Skip to main content

Flank Pain

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 2, 2022.

Flank pain is felt in the area below your ribcage and above your hip bones, often in the lower back. Your pain may be dull or so severe that you cannot get comfortable. The pain may stay in one area or radiate to another area. It may worsen and lighten in waves. Flank pain is often a sign of problems with your urinary tract, such as a kidney stone or infection.


Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have a fever.
  • Your heart is fluttering or jumping.
  • You see blood in your urine.
  • Your pain radiates into your lower abdomen and genital area.
  • You have intense pain in your low back next to your spine.
  • You are much more tired than usual and have no desire to eat.
  • You have a headache and your muscles jerk.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have an upset stomach and are vomiting.
  • You have to urinate more often, and with urgency.
  • Your pain worsens or does not improve, and you cannot get comfortable.
  • You pass a stone when you urinate.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


The following medicines may be ordered for you:

  • Pain medicine may help decrease or relieve your pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine.
  • Antibiotics may help treat a urinary tract infection caused by bacteria.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell your provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider in 1 to 2 days or as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© Copyright Merative 2022 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.