Visceral and deep somatic pain
Disease processes in the deep tissue such as the viscera, muscle, and joint are the most common cause of clinically relevant pain. Pain is also the major, or in some cases, the only sensation that originates from deep tissues. In contrast, the skin gives rise to a wide range of sensations that include touch, tickle, itch, warmth, coolness, and complex sensations like wetness or stickiness. Cutaneous pain serves primarily as a warning of external threats and is much more rarely a clinical concern, although lesions, burns, and some skin diseases produce pain. This chapter outlines the basic principles of nociception in the viscera, muscle, and joint, with a particular emphasis on the similarities and differences in the neurobiology of pain from deep structures compared to pain from the skin.
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