Rigidity of the abdomen
Involuntary abdominal rigidity should always be evaluated by your health care provider.
All forms of involuntary rigidity and rebound tenderness (pain when the abdomen is gently pressed and then the pressure is released) need immediate medical attention, preferably in an emergency room. You may need surgery.
You will probably be seen in an emergency room instead of at your doctor's office.
The health care providerwill perform a physical examination. The physical examination may include a pelvic (and possibly a rectal) examination.
The health care provider will ask questions about your symptoms, such as:
Diagnostic tests that may be performed include:
You will probably not be given any pain relievers until a diagnosis is made. Pain relievers can hide your symptoms.
Bengiamin RN, Budhram GR, King KE, Wightman JM. Abdominal pain. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2009:chap 21.
Postier RG, Squires RA. Acute abdomen. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 45.
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