Abdominal Wall Pain

What is abdominal wall pain?
Abdominal wall pain is a syndrome or an experience of localized abdominal pain that can occur during any time of life including childhood. It is not related to any abnormal findings on imaging studies or laboratory test. Abdominal wall pain is real. It is not imaginary or psychological.

What are the symptoms of abdominal wall pain?
Symptoms of abdominal wall pain include:

  • Localized abdominal pain and tenderness that is not relieved by abdominal tension
  • Abdominal pain that is always there and never goes away
  • Abdominal pain anywhere in the abdomen
  • Abdominal pain that can happen any time of the day or night
  • Abdominal pain is worse with physical activity
  • Abdominal pain that is not related to meals
  • not related to bowel movements or urination

The child is otherwise healthy

What causes abdominal wall pain?
The exact cause is unknown. However, the muscles or nerves in the abdomen could be irritated or inflamed causing the abdominal wall pain. In young people it typically occurs after some increase in atheletic activity or a fall.

How is abdominal wall pain diagnosed?
Abdominal wall pain is diagnosed based on the description of the pain and a normal physical exam in an otherwise healthy child.
Laboratory test and other imagining studies are only done when the symptoms overlap with another potential condition that may mimic abdominal wall pain.

What is the treatment for abdominal wall pain?
Treatment for abdominal wall pain includes:

  • Heat, stretching and pain prevention
  • Medications such as anti-inflammatory
  • Local injection with an anesthetic (pain relieving medicine) of the tenderness site
  • Chronic pain management – medications and psychological support

REMINDER: This information is intended to provide general information and should not be used to base a diagnosis or treatment. Please consult the doctors about your specific condition and the approach for treatment.