11 Common Causes of Right Side Abdominal Pain

  • Most causes of pain on the right side of the abdomen are harmless.
  • Appendicitis is the most common suspect for right side abdominal pain.
  • Pain that hinders you from sitting up may be a sign of a more serious health condition. 

Several things can cause pain on the right side of your abdomen. While most causes are harmless, some can indicate a more severe condition. 

Here are possible causes of right side abdominal pain: 


Gas pain can sometimes radiate to the right side of the abdomen, says Mia Finkelston, MD, a family doctor in Leonardtown, MD. Gas pain can be caused by eating gassy foods like cruciferous vegetables or beans. Going for a walk can help dissipate the gas. 


According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), indigestion can cause a burning sensation in your upper right abdomen. It can result from eating too fast, drinking alcohol or coffee, eating acidic foods. 

Muscle Spasm

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A tough cardio activity may also cause right side abdominal pain, says Dr. Finkelston. To avoid experiencing this pain, make sure to warm up before working out. 


According to Cleveland Clinic, lifting heavy weights or being overweight can result in hernia or a condition where tissue or an organ protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal muscle wall, causing a dull ache or pain when lifting. Body parts that underwent surgery are also prone to hernia. 


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Dr. Finkelston says appendicitis usually starts as pain around the belly button, spreading to the lower right quadrant. The pain often worsens when you’re sitting still or lying flat. Triggers for appendicitis is not known, and your appendix can burst when not treated. 

Ovarian cyst

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Cysts can sometimes form on ovaries. According to Mayo Clinic, most ovarian cysts are unnoticeable and go away on their own. However, large ones can cause pain and fever or vomiting. In this case, immediate medical attention is needed. 

Ectopic pregnancy

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An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus. This can cause pain in your right or left side, along with vaginal bleeding or pelvic pain. 

Kidney stones

According to the NIDDK, kidney stones often cause pain in the lower back, lower abdomen, or groin, which sometimes radiate to one side of the stomach. Other symptoms of kidney stones include pain while urinating, blood in urine, nausea, and vomiting.

Fecal impaction

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Severe cases of constipation can lead to stool getting stuck in your body, a condition called fecal impaction. This may cause abdominal cramping, bloating, lower back pain, and bladder pressure.


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Gallstones might cause pain in the upper right of your abdomen. Obesity or having high levels of blood fats or estrogen can cause the formation of gallstones. You will feel pain when the stones block your bile ducts, especially after eating a fatty meal. If medications don’t flush out gallstones, surgery may be necessary to remove the gallbladder.

Too much ibuprofen

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Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDscan irritate your stomach lining and cause a burning sensation in your general abdomen, including your upper right abdomen. To avoid this, stick to your doctor’s recommended dosage. 

When to seek help

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If your pain is localized in one area or hinders you from sitting up, causing vomiting, or difficulty keeping balance, Dr. Finkelston recommends seeing a doctor immediately. 

Right side abdominal pain in kids

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If your child complains of right side abdominal pain and is refusing to eat even their favorite food, the pain might be severe and needs immediate medical attention. 

Source: The Healthy

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