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Abdominal Pain

About Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain refers to pain or discomfort in the abdominal region – between the ribs and pelvis. It is often misunderstood that abdominal pain is simply a “stomachache”, however, the pain in your abdomen can be caused by other organs too.

The abdomen region is a home for several organs which includes the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. Pain in the abdomen is incredibly common – most of the time it resolves on its own without any intervention. Nonetheless, it can be a sign of an emergency or even a serious illness.

What Causes Abdominal Pain?

Pain in the abdomen can be caused by various issues including digestion problems, injuries, infections, or diseases. The pain may originate inside the abdominal wall or internal organs.

Some of the most common causes of abdominal pain are:

1. Digestive issues

  • Indigestion
  • Gas and gas pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Food allergies
  • Food poisoning

2. Inflammation

  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
  • Viral gastroenteritis
  • Chronic acid reflux (GERD)
  • Peptic ulcer disease

3. Female reproductive cycle

  • Menstrual cramps
  • Ovulation Pain

Occasionally, abdominal pain signals a serious medical condition that requires treatment. The pain’s location can indicate which organs are involved.

1. Right Upper quadrant – Pain in the upper right abdomen is usually caused by liver or gallbladder disease, such as:

  • Gallstones
  • Gallbladder inflammation
  • Bile duct cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Hepatitis
  • Kidney infection
  • Kidney stone
  • Duodenal ulcer

2. Left Upper quadrant – there are three organs in your upper left abdomen: the stomach, pancreas, and spleen. An upper left abdominal pain could indicate:

  • Gastritis
  • Bile reflux
  • Pancreatitis
  • Kidney stone
  • Kidney infection
  • Stomach ulcer
  • Splenomegaly
  • Stomach cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer

3. Right lower quadrant – Pain in the lower right abdomen may be due to an appendix infection. There is a possibility that there could be inflammation (appendicitis) or, more rarely, cancer of the appendix.

4. Left lower quadrant – A pain in your lower left abdomen is most likely caused by diverticulosis or diverticulitis.

Symptoms Of Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain may feel mild or severe, dull or sharp, burning or achy, crampy or gassy, constant or intermittent and localized or generalized.
Other Symptoms
Depending on the actual cause of the abdominal pain, patients may have other symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, nausea, sore throat and others.

A Message About Abdominal Pain

Recurrent abdominal pain is a challenge to diagnose and eradicate. As mentioned above, the causes are heterogenous and wide-ranging. It will take a detailed history and physical examination with supporting investigations to come up with comprehensive differential diagnoses. It may be the abdominal wall outside the abdominal cavity or inside the abdomen within the affected organ structure.

The approach to the different organ structures will need a different algorithm to manage persistent pain. Chronic pancreatitis will need coeliac neurolysis ablation versus irritable bowel syndrome needs a rectus sheath block and superior hypogastric plexus block.

The follow on after the procedure is as important to ensure the prevention of the recurrence of pain. Certain nerve stabilizers and muscle relaxants are important in the prevention recrudescence.

Diagnosing Abdominal Pain

Abdominal Pain can be frustrating as there is a broad range of diagnoses for the condition, and it requires adequate evidence and experience to diagnose the specific illness. Here at Singapore Paincare, our team of experienced primary care doctors and pain care specialists together with a gastroenterologist will conduct a thorough diagnosis. This includes a physical exam, questions about your symptoms and an evaluation of your medical history. The doctor may order additional tests if he suspects a more serious condition.

What Treatments Are Available for Abdominal Pain?

In many instances, non-surgical treatment methods can provide excellent outcomes. At Singapore Paincare, we strive to treat your pain with the least invasive option possible after accurately identifying the cause. Our pain resolution approach focuses on removing pain generators via specialised injection and minimally invasive procedures. Combined with pharmacological treatments, and cognitive and physical rehabilitative therapies. We help patients to improve their functionality and prevent pain from recurring.

Non-Surgical Treatments for Abdominal Pain

Coreflex Injections

OurCoreflex injectionuses a mix of local anaesthetic, anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant, which helps to break the pain cycle, reduce inflammation, and improve healing. It is used in nerve blocks to stop the pain via the painful nerves. It can be highly effective during acute painful episodes to achieve good pain relief.


As NSAIDs can cause abdominal pain, antacids can help reduce the stomach’s acidity and pain. This is helpful in situations where the pain comes from torsion, injury and tears, resulting in significant inflammation. NSAIDs are not helpful in stomach ulcers and gastroenteritis.

Physical Therapy
Our specialists and doctors offer physical therapy to train the core muscles depending on the type of pain and condition of the patient (eg. Abdominal wall pain).

Surgical Treatment for Abdominal Pain

Depending on the patient’s diagnosis, surgery may be a viable option to treat abdominal pain. Surgery always comes with associated risks, complications and downtime, so it may not be suitable for everyone. A thorough evaluation of both non-surgical and surgical options should be conducted before deciding whether to undergo surgery.

Laparoscopic Surgery
Laparoscopic surgery may be performed to treat pancreatitis, gallstones, hernia, and pelvic inflammatory disease.

How Can I Prevent Abdominal Pain?

There is no definite way to prevent abdominal pain. However, the following can help reduce your chances of experiencing it:

  • Making changes in your diet like increasing fiber intake, drinking plenty of water, avoiding caffeine or trying a low FODMAP diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Getting enough rest and managing stress
  • Quit smoking

Get Your Pain Resolved

Send your enquiries or consult our pain experts today.

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