The Differences Between Deep Somatic Pain And Somatic Pain

If you aren’t familiar with technical terminology than the phrase somatic pain may not mean a lot to you. However, if you’ve ever damaged your skin, stretched a muscle, or exercised for a long time resulting in soreness the next day, you’ve experienced it. There are two types of somatic pain known as superficial (near the surface) and deep somatic pain, and in this article, we’re going to help familiarize you with them and ensure that you have a clear understanding of what they are.

Somatic Pain: What It Is and How We Feel It

The body has special receptors known as ‘nocireceptors’ that detect changes in vibration and temperature, as well as swelling in the joints, muscles, and skin. They are the receptors that let your body know that it is being harmed, and the signals they send are what your brain interprets as pain.

Superficial Somatic Pain

Nocireceptors that are located in places like your mucous membranes and skin let you know when your skin has been damaged. When you bust your lip open, scratch your skin, or get a burn from the stove, it’s these receptors that are letting you know it. These important receptors are how we safely navigate our day and avoid experiencing greater damage. This kind of pain tends to feel like an itch, a throb, or sharp, prickling, or burning pains.

Deep Somatic Pain

When you damage structures deep within your body it’s going to be another set of these same receptors, just set in deeper in the body, that let you know it. This pain tends to feel like a dull ache, and can radiate around the injured area. Your tendons, bones, muscles, and joints can all experience this kind of pain, with the area the pain radiates through being larger in cases where the damage is more extensive.


How somatic pain is treated depends on what is causing it, and what type of pain it is. Spasms are going to be treated differently than a deep throbbing pain. In most cases over-the-counter medications can be used to treat this condition, with NSAID’s like Ibuprofen being used to manage swelling. More powerful pain killers may be provided in cases of deep somatic pain, or muscle relaxers in cases where the muscle is experiencing soreness and pain. Additionally you may be advised to apply a cold or hot pack, get massage, or even physical therapy to help with it.

If you’re experiencing symptoms related to somatic pain it’s time to contact your physician for care. Dr. Todd Bromberg at Delaware Valley Pain & Spine has been helping patients in the Chalfont, PA area handle somatic pain and other medical conditions, and is available to help you face your somatic pain concerns. Somatic pain can be come worse if left untreated, and may be indicative of underlying injury. Don’t let a minor injury become more severe by toughing it out, pick up the phone and contact their office for an appointment today.

Dr. Todd A. Bromberg, M.D. When chronic pain and spinal issues impact your quality of life, you need a team of crack spine and pain specialists at your disposal. Delaware Valley Pain & Spine Institute works with some of the most respected experts in the field to bring pain relief and restored quality of life to patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey!
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