How to Stop Upper Abdominal Pain

Written by krista sheehan
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Upper abdominal pain can be caused by a variety of conditions, ranging from minor to serious. Before treating upper abdominal pain, try to determine the cause and type of abdominal pain. Is the pain felt in several areas of the abdomen, or is it localised to one specific area of the abdomen? Is the pain a consistent cramping, or does it come in waves, starting and stopping suddenly? If the pain is localised or comes in severe waves, contact a medical professional. All other types of abdominal pain usually can be relieved through simple methods.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Bed or sofa
  • Hot water bottle or heating pad
  • Bland foods, including rice, crackers and applesauce
  • Water or clear fluids
  • Antacids

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    Treating Upper Abdominal Pain

  1. 1

    If possible, avoid playing sports, exercising or engaging in vigorous physical activity until the pain subsides. Instead, try to relax and allow your body to recuperate. Recline in bed or on the sofa. If your abdominal pain becomes worse in a reclining position, try relaxing in a seated position. Some people find that curling into a ball helps their abdominal pain; to do this, pull your legs up and tuck your knees into your chest. Relax until the upper abdominal pain subsides.

  2. 2

    Place a hot water bottle or heating pad on your upper abdominal area. The heat should help to relax the muscles and ease any cramps or pain you are feeling. Heat is an especially effective method for treating abdominal pain caused by menstrual cramps or indigestion.

  3. 3

    Eat small meals while suffering from upper abdominal pain, especially if the pain is associated with indigestion or bloating. Often abdominal pain is caused by bloating due to irregular bowel movements or a build-up of gas in the digestive tract. To avoid making the problem worse, eat small meals and allow your body time to digest between meals. Eat bland foods such as rice, crackers and applesauce. Avoid greasy foods and those high in fats and sugars. It is also important to drink plenty of water and clear fluids while suffering from abdominal pain; these fluids should help cleanse the system.

  4. 4

    If your abdominal pain is felt very high up in your abdomen and typically occurs after meals, it probably is caused by acid in the stomach and accompanied by heartburn or indigestion. In this case, try taking an antacid to neutralise the stomach acid. Avoid foods that are high in acidity, including acidic fruits and tomatoes. You also should avoid alcohol, caffeine and carbonated beverages.

  5. 5

    Call your doctor immediately if any of the following symptoms occur in addition to your upper abdominal pain: fever, abdominal swelling or tenderness, diarrhoea that persists for more than three days, unexplained weight loss, unusual bowel movements, or if you are pregnant. Go to the emergency room if your upper abdominal pain is the result of direct trauma to the abdominal area (due to an accident or injury) or if you are also experiencing pain or pressure in the chest.

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