Anal Pain – Traits, Causes and Treatment

Anal Pain as the name indicates is the pain in and around the rectum (perianal region) or anus. The cause of this pain in most of the cases is benign (not dangerous or progressive), but the severity of pain is considered to be high due to the presence of several nerve endings in the perianal region.

Typical Traits of Anal Pain:

  • An aching and pecking pain that worsens during defecation.
  • Throbbing and sharp knife-like pain that usually lasts for about 15 minutes when the bowels are open.
  • A sharp pain that wakes you up from your sleep.
  • An occasional cramp-like pain in the anal canal that lasts for about half hour.
  • Pain in the anus that is continuous and aching.

Causes of Pain in the Perianal Region:

These could vary from anal fissures to abscess to herpes virus infection.

  • Anal Fissure – Fissure as the name implies is a split. Anal fissure means a split in the skin of the anus, generally towards the back. The pain which is compared to ‘being cut with a glass’ occurs when the bowels are open. The pain worsens if the bowel motion is hard. Moreover, bleeding may also occur.
  • Abscess – which means formation and accumulation of pus due to tissue regeneration leads to throbbing pain in the anus which could disturb sleep over a period of time. Moreover, the skin adjacent to anus swells up.
  • Herpes Virus Infection – The pain due to this infection is similar to the pain caused due to an anal fissure. The virus can either be transmitted through sex or by hands from a cold sore on the face. In the anal region, herpes forms a crack unlike ulcers in other affected regions. The soreness that develops due to infection lasts for a few days every time it occurs.

Treatment and Self-care for Anal Pain:

  • Glyceryl trinitrate ointment can be applied on the anal fissure several times in a day.
  • Botox injections given into the anal muscles prevent spasms in this area.
  • Diltiazem drug in gel form is another alternative to heal anal fissures. Applying twice in a day for 6-8 weeks heals the fissure in nearly 70% of people.
  • Practicing sitz bath (sitting in a hot water tub up to your hip region) more than 3 times in a day eases the pain caused by anal fissures or muscle spasms.
  • Over the counter pain relievers can effectively reduce the pain.
  • Including fruits, whole grains and vegetables that are rich in fiber not only prevent constipation but also ease the bowel movements which in turn decrease pain in the anus.

If Anal Pain worsens even after taking the above mentioned treatment options, visit your doctor immediately to avoid future complications.

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