Side Pain

The pain felt between the hip, and the armpit is known as side pain.

  • Lower side abdominal pain
    • In women
  • Flank pain
  • Side chest pain

Reasons for Quick, Acute Side Pain

  • Trapped wind
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Side stitch
  • Pleurisy

Lower Side Abdominal Pain

Myofascial Pain in Latissimus Dorsi Muscle

  • Reasons: overuse of muscle while rock climbing, ball games, strength training, gymnastics
  • Signs: pain in front of the shoulder, under the shoulder blade, over the hip, on the outer side of the arm and hand
  • Indications: pain caused due to the pressure close to the lower shoulder blade angle.


Diverticulitis created by the inflammation of pouches formed in the large intestine.

  • Signs: recurrent pain and softness in the left abdomen on the lower side, diarrhea or constipation, fever, nausea, rare blood in the stool

Acute Appendicitis

  • Signs: unclear, even pain near the belly button, which is spread to the lower side of the right abdomen in couple of hours, getting aggressive and is infuriated by coughing or moving; other general signs are fever, nausea, vomiting
  • Indications:
    • Softness in the lower end of the right abdominal quadrant
    • Rebound tenderness: pressing the bottom side of the left abdomen could trigger pain in the lower side of the right abdomen.

Abdominal Pain on the lower side in WOMEN

Ovary Pain

During the menstrual cycle (roughly 14 days prior period), ovulation pain felt on the inner aspect of the hip on both sides. The pain can be extreme and could stay for few minutes to 48 hours. If the pain stays longer, then it could be linked to endometriosis or other disorder.

Other reasons for ovary pain could be cancer (late stage), rupture of the ovarian cyst

Round Ligament Pain at some stage in Pregnancy

  • Signs: throbbing or cramps near the groin or the hip, usually on the right side; the pain felt from the early stage of gestation.

Ectopic Pregnancy

  • Signs: instant, prickly or gradually initiating pain on either side of the lower abdomen and, at times, pain in the shoulder tip on the same side and vaginal bleeding.

Other Reasons for Side Pain in Women

  • Endometriosis
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease

Flank Pain

The areas on both sides under the ribs on the lower side of the ribcage are called flanks.

Gas Pain (Trapped Wind)

  • Reasons: constipation, fructose malabsorption, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), lactose intolerance, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease
  • Signs: momentary pain is felt post eating on either side on the lower side of the chest or under the ribs and, at times, in the tip of the shoulder that caused when the gas gets blocked on the parallel aspect of the colon resulting from the irritation of the diaphragm, soft tenderness under lower ribs, bloating.

Side Stitch

Side stitch, also known as runner’s stitch, workout related temporary pain the abdomen, or side cramp usually caused while swimming, running, and riding a horse.

  • Reasons: workout-related, momentary, minor or massive, spasm-like or acute pain felt under the rib cage, usually right side of the rib cage and, at times, on the same side in the tip of the shoulder; and the recovery from the pain can experience after the rest for a minute or so.

Kidney Pain

Most common reason for kidney pain caused because of stones in the ureter that can result in regular or irregular severe left or right flank pain for around twenty minutes to many hours; the pain could also get serious and spread into the groin area and the lower abdomen; prolonged pain can also result in passing blood or stone through urine without any indication of fever.

Some kidney disorders can also result from infections or inflammation causing slight pain which can also get severe when the kidney is moderately tapped using the fist. Some other signs are fever, cloudy urine, constant urination, and nausea. In other kidney-related conditions, pain experienced after drinking lots of fluids or complete dehydration.

Pounding pain the kidney can also result from ureteropelvic junction obstruction, loin pain hematuria syndrome, or IgA nephropathy or Berger’s disease.

Lower back pain not always caused because of kidney disorders, and hence, kidney pain must differentiate from several other reasons for pain the lower back.

