When To Go to Urgent Care for Abdominal Pain

A woman is curled up on the sofa, holding her hands to her stomach and wincing in pain.

Experiencing abdominal pain can be worrying, especially when you’re unsure about its seriousness or when it warrants medical attention.

Understanding the nature of abdominal pain is essential—it’s like a puzzle with various pieces, each indicating different potential issues. Recognizing the signs that suggest an urgent care visit is needed is crucial for getting the right care at the right time. 

Often, abdominal pain is about deciphering the discomfort—whether it’s sharp, dull, intermittent, or constant—and considering additional symptoms like fever, vomiting, or how it affects your daily life. This helps you decide when you should visit urgent care more clearly.

If you or a loved one are experiencing unrelenting, severe/sharp abdominal pain, we encourage you to visit Amory Urgent Care for further evaluation, prompt diagnosis, and effective treatment. 

Continue reading to learn more about abdominal pain.

What Is Classified As Abdominal Pain?

Abdominal pain involves discomfort or pain occurring between the chest and the pelvis. It might vary in intensity, duration, and location, affecting different areas of the abdomen and signaling diverse underlying issues.

Abdominal Pain Causes 

Abdominal pain can stem from many causes, varying from mild to severe. Some causes include

  • Gastrointestinal issues such as indigestion, gas, acid reflux, gastritis, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Viral, bacterial, or parasitic infections affecting the stomach or intestines
  • Conditions like appendicitis, pancreatitis, or inflammatory bowel diseases (such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis)
  • Digestive disorders like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), celiac disease, or diverticulitis
  • Gynecological issues affecting the female reproductive system, like ovarian cysts, endometriosis, or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Problems with organs like the kidneys, liver, gallbladder, or spleen
  • Overexertion or injury to the abdominal muscles or tissues
  • Serious issues like a heart attack, aortic dissection, or blocked blood vessels in the abdomen (mesenteric ischemia)

It’s important to note that abdominal pain may vary in intensity, duration, and location, and identifying the underlying cause often requires medical evaluation by a healthcare professional.

Always seek medical advice for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Abdominal Pain Treatment

Treatment for abdominal pain depends on its underlying cause. 

Here are some general approaches

  • Over-the-counter medications like antacids, pain relievers, or anti-diarrheal drugs might relieve mild cases. Prescription medications may be necessary for specific conditions like infections, inflammation, or digestive disorders.
  • Dietary changes may alleviate symptoms. Avoid certain foods that trigger discomfort, maintain proper hydration, and incorporate more fiber-rich foods into your diet.
  • Resting and applying heat (like a heating pad) to the abdominal area may help relieve muscle-related pain or discomfort.
  • If the cause of pain is a bacterial infection, antibiotics prescribed by a healthcare provider can help eliminate the infection.
  • For chronic conditions like IBS or GERD, lifestyle adjustments such as stress management techniques, dietary changes, and regular exercise may help manage symptoms.

In severe cases or for conditions like appendicitis, gallstones, or bowel obstructions, surgical intervention might be necessary to address the underlying issue.

When Should I Go to Urgent Care for Abdominal Pain?

You should consider going to urgent care for abdominal pain if

  • The pain is intense, persistent, or debilitating, especially if it’s sudden and doesn’t improve with home remedies or over-the-counter medications.
  • Abdominal pain is accompanied by symptoms like fever, persistent vomiting, blood in stools, difficulty breathing, or signs of dehydration.
  • You experience frequent or recurrent episodes of abdominal pain, especially if it interferes with your daily activities or quality of life.
  • You have pre-existing conditions like diabetes, pregnancy, or have a compromised immune system.
  • You’re unsure about the cause of the pain or if it’s causing significant worry or distress.

When in doubt or if you’re experiencing severe or concerning symptoms alongside abdominal pain, seeking urgent care evaluation ensures timely assessment and appropriate care, preventing potential complications.

I Have Abdominal Pain: Urgent Care or ER?

Determining whether to visit urgent care or the emergency room (ER) for abdominal pain depends on the severity of symptoms.

Urgent care should be considered for

  • Mild to Moderate Pain
    If the abdominal pain is mild to moderate, manageable with over-the-counter medications, and not accompanied by severe or alarming symptoms
  • Non-Emergency Situations
    For conditions like minor gastrointestinal issues, mild injuries, or chronic discomfort that does not require immediate attention

You should visit the emergency room for abdominal pain if you experience

  • Severe Symptoms
    If the pain is severe, sudden, or debilitating, especially if symptoms like high fever, persistent vomiting, blood in stools, extreme tenderness, or signs of shock accompany it
  • Possible Life-Threatening Conditions
    For symptoms suggesting serious issues like appendicitis, gallbladder problems, kidney stones, or if the pain is severe and unexplained
  • Worsening Symptoms
    If the pain rapidly worsens or you have pre-existing conditions that could complicate the situation

Visit Amory Urgent Care for Abdominal Pain

Don’t let abdominal pain disrupt your everyday life. 

If you’re experiencing discomfort and suspect an issue, consider visiting Amory Urgent Care for prompt evaluation and treatment. 

Our experienced team is here to help you find relief from abdominal pain and provide personalized and effective care. 

We are open seven days a week with no appointments necessary. Walk in today to get the abdominal pain treatment you need sooner.