Abdominal pain has many potential causes — such as gas pains, indigestion or a pulled muscle — most of which aren't considered serious. However, complex abdominal pain can be very serious and may require urgent medical attention.
The conditions that cause acute abdominal pain are usually accompanied by other symptoms that develop over hours to days. Causes can range from minor conditions that resolve without any treatment, like a common stomach ache, to more serious medical emergencies. Chronic abdominal pain is often difficult to determine and symptoms may range from mild to severe, coming and going but not necessarily worsening over time.
Abdominal pain that steadily worsens over time is called progressive and is often accompanied by the development of other symptoms. It is usually serious.