Deep pain arising from muscle, joints, connective tissue, and the viscera is different in character and quality from pain arising from cutaneous structures. Deep pains, particularly visceral pain, are poorly localized, typically referred or transferred to a cutaneous site, and generally produce strong emotional and autonomic responses and tonic muscle contractions. Despite the prevalence and clinical importance of deep pains, it is only relatively recently that investigative efforts have begun to focus on the mechanisms of deep pain. The present report briefly reviews the development and use of a model of visceral pain that employs constant pressure distension of the colon and retum as a noxious stimulus. Converging behavioral, pharmacological and physiological evidence that colorectal distension is a valid, reliable, noxious, visceral stimulus is presented.