Adrenal Gland Pain

  • Reasons: adrenal tumor
  • Signs: regular, slight pain in the flank, headache, extreme hair growth, fatigue, irregular periods, fat gain, low libido, frequent urination, excessive thirst

Liver Pain

  • Reasons: cancer, lymphoma, liver inflammation (hepatitis)
  • Signs: regular fullness, uncomfortable or slight pain under the lower region of the right ribs and, at times, itchy skin, anorexia, and nausea
  • Indications: Liver gets oversized (hepatomegaly) and can be felt under the lower ribs on the right sides, at times, jaundice

Gallbladder Pain

Gallbladder side pain
  • Reasons: biliary dyskinesia, gallstones, severe gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis)
  • Signs: acute pain in the abdomen on the upper right side or center of the back or shoulder blade lasting from few minutes to many hours, vomiting, nausea
  • Indications: Murphy’s sign (softness in the abdomen on the right side)

Spleen Pain

  • The Splenic rupture caused by blunt trauma or splenic infarction resulting from lymphoma, leukemia, vasculitis, endocarditis, blood coagulation disorders.
    • Signs: instant, acute pain below the lower ribs on the left side and, at times, in the shoulder tip on the same side; vomiting, chills, nausea, fever
    • Indications: softness over the left aspect of the lower ribs; due to internal bleeding: pale skin, anxiety, heavy breathing and heartbeat
  • Oversized spleen (splenomegaly), as a result of infectious mononucleosis (Epstein-Barr Virus infection), lymphoma, hereditary anemias (sickle cell disease, spherocytosis), leukemia, malaria, sarcoidosis, liver cirrhosis
    • Signs: regular fullness or slight pain below the left side of the lower ribs, paleness, weakness because of anemia, and repeated infections
    • Indications: a huge yet soft lump under the left rib cage


  • Reason: recurrence of a virus infection contracted during childhood, Herpes zoster, in one or multiple spinal nerves, commonly on either side and usually in elderly people
  • Signs: slight side pain, softness, prickling or lack of sensation resulting in a hot, red, itchy rash that spreads as a horizontal stripe from the spine over the torso after many days, which ultimately tops over and cures itself after some weeks without any blemishes or scars.

Pinched Spinal Nerve

  • Reason: a herniated or spherical disc in the lumbar or thoracic spine, nerve injury due to fracture in the rib, kidney surgery or arthritis
  • Signs: persistent acute pain, prickling or lack of sensation on either chest side and back infuriated by lifting the upper body


Bands of an uncharacteristic scar occurring in the pelvic or abdominal cavity termed as Adhesions.

  • Reasons: radiation therapy, surgery, retroperitoneal fibrosis, peritonitis, appendicitis, cholecystitis
  • Signs: constant severe or light pain felt in different parts of the pelvis or abdomen

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

The pain experienced from an abdominal aortic aneurysm would be similar to the pain from urinary stones (renal colic).

Side Chest Pain

Pleuritic Chest Pain

Pleura are the double layered membrane covering the lungs. An inflammation of the pleura is called Pleurisy (Pleuritis).

  • Reasons for Pleuritic Chest Pain:
    • Severe pain can be the result of pneumonia, chemotherapy, pneumothorax, pulmonary embolism, tuberculosis, viral infections such as flu, infectious mononucleosis.
    • Constant non-stop pain can result from inflammatory bowel disease, silicosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, lung cancer, rheumatoid arthritis
  • Signs of Pleuritic Chest Pain: severe, the acute pain felt on either chest side that gets infuriated by heavy breathing, moving the upper body, or coughing, slow breathing (to control pain); at times shoulder pain, dry cough, back or frontal chest pain or fever.
  • Indications: If there’s a crackling sound detected by the physician using the stethoscope or minor chest wall softness


  • Reasons: a direct strike on either side of the chest
  • Signs: moderate pain on one hand infuriated by lifting the upper body and the arms
  • Indications: restrained chest wall softness or a mark
  • Pain diminishes, and the bruise fades eventually in 3 weeks.

Rib Fracture

  • Reasons: direct strike or fall from a height, deadly coughing, bending over
  • Signs: instant, harsh pain on either chest side, infuriated by heavy breathing, bending or coughing
  • Indications: Severe pain, cracking noise, and a bruise when the wrecked rib pressed
  • Revival duration: about six weeks

Serratus Anterior Muscle Pain Syndrome

The muscle group connecting the shoulder blades and the ribs on both sides of the body are called serratus anterior.

  • Reasons: a sprain in the muscle results from fast running, heavy workouts, non-stop lifting heavy stuff with stretched arm, or coughing
  • Signs: slight pain on either side of the chest just under the armpit, one side of the hand and arm, and under the shoulder blade; severe pain starts from coughing or heavy breathing
  • Indications: Slight press on the fifth – seventh rib on either chest side can trigger pain on that respective side and the arm.


Image Copyright  Sebastian Kaulitzki ,decade3d ,photography

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