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Rectal Pain

Rectal Pain Quick Overview

  • Four common causes of the symptom of rectal pain are
    • hemorrhoids,
    • anal fissures,
    • fleeting anal spasms (Proctalgia fugax), and
    • other more constant muscle spasms (Levator ani syndrome)
  • Many other infrequent causes of rectal pain are cancers or foreign bodies.
  • Rectal pain usually varies according to its underlying cause; for example, hemorrhoids usually cause mild or moderate discomfort, while anal fissures can cause a tearing or knife-like sharp pain.
  • If you experience rectal pain without bleeding, contact your health-care professional, however, go to an Emergency Department if you are
    • bleeding from the rectum,
    • have increasing severity of pain and/or the pain is spreading, or
    • have a foreign object stuck in the rectum (for example, a vibrator).
  • For most people, the diagnosis of the cause of rectal bleeding is made a doctor by taking the patient's history and performing a physical exam that includes a rectal exam. Occasionally, X-rays and other studies may be ordered to determine infrequent underlying causes.
  • Once the cause of rectal pain is diagnosed there are home remedies to reduce rectal pain for three of the four most common rectal pain causes.
    1. Sit in a tub of warm water for about 20 minutes.
    2. Eat a high fiber diet.
    3. OTC creams and anti-inflammatory medications may help.
  • Fleeting anal spasms lasts for very short periods of time so that no treatment is available to stop an attack; however, for other sources of rectal pain the following may help:
  • Thrombosed (blood clotted in a vessel) hemorrhoids can have the thrombus surgically removed for instant relief. Individuals with hemorrhoids and/or thrombosed hemorrhoids, anal fissures, and levator ani syndrome usually have an excellent to good prognosis; fleeting anal spasms is more difficult to treat, and it's prognosis is only fair.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/19/2015

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