What Causes Abdominal Pain With Palpation?


Palpation of the abdomen is basically an exam--using touch--for any tenderness or abnormal masses. Your doctor will likely first examine the abdominal wall gently with her fingertips. According to Clinical Methods, deep palpation of the abdomen is performed by placing the flat of the hand on the abdominal wall and applying firm, steady pressure. You may experience pain when your abdomen is touched, or you may experience rebound tenderness--or pain when the doctor removes the examining hand. Tell your doctor immediately when you experience pain, and it will help to point to the specific area that hurts.

Right Upper Quadrant Pain

  • Right upper quadrant tenderness may be caused by cholecystitis, gallbladder inflammation; an ulcer; pancreatitis; or hepatitis, according to Clinical Methods. Other causes include additional liver diseases, gastritis, kidney infections, gallbladder disease, Crohn’s disease, atypical appendicitis and even constipation. Mononucleosis has been known to cause pain in this area as well. Hiatal hernia also may be considered.

Right Lower Quadrant Pain

  • Appendicitis should be one of the first suspects on the list for pain in this area. Colon obstruction secondary to colon cancer, diverticulitis, hiatal hernia and ureterolithiasis or ureter stones are common causes of pain in this area, according to the Doctor’s Lounge. Crohn’s disease could also be the culprit. In women, pelvic inflammatory disease, acute salpingitis or inflammation of the fallopian tube, ectopic pregnancy, ovarian cysts, abscesses and tumors can cause pain in this area.

Left Upper Quadrant Pain

  • Pain in this area is commonly caused by the spleen. An injury or even a rupture to the spleen can occur. Kidney stones, hepatitis, left bowel inflammation, pancreatitis or stomach ulcers can also cause pain in this area. A more serious cause would be a ruptured or leaking abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Left Lower Quadrant Pain

  • “Diverticulitis, inflammatory bowel disease, pelvic inflammatory disease, a kidney stone, endometriosis, ectopic pregnancy and rupture of an ovarian cyst are common causes of abdominal pain in this area,” according to The Doctor’s Lounge.

Other Potential Causes

  • Peritonitis is inflammation of the peritoneal cavity. There are several causes, the most serious being perforation of the gastrointestinal tract. Other causes include diverticulitis, strangulating intestinal obstruction, pancreatitis, pelvic inflammatory disease and mesenteric ischemia or decreased intestinal blood flow, according to Merck. Pain could be anywhere in the abdomen and possibly spread to other parts of the body depending on the severity of the underlying condition. Peritonitis can be life-threatening.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit Needles in Stomach During Acupuncture Appointment image by nextrecord from Fotolia.com
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • Causes of Right Upper Quadrant Abdominal Pain

    Nearly everyone experiences abdominal pain at some point in their life. The pain is usually short-lived and causes minimal discomfort. But, when...

  • Facts on Pregnancy & Upper Abdominal Pain

    Abdominal pain, for many women, is as much a part of normal pregnancy as morning sickness or food cravings. Many pregnancy-related pains...

  • Navel & Abdominal Pain

    Since the navel (or belly button) is in the center of your abdomen, pain from both the navel and abdomen itself will...

  • What Are the Causes of Spleen Pain?

    The spleen is located in the upper left quadrant of your abdomen, underneath the rib cage. It works as a drainage network...

  • Left Upper Stomach Pain

    Stomach pain, or the more precise medical term, abdominal pain, can be caused by many different illnesses and medical conditions. Some nonspecific...

  • How to Identify Upper Abdominal Pain

    When you try to identify and diagnose upper abdominal pain, you’ll first need to know the layout of the land. "Upper abdomen"...

  • How to Locate the Upper Outer Quadrant

    The human body is a composition of various body parts. These body parts are often described by physicians on a quadrant basis....

  • How to Assess Contractions by Palpation

    If you are pregnant and experiencing Braxton Hicks or pre-labor contractions, you can use uterine palpation to determine the relative strength of...

  • A List of the Body Quadrants

    Science has divided the human abdominopelvic region into four quadrants to enable clinicians to more easily and accurately examine this area. One...

Related Searches

Check It Out

This Is the Beauty Routine of a Yelp Sales Manager

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!