon, or dark, tarry black)

  • Chest, neck, or shoulder pain

  • Tenderness in the belly

  • Rigid or hard to the touch belly

  • Sudden, sharp abdominal pain

  • Pain in, or between, the shoulder blades and nausea

It’s important to seek medical attention if patients experiencing abdominal pain are currently being treated for cancer, pregnant or could be pregnant, or had a recent injury to the abdomen.

Treatment Options

The right treatment for abdominal pain will depend on its severity of symptoms and the patient’s unique condition. At Las Vegas Primary Care, patients may be treated with joint and soft tissue injections, pain management therapy, and occupational medicine.


Joint and soft tissue injections may help alleviate abdominal pain caused by soft tissue injuries. Pain management therapy for abdominal pain may encompass a range of treatments, such as hot and cold therapy, massage, opioids, antidepressants, acupuncture, tai chi, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, cognitive behavior therapy, yoga, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, and beta-blockers.


Some cases of abdominal pain may interfere with daily life and impair a patient’s ability to perform job duties. In these cases, occupational medicine could help the patient adjust to the demands of the workplace.

Advanced Treatment

Some patients may need advanced treatment to address severe abdominal pain. Advanced treatment may include surgery. Patients should speak to their physician at Las Vegas Primary Care to learn more about obtaining advanced treatment for abdominal pain.


Monday - Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


Call us to schedule
an appointment at


We provide
emergency services



9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


call us to schedule
an appointment at


we provide
emergency services