Make Pain a Thing of the Past – upper – Physician Partners of America

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When you are experiencing upper abdominal pain, it can definitely be frustrating to deal with. Part of that frustration is that you may not know right away what is causing the pain, which makes it more difficult to treat the pain and make it go away.

A medical professional can diagnose and treat your upper abdominal pain, but here are some of the possible causes:

Temporary Problems

Not all of the potential causes of upper abdominal pain are serious issues. Sometimes you might be dealing with something as simple as indigestion or gas. The pain in your upper abdomen could even be due to something like a pulled muscle or similar strain.

Keep an eye on when your symptoms begin, wherein your upper abdomen they are located and the specific sort of pain that you are experiencing. If it is a temporary issue like one of the ones listed above, you likely will be able to get better without much difficulty. Your medical professional can offer advice and medicine as needed if the pain continues.

Stomach or Esophagus Problems

Your upper abdominal pain could be caused by an issue in your stomach or esophagus. These issues could include:

  • Ulcers
  • Gastritis
  • Heartburn
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Some things to keep in mind before you talk to your medical professional are whether or not certain foods make your pain feel worse or if the pain is more intense when you are laying down.

Gallbladder or Liver Problems

Pain in your upper abdomen could also be attributed to an issue in your gallbladder or liver. These problems could include:

  • Liver abscess
  • Gallstones
  • Hepatitis
  • Ascending cholangitis

Again, it will be easier for your doctor to figure out the exact source of the pain if you provide the necessary information. Some issues could be caused by lifestyle, like cirrhosis of the liver due to prolonged alcohol use.

Other Upper Abdominal Problems

There are also a number of intestinal issues that could be the cause of your upper abdominal pain. It could be due to an infection or an inflammatory situation. Or it could be due to a problem like:

  • Pancreatitis
  • Diverticulitis
  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Kidney stones

There are also some serious diseases that have the potential to cause upper abdominal pain, like certain cancers. This is why you should always get medical help to make sure you find out the exact cause of your pain and the appropriate treatment.

Treating Your Upper Abdominal Pain

No matter what the cause, it is important to consult with a medical professional to get your official diagnosis and treatment plan. If your symptoms come on suddenly and are severe, you should get to the doctor right away. Those symptoms could include vomiting blood, inability to have bowel movements, difficulty breathing, bloody stools, a rigid abdomen or any other severe pain.
Pay attention to your body and talk to your doctor about the specifics of your abdominal pain. You will get a treatment plan that works and peace of mind.

For many people suffering from chronic pain, the prospect of finding real and lasting relief can be a complete life-changer. Throughout his years of practicing pain management, Dr. Gari has had an immeasurable impact on people’s quality of life.

We often get brief notes of appreciation from patients. Few offer as much detail about their life with chronic pain as this patient. He has asked to remain anonymous, but he granted us permission to share his message and experience here on our website.


Though I’m a relatively new patient of Dr. Gari’s I do like his approach to pain management. A lot of doctors are simply there to be paid and write prescriptions; Dr. Gari actually wants to solve the problem, and to make sure that it doesn’t come back.

He isn’t afraid to try aggressive therapies that, while safe for the patient, avoid the risk of addiction or surgery for surgery’s sake. I would complain that it’s a time-consuming process; just in the next two weeks I’ve got four appointments with him, two of those being surgical procedures, but comparing that to the amount of time spent complaining about pain, the loss of ability to focus and the trouble that comes with chronic pain, it really isn’t much.

Wouldn’t you rather trade eight hours of your month for the stress of medication management, finding the right doctor, balancing the limitations in your life? I’m relatively young for a client of Dr. Gari’s and I’m not sure if it’s sports related or if it’s simply bad luck, but he’s been nothing but professional with me.

The first time I tried to “solve” my back pain problem I was referred to a doctor who simply started with narcotics. After a month or so of taking these, that doctor wanted to introduce the epidural injection procedures with a $1,200 co-pay (cash only, of course). If I wasn’t willing to pay for these procedures out-of-pocket and out-of-network, he simply wouldn’t write me any more prescriptions.

I was somewhat taken hostage by a new-found addiction to over-prescribed medication that was increased frequently to match my tolerance. Eventually, it got to the point where I simply wasn’t willing to continue down that path, but I, unfortunately, turned to heavy drinking to deal with my ever-increasing back pain.

I’ve met a few doctors as it’s important to find someone you trust. It’s almost like a therapist in this way; you need someone who’s going to believe you when you say you can’t enjoy your life anymore.

This can be difficult when you’re young(er); I’m 34 and doctors often brush me off before they’ve even bothered to look at my MRIs. Again, it’s like mental illness – you can’t see it, it doesn’t show up on a test and it’s impossible to measure in any quantitative way. P

Personally, my two favorite things in the world were running and scuba diving; with a herniated disc, as you can imagine, there are restrictions on participation for either with back pain. Dealing with pain by avoiding doctors and simply drinking it away makes you too stupid and too fat to enjoy either and you find yourself depressed, eating more, drinking more, weighing more.

Dr. Gari gives you another option – get rid of the problem that’s driving you to such measures. That’s worth more than gold. I want my life back, Dr. Gari can give it to me. If these epidurals don’t work, I’ve been asked if I’d consider medication. Normally, I wouldn’t; under Dr. Gari’s supervision, I would.

He’s meticulous, careful to the extreme, and knows what options there are. I’ve tried physical therapy on its own, medication on its own, epidurals on their own – but my treatment is being tailored to my life and lifestyle. With any luck, this time next year I’ll have lost another fifty pounds and I’ll be watching orca hunt off the west coast of Costa Rica from a private charter.

Chronic pain can take your life away. You’re willing to do anything to make it stop. Dr. Gari knows how to do this properly and how to do this safely. He’ll have saved my life.

Drinking? Done with it.

Depression from the seemingly endless pain to which there’s no solution? Gone.

Psychiatric medicine that puts you in a haze so you don’t know what’s going on? No thank you.

Spending days in bed curled into a ball screaming into a pillow? Not anymore.

Considering suicide just to make it go away?

Poor job performance because you can’t think about anything but the feeling that you’re on fire from the waist down all day and night?

Not on Gari’s watch.

I have faith this time around, and I can only hope it will be rewarded. I think it will.