Which type of pain is associated with internal areas of the body?

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. Visceral pain cannot be evoked in all viscera and there is often no relationship between internal injury and visceral pain. Visceral pain describes pain that originates in the internal organs and is often variable in experience, is poorly localized and is difficult to treat.

Most somatic pain responds well to over-the-counter medications, such as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) or other pain relievers. Opioids are usually reserved for severe pain and are given for a short time to avoid dependency problems. The internal organs don't have as many nerves to detect pain, so visceral pain tends to be vague or to have a feeling of compression or pain. They will be able to provide you with a treatment plan that reduces pain by treating the underlying cause and directly reducing the sensation of pain.

This referred pain is a key characteristic of visceral pain and is used by many doctors in the diagnosis of certain diseases. Ultimately, appreciating these contrasts and similarities between the development and maintenance of somatic and visceral pain states and the means by which central excitability occurs in visceral disorders, in its own right, is also crucial to better understand therapeutic treatments for visceral pain syndromes. Somatic pain occurs when pain receptors in tissues (including skin, muscles, skeleton, joints, and connective tissues) are activated. NSAIDs, paracetamol and serotonergic compounds are other treatment options for a variety of visceral pain conditions with minimal and controlled studies, but generally none of these compounds are selective for visceral conditions and are also used to treat other forms of chronic pain (10).

No difference in activity was found in the somatosensory cortex; however, those who experienced pain had significantly greater activation of the ACC of the limbic system (the area involved in the active component of the pain experience). Because many nerves supply muscles, bones, and other soft tissue, somatic pain is often easier to localize than visceral pain. Examples include the low consumption of calcium for somatic pain caused by osteoporosis and the increase in smoking for visceral pain caused by stomach cancer. The pain referred to with or without hyperalgesia is more acute, is better localized and is less likely to be accompanied by autonomic signs and, therefore, is difficult to differentiate from pain of somatic origin.

However, if you experience severe or persistent pain for at least one week, you should see your doctor.

Marcie Macvicar
Marcie Macvicar

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

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