What Is The Difference Between Somatic And Visceral Pain?

The Difference Between Somatic And Visceral Pain

Pain is the body’s impression that tissue damage is taking place. Somatic and visceral pain are two of the most typical types of pain identified by doctors and nurses. Somatic and Visceral Pain are two key concepts you may or may not be familiar with. Knowing what sort of pain you are suffering and where it is occurring will help you communicate better with your physician.

Somatic Pain And Visceral Pain

 More accurately you explain your problem, the quicker they can identify and treat the root of your problem. Moreover, we wish to be as comfortable as possible whenever it comes to bearing the pain. Visceral pain is different from somatic pain, and both types of pain are distinct in how they feel. 

The Difference Between Somatic And Visceral Pain

Visceral pain develops in the body’s interior organs, while somatic pain develops in the skin, muscles, and soft tissues. Somatic pain encompasses a wide range of symptoms, including cuts, headaches, and even discomfort in the pelvis. Pain in the abdomen, chest, intestine, or pelvis is known as visceral. 

Internal organ and tissue damage generate it, yet no one knows how. Internal pain, on the other hand, can be challenging to identify. In this article, you can find out how they differ based on how you feel them and how they are identified.

How Somatic Pain Feels?

In most cases, somatic pain can be pinpointed to a specific region or part. Throughout the day, it remains active and responsive to movement. Somatic pain includes pain in the pelvis, migraines, and cuts to the skin.

In addition, the level of physical discomfort is more pronounced. Temperature, motion, and swelling all elicit nociceptors in these tissues. A quick, acute pain is typically felt after a minor injury, such as knocking your knee or cutting yourself on the lip.

Somatic Pain Feels

The second type of somatic pain, deep somatic pain, is commonly referred to. Stimuli that reach deeper into the body, such as tendons, joints, bones, and muscles, activate pain receptors there. When it comes to deep somatic pain, “aching” is more of a description.

The nature and depth of deep somatic pain are similar to that of visceral discomfort. Deep somatic pain frequently affects the entire body. If your kneecap is broken, you may feel pain all the way down your leg.

If the injury is severe enough, somatic pain might be concentrated in a certain place of the body or extend to other parts of the body.

How Visceral Pain Feels?

The discomfort you experience in your inner organs, such as your abdomen, uterus, stomach, or rectum, is referred to as visceral pain. Inflammation, pressure, or an injury can create nociceptive pain, which is a type of pain that can be felt by the body’s nervous system.

Vessel pain affects more than a quarter of the global population. Visceral pain, despite its prevalence and recent breakthroughs in pain treatment, remains a mystery.

There are fewer sensory nerves in the viscera than in other regions of the body, such as the skin, which is why visceral discomfort is more difficult to detect. Visceral discomfort includes pain in the abdomen or pelvis, such as from a bladder infection or irritable bowel syndrome.

Visceral Pain Feels

Visceral pain is commonly described as an aching or squeezing sensation. The usual suspects are organ compression or abdominal cavity expansion. Visceral pain can be associated with a multitude of symptoms. Paleness, excessive perspiration, nausea, and digestive issues are just a few of the symptoms.

Each person’s experience with visceral discomfort is unique. Visceral pain can manifest as an emotional symptom like agony as well as a physical one.

Difference between Somatic Pain and Visceral Pain

The soft tissues of the body, mainly the skin and muscles, are the basis of somatic pain. A “musculoskeletal” diagnosis commonly represents more severe pain. On the other hand, Visceral pain is much more challenging to identify.

Deep somatic pain can be caused by the skeletal system, tendons, and muscles, whereas nerves and joints generate superficial somatic pain. Many different terms express how you feel, including hurting, cramps, gnawing, and sometimes even sharpness. Motion can set it off, as it generally occurs only in a particular region of the body. Somatic pain may include cuts, headaches, and pelvic pain.

Extreme, chronic pain in the abdomen, chest, intestines, or pelvis is visceral pain. Due to internal organ and tissue damage, it may not be well understood how it feels. Even though the suffering isn’t always noticeable, it’s still inside. Visceral pain includes inflammatory bowel disease, endometriosis, and pain in the bladder or prostate.

Squeezing or cramping are some other terms being used to describe visceral pain. In terms of internal injury and damage, muscle aches, indigestion, infections, specific malignancies, and particular biological activities can also cause this form of pain. For example, menstrual cramps are a form of visceral pain.

Somatic and visceral pain is generally relieved after a few days. If the symptoms persist for more than a week or are severe, one should consult a doctor. Specify the type of pain you are suffering so that your doctor might come up with the most efficient treatment plan.

Identification of signs and symptoms

👉Somatic pain

Skin, muscles, bones, joints, and connective tissues each have pain receptors that must be activated by somatic pain. They are increased progressively by external stimulation such as a temperature change or pressure or perhaps a rise in swelling. Pain like this is usually referred to as: cramping, aching, gnawing, etc.  

👉Visceral pain

It can experience visceral pain when a person’s intestines, pelvis, abdomen, or other internal organs are damaged. When our inner tissue is broken or injured, we share the pain and discomfort. Symptoms of visceral pain are not well described or understood. It can have the sense of being compressed, having pressure is applied to it, or even hurting.


Different parts of the body are liable for somatic and visceral pain. Your interior organs and blood arteries are the sources of visceral pain. Intense somatic pain may be easier to identify than visceral discomfort, which might be more challenging to pinpoint. There are a lot of nerves in your muscles, bones, and skin that can detect pain. 

Skin-only pain is one type, whereas bone- and muscle-related pain is another. Because there are fewer pain-detecting nerves in your inside organs, visceral pain is often ambiguous or has an aching or squeezing sensation. NSAIDs and opioids can be used to treat both somatic and visceral pain. 

Muscle relaxants may also alleviate deep somatic discomfort. The somatic nervous system’s nerve circuit is known as the somatic reflex—skeletal muscles contract due to this hormone. However, the visceral reflex is the autonomic nervous system’s neural circuit—smooth muscles and organs in the body contract due to this hormone. Visceral reflexes have a different type of effector organ than somatic ones.

Dr. Edward Zelman

Dr. Edward Zelman

Dr. Edward Zelman is a distinguished and highly respected medical professional who has dedicated his career to the field of general medicine. With a profound commitment to patient care and a wealth of knowledge acquired over decades of practice, Dr. Zelman has earned a reputation as a trusted healthcare provider in his community. With a career defined by excellence and an unwavering commitment to the betterment of his patients and the broader community, Dr. Edward Zelman stands as a pillar of the medical field, dedicated to the principles of healing and compassionate care. At present, Dr. Edward Zelman is researching safe and effective natural remedies that can restore as well as maintain the youthful functioning of the body.

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