This is a severe pain in the upper abdomen. The pain is usually worst to the right-hand side, just below the ribs. It is caused by a stone that becomes stuck in the cystic duct. This is the small tube that takes bile from the gallbladder to the bile duct. The gallbladder then squeezes (contracts) hard to dislodge the stone and this causes pain. The pain eases and goes if the gallstone is pushed out into the bile duct (and then usually out into the gut), or if it falls back into the gallbladder. Pain from biliary colic can last just a few minutes but, more commonly, lasts for several hours. A severe pain may only happen once in your lifetime, or it may flare up from time to time. Sometimes less severe but niggly pains occur now and then, particularly after a fatty meal when the gallbladder contracts most.