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Dr Uzair
Dr Uzair, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 8052
Experience:  MBBS, FCPS (R) General Surgery. Years of experience in Emergency Medicine.
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, I've been experiencing pains, sometimes dull, sometimes

Resolved Question:

Hi,
I've been experiencing pains, sometimes dull, sometimes shotting pains in both sides of the abdominal area, just below the ribs. This also radiates around to the back and can sometimes feel as though it is in the spinal area up to the neck. I thought at first that the painon the right side was Liver related, as I probably drink mor ethen the reccomended amount, though my LFT all came back normal. I'm assuming that this test would detect any abnomal liver function? I'm probably reading too much but I'm putting two and two together and thinking that the pain is liver and spleen related. The pain sometimes travels up to the left shoulder. Can you confirm on teh liver test and any possible causes?
Thanks
Mark
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr Uzair replied 2 years ago.
Hi. Welcome to JustAnswer. I shall try my best to assist you while you are corresponding with me.
Pain due to abdominal (inter peritoneal) viscera like the liver and the spleen is never shooting in character and is always dull aching and insidious in onset.
Shooting pain on both sides of the abdomen radiating to the back and along the spine can usually be due to radiculopathy which is a due to back issues like abnormal curvature, abnormal or usually odd postures related to the occupation, mattress you sleep on etc.
Your LFTs would have indicated any abnormalities if you had a liver condition.
Liver pain is also associated with indigestion, tenderness over the liver, loss of appetite, weight loss or gain and aggravates on intake of fatty foods.
I would suggest that you visit your PCP and have your liver function tests and pancreatic function tests repeated and also get x rays of your dorsolumbar spine (2 views) which will detect any posture related and curvature related vertebral disorders.
The usual treatment for radiculopathy is conservative medical therapy consisting of pain relief with nerve membrane stabilizing agents like Gabapentin or Pregabalin which alleviate the pain and also with NSAIDs along with physiotherapy to strengthen the back muscles and correction of postures. Switching to an orthopaedic mattress is also extremely beneficial.
To see if this is indeed radiculopathy, I would suggest that you sleep on a hard mattress or the carpet on the floor, avoid odd postures and apply Ibuprofen liquigel on the back to the neck with gentle massage 4 times a day. If this alleviates the symptoms then this is spine related.
Hope this helps.
Please do leave a positive rating for the service.
Let me know if you have further concerns regarding this.
Best wishes.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The pain is sometimes dull (like at the moment) though can present a shooting pain. What do you mean by insidious on onset?

It just doesn't feel like a muscular pain. Sometimes the pain can also raidate to the front, on or around the liver area. If I have had LFT, what would be the reason to have one again? My concern was that I ahd done damage, and you read about Cirrhosis, though again I don't want to diagnose myself. I'm sure there would be othe rmore serious symptoms other than pain on both sides, and teh LFT would have come back abnormal?

Thanks

Expert:  Dr Uzair replied 2 years ago.
Hi and thanks for the reply.
Insidious means it takes over several hours to become severe and noticeable, for example, little discomfort in the morning converting to intense pain in the afternoon or evening.
This is not muscular pain, it is more like a nerve pain, that is what a radiculopathy is.
The repeat liver function tests are because you mentioned you drink alcohol avidly and it is better to get them repeated if the first time they were under the normal range, since sometimes, the tests are at the upper end of normal and still considered normal and it is a good idea to get them repeated to see if there is any change in the numbers.
This is not cirrhosis, since that is established liver failure and there is a whole list of symptoms, pain in cirrhosis is not a common symptom and if pain does occur it occurs in the right upper quadrant not on both sides.
Splenic conditions are only painful when the spleen in enlarged and splenic enlargement presents with fever, malaise, lethargy and lymph node enlargement.
Yes, if this were established liver cirrhosis, your LFTs would have been deranged.
Please do leave a positive rating for the service.
Best wishes.
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