Fibromyalgia patients are very familiar with pain. Living with this chronic disease can lead to several painful symptoms. Do you know that pain is available in different forms?
In an effort to help people with chronic pain, doctors devised a system for classifying pain. One of the categories is known as visceral pain. This pain is one of the most painful of all and can indicate serious problems in the body.
What is visceral pain?
Pain is classified into two main categories: neuropathic and nociceptive. Nociceptive pain refers to the body’s normal response against injury as a result of damage to body tissues. On the other hand, neuropathic pain comes from the nervous system.
Visceral pain is included in nociceptive pain that originates mainly in body tissues. Visceral pain generally affects the internal organs of the body, also known as the viscera. This refers to the organs of the abdomen, such as the kidneys, lungs, heart, and liver. Due to the way our nerves are formed around the viscera, internal organs feel pain differently than other parts of the body. For example, these organs feel more pain when stretched or twisted compared to cuts or slices. This is because the nerves in the internal organs are more sensitive to some types of pain. Therefore, visceral pain can feel very different from other forms of pain.
How does visceral pain feel?
Visceral pain feels like an undesirable, fuzzy sensation that spreads through the stomach. When suffering from pain, it can be difficult to know exactly where the pain is coming from. Visceral pain can produce mood symptoms. Patients who experience such pain also experience mood swings or anxiety.
An example of visceral pain is the pain you feel with kidney stones. This condition is known to be the most painful. In fact, some people find the pain worse than labor pain. In general, inflammation or injury to organs can cause severe visceral pain. For example, a heart attack, hepatitis, or any blood clot that prevents blood flow to organs can cause visceral pain.
There are several other less common sources of visceral pain in the organs of our body. Your doctor can diagnose what may be causing the pain. Such a diagnosis can help determine how your pain can be treated.
How can visceral pain be treated?
The first thing doctors do is help the patient deal with the pain itself. There are several ways to do this. In most cases, the patient is given opioid pain relievers or nerve blocks. The doctor injects the medicine directly into the nerves to stop the pain.
After helping the patient control pain, the doctor begins to identify the causes of the pain. Treatment often focuses on fixing any underlying problems. For conditions where the patient suffers from kidney stones, the doctor uses a machine for treatment. This machine sends shock waves to the kidneys to break the stones into smaller pieces. By doing so, the stones can easily pass through the kidney.
The type of treatment you receive depends mainly on the condition you have. Always check with your doctor once you start experiencing excruciating pain that is different from your usual fibromyalgia symptoms. Your doctor can recommend ways to effectively treat pain.