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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: Reoccurring Abdominal Pain

 grimshaw - Mon Nov 10, 2008 8:48 pm

I've suffered from lower right quadrant (lower right abdominal pain) off and on since age 13. The pain has been attributed to ovarian cysts, constipation, and to having a spinal subluxation, depending on the professional examining me. Most often, there is no known cause. Historically, the pain is nagging and dull and sometimes intensifies to an extremely intense level of very sharp pain that lasts for about 2 hours.

One year ago, after a day of heavy lifting, I experienced pain in my right ribs. Over the course of a few weeks, the pain intensified greatly and began to radiate to my back and down to my hip. After x-rays and a CT scan, and failed steroid shots and narcotics, my internist sent me to a pain specialist who was also unsure of what the problem was. Though skeptical, I was desperate and saw a chiropractor. After one visit I felt about 20% better and after three weeks of seeing the chiro 2-3x week, I was 95% better. The pain was attributed to a spinal subluxation and scholiosis.

Currently, I am 15 weeks pregnant. I am experiencing lower right quadrant pain again, that originates from the area around my ovary, but is also associated with pain that radiates down my right leg. The pain on my side radiates around my back and down the right side of my hip. It is a dull pain that has intensified over the course of the day. The same pain occurred at 12 weeks. In that instance, after a day of toughing out moderate pain I went to bed, only to awaken in the middle of the night to very intense pain. After waiting it out for a while, I finally went to the ER. An ultrasound only revealed a very small para-ovarian cyst on the right side that, according to the doc there and my ob/gyn, could not have been the cause of such intense pain. Over the course of several hours, the pain subsided back to moderate levels and the next day was mild. Within 72 hours of onset, the pain was gone completely, until it resurfaced today, 3 weeks later.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Wed Dec 03, 2008 9:22 pm

User avatar Hi there -

Given the history and what's been ruled out, as well as the current pain pathway, this sounds as though it could be iliotibial band syndrome. This is often seen in runners but pregnancy certainly could precipitate it, especially in someone who might already be prone to it due to some misalignment as you've mentioned. It can begin as lower right quadrant or even inguinal pain, then slowly migrate around to the low back on the affected side, and down along the hip and the side of the thigh (as opposed to the back of the thigh as in sciatica). It can resolve spontaneously, and may also respond to chiropractic, but often requires an IM steroid injection, which often will resolve the pain within minutes. However, being pregnant, a steroid injection may not be a good idea for you right now. This also may not be what it sounds like, although everything you've mentioned does match up very well with this problem.

In a pregnant patient chiropractic or physical therapy may be the only acceptable treatments for this, if, in fact, this is what it is. You might mention this to your doctor or chiropractor and of course run any treatment plan by your ob-gyn as well.

I hope this is helpful. Please follow up here as needed. Best of luck to you.

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