Chronic Abdominal Pain

Clinical Services: Pain Management
Upper West Side
2315 Broadway, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10024
Mon-Fri 08:20am - 05:00pm
Fax
(646) 962-0438
Call
(646) 962-PAIN (7246)
Gramercy Park and Murray Hill
240 East 59th Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10022
Mon-Fri 08:20am - 05:00pm
Fax
(646) 962-0438
Call
(646) 962-PAIN (7246)
Lower Manhattan
156 William Street, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10038
Mon-Fri 08:20am - 05:00pm
Fax
(646) 962-0438
Call
(646) 962-PAIN (7246)

Chronic abdominal pain is pain that is present for more than three months. It may be present all the time, or it may come and go (referred to as “recurrent pain”). Causes include:

  • Lactose intolerance
  • Constipation
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Cancer
  • Menopause

Functional Chronic Abdominal Pain

Functional chronic abdominal pain is real pain that exists for more than six months and occurs with no evidence of a specific physical disorder. It is also not related to body functions (such as menstrual periods, bowel movements, or eating), a drug, or a toxin. Functional pain can be severe and typically interferes with a person’s life.

Exactly what causes the pain is unknown. But the nerves of the digestive tract may become oversensitive to sensations.

Chronic Abdominal Pain Symptoms

Symptoms of chronic abdominal pain vary from patient to patient, and they may change with each episode. The most common symptoms include:

  • Sharp or dull pain
  • Severe pain that causes you to become sweaty, cry or bend over in pain
  • Pain that lasts a few minutes or hours
  • Pain in the belly button area or anywhere in the belly
  • Pain that may or may not be related to eating
  • Pain that occurs any time of the day or night
  • Abdominal pain that occurs with vomiting, headaches, or pain in the arms or legs
  • Not being hungry like usual or skipping meals, usually without losing weight

Symptoms that require a doctor’s immediate attention include a high fever, loss of appetite or weight, pain that awakens the person, blood in stool or urine, jaundice, severe nausea and vomiting, difficulty swallowing, and swelling of the legs or abdomen.

Treatment Options for Chronic Abdominal Pain

Treatment depends on the cause. If a physical cause is known, treating the cause is the first step.

When a physical cause is not found, treatment focuses on helping people return to normal daily activities and minimizing discomfort. These measures include:

  • Lessening stress and anxiety with medications, relaxation techniques, biofeedback, hypnosis, or other methods
  • Relieving pain with medications
  • High-fiber diet or fiber supplements
  • Reducing muscle spasms in the digestive tract with medications or peppermint oil

Why Choose Weill Cornell Medicine?

Our physicians at the Weill Cornell Medicine Division of Pain Management use the latest research, the most advanced equipment, and innovative therapies to diagnose pain and develop customized pain management plans for each patient.

We are experts in diagnosing and treating chronic abdominal pain and its many causes.

Weill Cornell Medicine also offers clinical trials, giving patients access to treatments that may not be available elsewhere. Learn more about Pain Management's current clinical trials.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Our Healthcare Providers
Filter by Primary Specialty
Filter by Location
No items were found matching the selected filters
Shakil Ahmed, M.B., B.S. Profile Photo
Shakil Ahmed, M.B., B.S.
Pain Management  
Schedule Online
Elena Christ, M.D. Profile Photo
Elena Christ, M.D.
Pain Management  
View Profile
Roseann Ciarleglio, N.P. Profile Photo
Roseann Ciarleglio, N.P.
Pain Management  
View Profile
Jatin H. Joshi, M.D. Profile Photo
Jatin H. Joshi, M.D.
Pain Management  
Schedule Online
Yan Cui Magram, M.D. Profile Photo
Yan Cui Magram, M.D.
Pain Management  
Schedule Online
Neel Mehta, M.D. Profile Photo
Neel Mehta, M.D.
Pain Management  
Schedule Online
Rachel Nash, N.P. Profile Photo
Rachel Nash, N.P.
Pain Management  
View Profile
Sadiah Siddiqui, M.D. Profile Photo
Sadiah Siddiqui, M.D.
Pain Management  
Schedule Online
Lisa R. Witkin, M.D. Profile Photo
Lisa R. Witkin, M.D.
Pain Management  
Schedule Online