What are the Most Common Causes of Spleen Pain?

K. Gierok

The spleen is an organ in the body that drains toxins from the body and helps to defend against infection. While the spleen is a relatively resilient organ, certain conditions can lead to severe pain. One of the most common causes is a bacterial, parasitic, or viral infection. Typically, this is the most treatable type of spleen pain, as it can usually be cured through various prescription medications. In addition, rapid tumor growth can cause pain in the spleen that requires immediate treatment. Pain caused by a direct trauma should also be treated with care, as it can lead to the development of internal bleeding. In general, those who experience pain in the upper left of the abdomen, where the spleen is located, should seek medical assistance as soon as possible.

A ruptured spleen, which is very painful, may require surgery.
A ruptured spleen, which is very painful, may require surgery.

One of the most common causes of spleen pain is an infection. Typically, this pain ranges from moderate to severe and comes on relatively rapidly. Spleen infections can be relatively serious and should be treated as such, and they require medical assistance as soon as possible. While antibiotics and other types of prescription medications may be sufficient to treat this condition, in some cases, more aggressive methods may be required.

An ultrasound can be used to investigate spleen pain.
An ultrasound can be used to investigate spleen pain.

The development of a tumor, whether cancerous or non-cancerous, has also been linked to the development of spleen pain. Unlike infections, pain associated with the development of a tumor typically comes on quite gradually and is usually mild initially, but it increases in intensity when left untreated. Studies have found that even non-cancerous tumors on the spleen can be quite dangerous, as they are prone to causing the organ to rupture, which can lead to potentially life-threatening internal bleeding.

A swollen spleen can go unnoticed unless other related symptoms develop.
A swollen spleen can go unnoticed unless other related symptoms develop.

An injury caused by a direct trauma to the area also commonly leads to severe pain. Falls, hits, and car accidents can all damage the spleen, causing pain and other serious complications. Typically, those who have suffered this type of injury and then experience serious pain have likely ruptured their spleen. This can lead to internal bleeding, so injured individuals should seek medical assistance as soon as possible.

Symptoms of spleen cancer, a potential cause of spleen pain, may include fatigue.
Symptoms of spleen cancer, a potential cause of spleen pain, may include fatigue.
A swollen spleen caused by a viral infection may lead to a sore throat.
A swollen spleen caused by a viral infection may lead to a sore throat.
Infections that cause spleen pain can usually be treated with prescription medications.
Infections that cause spleen pain can usually be treated with prescription medications.

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Discussion Comments

bear78

@simrin-- Did you exercise or lift weights recently?

I had the same type of spleen pain symptoms. I thought there was something going on with my spleen but it just turned out to be a pulled muscle.

We forget that there are muscles and ribs in the same area where the spleen is. So pain could be due to any one of these, it doesn't have to be from the spleen. I think it takes something very serious to actually feel spleen pain.

Of course, you should see your doctor but you probably just pulled something. Put some ice on it and rest, it'll go away.

stoneMason

@simrin-- Well, it's possible for bacterial and viral infections to cause the spleen to be inflamed. So it could be due to the mono but you can't know for sure without diagnostic testing.

Do you also have difficulty breathing or other symptoms like heart palpitations? Mononucleosis is a serious viral infection. If it's not properly treated, the virus can travel and embed in different organs like the heart. So I recommend seeing your doctor as soon as possible if your symptoms continue.

SteamLouis

Can a mono infection cause spleen pain?

I had mono last month, I was treated with antivirals and felt better until last week. I have a persistent chest pain where my spleen is, I think it might have to do with the mono.

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