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Proctalgia Fugax – Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Levator_aniProctalgia Fugax also known as Levator Ani Syndrome is nothing but a sudden and severe pain in the rectum that often does not last for more than 20 minutes. This condition is categorized under “unexplained anal and rectal pain.”

Causes of Proctalgia Fugax:

The exact cause of this condition is not known. Following is the list of factors that could be leading to Levator Ani Syndrome.

  • A sudden spasm of the sigmoid part of the colon or levator muscle complex can result in this condition.
  • Individuals who frequent the toilet are at a greater risk of developing this syndrome.
  • Anxiety and stress often play a key role in precipitating the pain.
  • People affected by irritable bowel syndrome may also develop this condition.
  • Managers, professionals and perfectionists are more likely to be affected.

How is Proctalgia Fugax Diagnosed?

  • X-rays or blood tests cannot diagnose this condition. No constant abnormality was found even in patients who were examined during the episodic attacks of pain.
  • Diagnosis of the condition is totally based on the description of the symptoms by the patient.
  • Even if clinical examination is performed, the results are usually negative.
  • Patients are often advised to undergo sigmoidoscopy to look for other causes if any of anorectal disorders.
  • A detailed prostate and pelvic examination is advised.
  • In some cases, CT scan or ultrasound of pelvis is required.

Treatment of Proctalgia Fugax:

To be frank, there is no cure for this condition. Moreover, the episodic pain attacks last for a short period which makes it difficult to opt for any medical therapy. Following measures may alleviate the pain.

  • Hot water baths.
  • Massage therapy.
  • Bowel regimens.
  • Pain relieving drugs.
  • Muscle relaxants such as diazepam and methocarbamol.
  • Tranquilizers.
  • Anti inflammatories.
  • Perineal strengthening exercises.
  • Calcium channel blockers.
  • Tropical nitrates.
  • Acupunture.

Future attacks of Proctalgia Fugax may be avoided by consuming food rich in fiber according to some doctors. High fiber food not only eases the bowel movements but also reduces the spasms in the anorectal region.

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