The abdomen is bigger than you may know. Unless you plan to enter into a healthcare profession, it is hard to discover that there is more to the abdomen than meets the eye. Technically, there are nine regions of the abdomen and four different quadrants. While this may not mean much to you, it means something for the doctor who will be working on your illness.
The moment you experience abdominal pain, your doctor will need to analyze the different abdominal regions in your body, for the proper assessment of your condition. It is the only way to properly ascertain why you are experiencing pain in your abdomen. Here is more about the abdomen and pain related to this part of your body.
More About the Abdomen
The abdomen is located in the lower part of your upper body. In anatomy, dividing the abdomen helps you understand that there are many different body organs located in this area. It is why experts have tried to categorize the abdomen into different sections. From the different sections, you can better assess abdominal pain, to come up with the most effective treatment.
Ideally, they are categorized into 4 main quadrants, from an anatomical perspective. The belly button or navel is used as the landmark to visualize the different quadrants. It is where the planes dividing the quadrants cross.
What Organs Are Located in the 4 Abdominal Quadrants?
From the different quadrants of your abdomen, there are various organs. One main commonality about all the four quadrants is that they all have portions of the small and the large intestines. The following enlists the main organs distributed in the four different quadrants:
- Right upper quadrant – this contains the liver, the right kidney, the stomach, the pancreas, the duodenum, and the right adrenal gland.
- Left upper quadrant – the other part of the liver, the left kidney, the left adrenal gland, the spleen, the other part of the stomach and the pancreas as well.
- Right lower quadrant – this is the part that has portions of the reproductive organs, the appendix, and the right ureter.
- Left lower quadrant – the other portion of the reproductive organs, as well as the left ureter, are found in the left lower quadrant.
The Nine Abdominal Regions
The four abdominal quadrants in the abdomen anatomy are not the last categorization. It is further divided into nine regions, which are much smaller segments. These nine regions are as follows:
1. Hypochondriac region – this is the region that falls under the cartilage of the ribs, which explains its name. however, this term has been used to describe two parts of the nine abdominal regions, that is,
- Right hypochondriac region
- Left hypochondriac region
2. Lumbar region – the vertebrae in your lower back is called the lumbar. This part of the abdomen gets its name from this part because that is where it is located. It also has two parts,
- Right lumbar region
- Left lumbar region
3. Iliac region – it is located in the top of the hip bone, which is called the iliac crest, hence its name. its two parts are,
- Right iliac region
- Left iliac region
4. Epigastric region – it is located above the stomach region (gastric), which explains its name.
5. Umbilical region – this is the region that is home to your navel (umbilicus). This region makes the center of the nine abdominal regions.
6. Hypogastric region – this is below the gastric, which means it falls under the stomach.
What Are the Causes of Abdominal Pain?
Abdominal pain is the pain that happens between the pelvic regions and the chest of your body. This pain can happen in any section of your abdomen. It is why some patients will describe is as left side abdominal pain, while others the lower right abdominal pain. Ideally, only a differential diagnosis can help analyze the pain you are having. This will help determine whether you have a general upper abdominal pain or that the pain is specific in the lower left abdomen.
Different things can cause abdominal pain, including:
- Intestinal disorders
- Abnormal growths in the abdomen
- Infection – in the throat, your blood or intestines.
- Blockage (inflammation obstruction)
- Menstruation cramps
- Stomach flu (gastroenteritis)
- Acid reflux
- Irritable bowel syndrome