What Are the Causes of Right Flank Pain?

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, right-sided flank pain may be caused by direct trauma, problems with the abdominal organs and other medical conditions 1. Structures outside the flank -- the area between the lower ribs and the hip bone, on the side of the torso -- may refer, or send, pain to the side of the body. Flank pain can range from mild to severe, depending on the cause of the pain.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Adrenal Gland Tumor

According to Cancer.net -- an online resource featuring oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology -- the adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys and are comprised of two distinct parts: the cortex and the medulla 2. Cancer.net states that primary adrenal gland tumors are rare, and usually develop in people between the ages of 45 and 50 2. Women are more commonly affected than men.

Polycystic Kidney Disease

MayoClinic.com states that polycystic kidney disease is a condition in which clusters of cysts -- noncancerous fluid-filled sacs--form in the kidneys 3. Although the kidneys are usually the most severely affected organ, cysts can develop in other organs too. According to MayoClinic.com, two of the most dangerous complications associated with polycystic kidney disease are high blood pressure and loss of kidney function 3. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease and stroke, while loss of kidney function can mean long-term kidney dialysis or a kidney transplant to prolong life.

Side Stitch

Dr. Gabe Mirkin states that side stitches occur when the ligaments that attach the liver to the diaphragm become stretched or damaged 5. Side stitch-related pain is usually felt just below the ribs, although some people may experience a stabbing pain at the tip of the shoulder blade on the affected side 5. In some cases, side stitch pain can mimic the pain of a myocardial infarction, or heart attack 5. Changing breathing patterns, strengthening the abdominal muscles, and avoiding food and water prior to activity may help reduce the likelihood of a side stitch 5. Approximately 65 to 70 percent of side stitches occur on the right side of the abdomen, according to the Sports Injury Bulletin website 4.

The Wrap Up

Side stitch-related pain is usually felt just below the ribs, although some people may experience a stabbing pain at the tip of the shoulder blade on the affected side 5. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, right-sided flank pain may be caused by direct trauma, problems with the abdominal organs and other medical conditions 1. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, right-sided flank pain may be caused by direct trauma, problems with the abdominal organs and other medical conditions 1.

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