Causes of Pain in Right Side of your Stomach

By Max. D Gray. Updated: July 26, 2017
Causes of Pain in Right Side of your Stomach

Pain on the right side of your stomach can mean many things. The first step you should take is to make an appointment with your trusted doctor. Pain in this area is usually associated with kidney problems (appendix, pancreas, etc.). However, it can also result from a bone-related problem. Are you asking yourself: what does it mean when the right side of your stomach hurts? This oneHOWTO article takes an in-depth look into all of the possible causes of pain on your right side.

You may also be interested in: Causes of Pain in Left Side

When to be concerned about pain in your right side

Obviously, if the pain in your right side of your stomach is very strong you should immediately seek medical attention. If the pain is weaker, wait 48 hours to see how it develops. If the pain persists, make an appointment with your general practitioner. Please, note that if your side hurts after exercising, it is likely due to a side-ache or stitch, the colloquial terms for transient abdominal pain (TAP). To avoid this happening again take a look at our article on how to get rid of a side stitch.

Causes of Pain in Right Side of your Stomach - When to be concerned about pain in your right side

What does it mean when the right side of your stomach hurts?

The pain can be caused by a wide array of conditions, some of which are important and others harmless. For example, it may be the result of poor digestion, gas or constipation. Nevertheless, this type of pain, especially if it is on the right side, could be a sign of something more serious like any of the following:

  • Appendicitis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Food poisoning
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Diverticulitis
  • Viral hepatitis
  • Kidney problems or gallstones
  • Gastritis
  • Stomach ulcer
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Crohn's disease
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Hiatal hernia

All of these conditions should be diagnosed as early as possible.

Causes of Pain in Right Side of your Stomach - What does it mean when the right side of your stomach hurts?

Problems in the spine

If your right side hurts more towards your back, you may have a type of spinal problem. An x-ray of the entire spine can be done to determine the cause. Often the diagnosis is scoliosis, although pain near the spine can also be caused by a problem in the vertebrae. We recommend you to schedule a visit with the physiotherapist or osteopathic physician.

Causes of Pain in Right Side of your Stomach - Problems in the spine

Right side abdominal pain, appendicitis

Appendicitis is one of the most common causes of right side pain. It feels different from a tummy ache because it only hurts on one side. One of the first symptoms is a mild pain that appears around the navel or the upper abdomen, similar to a typical tummy ache. However, as the day goes on it becomes continuous and progressive. As it becomes evident that the pain may be a serious symptom, you may start thinking: "This ache is not normal" Try to press down hard on the painful area with your index and middle fingers for two seconds, then remove them.

If you have appendicitis, you will surely cough, scream or have to cry for the pain. Try to walk or stand straight. Another classic symptom of acute appendicitis is walking hunched over and almost motionless as the pain may decrease or increase depending on the inclination of the belly.

Causes of Pain in Right Side of your Stomach - Right side abdominal pain, appendicitis

Pain in the ribs - Right side

Do you feel pain in the right side of your ribs? This can be due to several reasons so, as usual, it's best you go to the doctor so you can get a proper diagnosis. Especially if it continues after taking muscle relaxers and you feel a stinging pain. The conditions and diseases that are most commonly related to this sensation around the ribs are the following:

  • Fractures
  • Inflammation of the membrane that covers lungs
  • Lesions in the thorax
  • Osteoporosis
  • Spasms
  • Costal cartilage inflammation
  • Bone cancer

Treatment for these conditions or diseases will depend on each of their levels and development. The first step is to take an over the counter analgesic, if this doesn't calm the pain, go to the doctor and make sure you rest meanwhile.

Pain due to old surgery

Many people suffer from pain on the right side of their body due to having previously been operated on. For appendicitis, gallbladder, stomach, etc... In this case to rule out any other condition is to get an ultrasound and sonography. If there is only inflammation, it may be due to some kind of food intolerance, like gluten or lactose. If you have ruled out these options you must consult your doctor to make sure there are no problems with the wound's healing.

Billiary colic

If you notice a spasm like pain on your right side, then you may have a biliary colic, which is a condition that appears due to gallstones. The painful sensation of a biliary colic may start on the right side of your stomach and slowly come up your abdomen and/or back.

You will also notice other symptoms such as being sick or nausea, fever, shivering, jaundice...

If this is the case, then we advise you to go to the doctor as soon as possible so the problem doesn't aggravate and you can be treated on time.


The treatment for side pain, as in all cases, depends on the cause. Rest, physical therapy and exercise are recommended for pain caused by a muscle spasm. For cases of side pain caused by spinal arthritis, your physician may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy so you can learn how to perform exercises at home.

When the pain is stomach-related, it is recommended to follow a light diet and to avoid eating vegetables or fruit since they are harder to digest. Antibiotics are commonly used to treat most kidney infections. You may also receive fluids or painkillers. Hospitalization may be required in conditions such as appendicitis or problems that require surgical treatment.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Causes of Pain in Right Side of your Stomach, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

  • Problems and pain in the lower stomach can also be related to allergies or intestine inflammation. Pain in the ribs is usually trauma related.

Write a comment

What did you think of this article?
I'm having pain on rt side, last year I had surgery from scar tissue wrapped around intestine. should I be too concerned?
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Maureen
If the pain continues, we recommend consulting your doctor to rule out any additional problems.
akhil sharma
my dad is 55 year"s old.he is gettig pain on the right side of his stomach.what is the problem?
OneHowTo Editor
It could be any of the causes mentioned in this article. It's best if he visits a doctor so he can be diagnosed properly.
Hope this helps
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