Can you feel pain in your internal organs?

Most people have experienced pain in the internal organs, ranging from the mild discomfort of indigestion to the agony of renal colic, and women suffer from many forms of visceral pain associated with reproductive life. For both men and women, internal pain is a common cause for seeking medical attention. Visceral pain is pain you feel in your internal organs, such as your stomach, bladder, uterus, or rectum. It is a type of nociceptive pain, meaning it is caused by medical conditions that cause inflammation, pressure, or injury.

Pelvic pain caused by a bladder infection and abdominal pain caused by irritable bowel syndrome are types of visceral pain. Abdominal pain can be indicative of many ailments, from gas and constipation to gallstones or pancreatitis. Understanding the type of pain you're experiencing, its source, and the severity of your condition could help you get the right treatment before your symptoms worsen. In some situations, chronic visceral pain can cause changes in sensation and, in fact, cause neuropathic pain.

When the nervous system is ready for a hyperreactive response to pain, visceral pain may begin at the site of the organ or in the brain as a pathophysiological response to stress. You may also periodically experience a pattern of recurring visceral pain due to problems such as stomach sensitivity. Visceral pain may respond to pain medications, but there are considerations to consider and, in some cases, a more aggressive approach is needed. However, despite a lot that happens and despite recent advances in pain therapy, visceral pain remains poorly understood.

Some people experience extreme visceral pain due to non-serious conditions, while others experience less pain than you would expect from something as serious as a heart attack. The internal organs do not have a high density of nociceptors like the skin does, and the mapping of pain in the brain is not detailed with respect to visceral pain. For example, heart pain may spread to the left arm and neck, bladder pain may be felt in the perineum, and a kidney infection may cause back pain. Unlike superficial pain, visceral pain tends to radiate from the initial location to affect other areas of the body as well, making the entire experience of pain more diffuse and unpleasant.

Marcie Macvicar
Marcie Macvicar

Extreme web nerd. Total food aficionado. Typical coffee evangelist. Alcohol enthusiast. Passionate coffee evangelist.

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