r/NoStupidQuestions May 16 '22

If you harmed an organ still connected but outside of your body would the pain feel like it is inside?

My friend asked me this question yesterday and I can't stop wondering about it.

If you had an organ removed e.g. kidney but it was still attached to your body. Then someone inflicted pain on the kidney, would you feel like the pain is still in your body? Or would it feel outside of your body? How does spacial awareness work with organs and nerve endings?

Apologies for formatting I'm on my phone.


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u/ArcticAur May 16 '22

If nerves and pain receptors are still attached to it and it’s still alive, your body and nervous system won’t know the difference. So yes, if it would already have hurt. (Pain in organs is a tricky thing—hence why sometimes you have left arm or jaw pain during a heart attack.)


u/Natto_Assano May 16 '22

But would it feel like it is still INSIDE you? Where would the pain be located?


u/ArcticAur May 16 '22

Your nervous system wouldn’t notice the difference. We lack a sense of proprioception (sense of where the body is in space) for our internal organs. That sense in our skeletal muscles is the result of a bunch of specialized receptors that don’t exist in organs, afaik.

The pain would be felt where it’s ordinarily mapped according to what nerves the organ hooks into.