In some patients with abdominal pain, the source of the pain may be the abdominal wall. A simple test is described which allows these patients to be identified and treated with injections of local anaesthetic and steroid. Twenty-six patients were studied, 20 of whom were available for follow-up. Sixteen of these 20 were symptom free or improved at a median follow-up period of 29 months. Failure to recognize abdominal wall pain may lead to unnecessary investigation.