What treatment will I need for left lower quadrant pain?
There is no single answer to this until you know what the cause of your pain is. See the relevant leaflet for the condition with which you have been diagnosed. Treatments for a few of the causes of left lower quadrant (LLQ) pain are briefly discussed below.
- Constipation can be treated with medicines, but often changes to your diet are needed to prevent it happening again.
- Gastroenteritis usually doesn't need any treatment, other than drinking plenty of fluid to compensate for all that is being lost. Occasionally when germs (bacteria) which can be treated with antibiotics are causing the infection, an antibiotic may help.
- Shingles. The pain and rash settle on their own in time, but some people may be advised to take an antiviral tablet to help speed this process up.
- Kidney infections are treated with antibiotics. Mild infections can be treated with antibiotics at home. If you are very unwell you may need admission to hospital for antibiotics and fluids through a drip (intravenously).
- Kidney stones. Small kidney stones pass on their own eventually, in which case you will need to drink plenty of fluids and take strong painkillers. Larger kidney stones may need one of a number of procedures done to break them up or remove them altogether.
- Torsion of the testicle (testis) is cured with an operation (ideally this should be performed within 6-8 hours of the pain starting).
- Ectopic pregnancy is usually treated by an operation but medical treatment is now more common. This avoids the need for surgery and means the tube is less likely to be permanently damaged.
What is the outlook?
Again this depends entirely on the cause of the pain. Some conditions settle very quickly on their own (for example, gastroenteritis), or with the help of antibiotics (for example, a kidney infection). Others can be cured with surgery, such as torsion of the testis. Some are long-term conditions, for which there is no cure, although there are treatments, such as those used for people who have Crohn's disease. Your doctor should be able to give you an idea of the outlook (prognosis) once a diagnosis has become clear.
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- Cartwright SL, Knudson MP; Diagnostic imaging of acute abdominal pain in adults. Am Fam Physician. 2015 Apr 1 91(7):452-9.
- Manterola C, Vial M, Moraga J, et al; Analgesia in patients with acute abdominal pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Jan 19 (1):CD005660. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD005660.pub3.
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Patient Platform Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.