Florida Pain Medicine is a rotation site and teaching facility for USF Health ACGME Pain Medicine Fellowship and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency.

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Chronic Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain is often associated with an acute, severe attack caused by problems like appendicitis, diverticulitis, and pancreatitis. But anywhere from 8-54% of adults suffer from chronic abdominal pain that goes on for months.

Ignoring abdominal pain only puts your health at risk as the underlying cause gets worse. You can prevent serious complications when you seek help for your pain.

The specialists at Florida Pain Medicine offer compassionate and comprehensive care for chronic abdominal pain. If you have questions or need help, don’t wait to call one of the offices in the Tampa Bay or Daytona Beach area. Meanwhile, read on to learn about the causes of chronic abdominal pain.

Possible sources of chronic abdominal pain

Abdominal pain can originate in the connective tissues and muscles that support your core, the blood vessels and nerves serving the abdominal cavity, and the abdominal wall.

In many cases, abdominal pain comes from the organs in the abdominal cavity, including your:

As you can see, abdominal pain arises from many possible areas and problems inside your abdomen.

Causes of chronic abdominal pain

Acute abdominal pain is a red flag that you have a problem needing immediate medical attention. This type of pain appears suddenly and is usually intense. It could also begin as mild pain that rapidly escalates into severe pain. You may also have a fever, nausea, and tenderness when touching your abdomen.

Chronic pain isn’t so obvious. You might have a sharp twinge that occasionally comes and goes or a dull ache that hangs around, but never feels bad enough to see a doctor. 

Some types of chronic pain occur after eating, while others aren’t related to food at all. You may or may not have nausea, diarrhea, or constipation.

These are a few of the conditions that commonly cause chronic abdominal pain:

There’s one thing these conditions have in common: They’re progressive diseases. If you ignore the pain, these illnesses don’t get better. Instead, they gradually get worse as time goes by. That’s why you have chronic pain.

When to seek help for chronic abdominal pain

You should get a thorough evaluation for any type of pain that lasts three months or longer and for pain that suddenly gets worse.

It’s also important to get prompt medical care if you develop other symptoms along with your abdominal pain. Nausea, a fever, loss of appetite, swelling in your abdomen or legs, blood in your bowel movements, and jaundice (yellow skin and eyes) are all signs of a serious underlying condition.

If you have any questions about ongoing abdominal pain, call the team at Florida Pain Medicine, or book an appointment online today.

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