How can abdominal pain caused by disorders of the abdominal wall be distinguished from pain of intraabdominal origin?
Carnett’s test can help make this distinction. First, the site of maximum tenderness is identified. The patient is then asked to assume a partial seated position with arms crossed, which causes the abdominal wall muscles to generate increased tension. Carnett’s test is positive if increased tenderness on repeat palpation is noted. The differential diagnosis of chronic abdominal wall pain includes rectus sheath hematoma, rib tip syndrome, abdominal wall hernia, myofascial pain syndrome, and cutaneous nerve entrapment syndromes.