Characteristics of the Pain - Pattern
What type of pain are you experiencing? Is it stabbing and severe? Is it a dull ache? Does the pain also radiate into your lower back, shoulder, groin, or buttocks?
Patterns of pain can be helpful in diagnosis of abdominal pain. An obstruction of the intestine, for example, initially causes waves of crampy abdominal pain due to contractions of the intestinal muscles and distention of the intestine. True cramp-like pain suggests vigorous contractions of the intestines. Obstruction of the bile ducts by gallstones typically causes steady (constant) upper abdominal pain. Acute pancreatitis typically causes severe, unrelenting, steady pain in the upper abdomen and upper back.