Background: Nutcracker syndrome (NCS) is caused by extrinsic compression of the left renal vein (LRV), usually between the abdominal aorta (AA) and superior mesenteric artery (SMA). This rare disease includes symptoms such as hematuria, left flank pain or abdominal pain, varicocele in males, proteinuria, anemia, gynecological symptoms (dyspareunia, dysmenorrhea).
Case report: We report the case of a 48-year-old female patient, who experienced left abdominal colic after intensive physical exercise, finally resulting in a diagnosis of NCS. This abdominal pain was disabling for daily activities, it was controlled by analgesic drugs and led to hospital admissions. In-depth examinations were recommended to the patient to investigate the etiology of these attacks. A bad rotated and ectopic left kidney, which was located superior to the spleen, at the level of the left hemithorax base, was found due to the presence of a diaphragmatic relaxation in the posterior area, which caused an upward displacement of the kidney, part of the colon and omental fat. Because of the presence of a compression of the LRV by the SMA and the AA, the nephrologist diagnosed a NCS, presenting with abdominal pain following physical exercise, proteinuria and dysmenorrhea. Conservative treatment was chosen for the patient.
Conclusions: The patient was recommended to engage in a moderate and regular physical activity, avoiding acute and intense exercise: hypopressive abdominal gymnastics was suggested. The role of physical exercise in triggering painful attacks and its role in rehabilitation to prevent the same attacks was crucial for the patient.
Keywords: physical exercise, nutcracker syndrome, abdominal pain, diaphragmatic relaxation