What Causes Flank Pain and How to Treat It

What causes flank pain?

Flank pain is caused by irritation of the nerves in your back from a variety of sources. Common sources include:

Overuse or overstretching of muscles (e.g., running, lifting weights) which may result in muscle strain and tightness in the lower back, causing it to tighten up and squeeze on nearby nerves (called sciatica).

This tightness can then lead to pain.

Pregnancy, especially if you are carrying twins or triplets. Pregnant women often have back problems because their bodies are still growing new blood vessels to carry the extra weight of the babies.

If they do not stretch out these veins before delivery, there will be some scar tissue left behind after childbirth that causes a tightening effect on the nerves in your spine.

Hip surgery, such as hip replacement or arthroscopic knee surgery. These surgeries usually involve cutting into the hips to remove bone fragments that have become infected and causing pain.

Sometimes these operations can cause damage to other areas of the body, like the knees and ankles.

Risk factors for flank pain include:

Being overweight or obese. This increases pressure on your back muscles, which in turn can lead to backache.

Lifting heavy objects off the floor, especially without bending your knees. If you bend your knees, you can use the strength of your leg muscles instead of your back muscles to help pick up a heavy object.

Sitting or standing in the same position for long periods of time.

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