What are the three afferent relays that mediate perception of abdominal pain?
- • Visceral, or splanchnic, pathway
- • Somatic, or parietal, pathway
- • Referred pathway
Visceral abdominal pain is produced by stimulation of nociceptors located in the walls of the abdominal viscera. Somatic abdominal pain is produced by stimulation of nociceptors located in the parietal peritoneum and intraabdominal supporting structures. Referred pain occurs when strong visceral impulses enter the spinal cord at the same level as afferents from other areas; this is mistakenly “read” as pain arising from the second area (e.g., shoulder pain in a gallbladder disorder).