Flank Pain: Meaning, Diagnosis and Overview

What is Flank Pain?

Flank pain is pain or discomfort in one side of the body between the upper belly area (abdomen) and the back. It is located below the ribs and above the pelvis and on the side.

Recovery Time

Flank pain is usually short lived it goes away within few days.


The diagnosis of flank pain begins with a complete medical history and physical exam. The healthcare professional may then order tests, such as:
  • a urinalysis
  • an abdominal x-ray
  • an intravenous pyelogram or IVP
  • blood tests, including a complete blood count (CBC) and blood chemistry tests
  • ultrasound tests
  • CT scans
  • Uroflowmetry

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