When assessing a patient for posture and appearance, the nurse recognizes that the patient is lying still and complaining of abdominal pain. Slight jarring of the bed causes agonizing pain. The nurse assesses that the origin of the pain may be:


•This pain may be of peritoneal origin. This is a well-localized pain that causes rigidity of the abdominal muscles where the pain increases with any pressure or motion.

•Pain of renal origin begins in the flank area and may radiate to the lower abdomen, back, and groin.

•Pain of biliary origin is in the right upper quadrant and may radiate to the right shoulder.

•Pain of meningeal origin is associated with a headache, nuchal rigidity, and photophobia. Pain is increased when the neck is flexed toward the chest.

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