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Molly Maloof, MD

Director of Clinical Content

lower back and stomach pain

what could cause pain in my lower back and stomach on the right side. sharp shooting pain if I move the wrong way when I walk, or bend to pick up something. I don,t have any ovaries but the pain come from area where my ovarie was. most of the time this will occur when I have been standing and lifting a long time. could this be internal scar tissue or what. What are the phyiatic sciatic (sorry for the spelling)
  • Female | 69 years old

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Helping Herbs and Wellness 419728
Your symptoms are atypical for an orthopedic pattern, despite being reproducible with some movements. Pain like that requires a medical evaluation. I would definitely get checked our before pursuing physical medicine.
The list of answers is longer than the space in this box. Your complaints are to many to be answered without a physical exam, I would see a gastroenterologist. Good luck.
With the apparent mechanical nature of your pain, it sounds musculoskeletal but other serious issues should be ruled out first. Your primary care doctor should be able to direct or refer for this evaluation. This is usually done by means of an abdominal & pelvic CT with contrast. Often ultrasound evaluation may also be used. Lower GI studies such as a colonoscopy may also be recommended. Once the "bad actors" such as cancerous tumors have been ruled out, the more benign causes will need to be evaluated. A common problem that radiates pain to the inguinal/pelvic region, which many people call their "stomach", is hip joint pain or SI joint pain.
Several possibilities come to mind which :

1) scar tissue from surgery

2) pelvic infection

3) urinary tract infection ( particularly if pain radiate to flank/low back area)

4) appendicitis ( loss of appetite)

5) Bowel disease such as diverticulitis

6) Muscle strain or hernia

These are high on the list for what you have described. As you state the pain is increased by activity, i would tend to think its muscular. However, the symptoms warrant an examination by your physician.
I am sorry to hear that you are having a rough go at it. First of all, pelvic pain should be taken very seriously -- even absent ovaries (as in your case). Check with your primary care physician or GYN doctor to ensure against an internal organ problem. Yes, it could be adhesions from your previous surgery but it could also be a more serious issue.

The good news is that it sounds mechanical in nature, which means that most scary things (such as cancer) are unlikely. Your condition could, very well, be from a muscle or structural imbalance leading to a joint dysfunction within the pelvic girdle (i. e. sacroiliac joint or hip joint). Disc pathology has also been reported to refer pain in to the pelvic region. Your symptoms could also result from a nerve entrapment.

Once your primary care doctor has ruled out the scary stuff, ask to be referred to a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialist -- a physician who specializes in diagnostic and rehabilitative care of muscle, bone, joint and nerve problems.
I would suggest seeing a physical therapist in your area that specializes in myofascial release techniques to assist you. I would look for one that is well versed in women's health.
It would be good to rule out any internal organ referral pattern which does not seem likely given that symptoms are exacerbated by movement related activities. I would suggest the pain is likely referring from your low back. It would be worth performing a comprehensive lumbar RoM examination from a qualified heath professional to target the source of the pain. With age most of us develop arthritic changes of the spine, referred to as stenosis, which can be treated conservatively with great outcomes.
Kevin Blanchard
1. I would need to know where specifically in your lower back is the pain.

2. What kind of pain in your lower back? Is it aching, throbbing all the time like a toothache?

3. Does the lower back pain ONLY occur with stomach pain?

4. Where are you pointing for your stomach? Above or below your belly button?

5. Does the stomach pain ONLY hurt when you move? When you bend over to pick something up?

6. It is very, very difficult to make ANY suggestions about your pain based upon the information you have provided. In fact, it would not be medically appropriate for a physician to suggest any possible diagnosis based upon the limited information provided. What would help are the following items:

1. Describe only your low back pain

2. The location of pain: if it stays in the center of your low back, by your spine, or just to the left or right.

3. The quality of the pain: dull, aching, sharp/stabbing. Is it constant, or does it come and go?

4. What time of day is it worse? When you wake up, middle of day, before dinner, or does it wake you from your sleep?

5. What makes it better? Pain medicine? Heat or cold? Rest? A certain position?

6. What makes it worse? Sitting too long? Standing too long? Walking? Lifting?

7. Is there any pain that shoot down from your back, around your buttocks or down your thighs? Around your knees? Any numbness or tingling into your feet?

Then the same for this right sided stomach pain. Is it by your right groin? or Belt area? How close is the pain to your right thigh skin fold between your stomach and your thigh? If you put your right thumb at your belly button, is the pain closer to your thumb or your right pinky?

Is the stomach pain like the back pain? or is it more crampy like a gas pain? Or is it burning and only acts up when your back pain acts up?

Is there any pain from your right stomach that goes down into your right thigh?

There is a lot more to go over here before we can really give you a decent answer.

I hope you understand that there are so many things that bring about pain, and you really need to see your family doctor and let him/her see some of these questions I am asking you. I hope that helps.

Good luck.
Daniel Schwarz
My first suggestion is to consult with your primary care physician to rule out internal organ involvement. Once cleared, a thorough examination by a PT should take place to differentiate between psoas muscle and lumbar origin causing radicular pain. Internal scar tissue is always a possibility if in fact you have had a procedure or trauma to that area.
Tracy A. Urvater