Anal pain that has no specific reason or cause is known as the medical condition Proctalgia Fugax. This pain is felt and experienced due to spasms around and in the anus’ canal itself. Proctalgia Fugax may be similar to a condition known as levator ani syndrome which is a medical condition that also makes patients feel pain in the anus. The difference between these two medical conditions is that pain for levator ani syndrome will last for more than a few minutes and may even take several days to disappear.
People from all walks of life and different ages can experience Proctalgia Fugax, but the said condition does not usually affect people who have not started with their puberty period yet, and it seems to afflict women more compared to men. Experts are unsure why it specifically, is more common for the condition to afflict a particular group of people. Some believe it may be because men seldom report such ailments while women are more willing to consult their medical partners for a quick checkup.
What are the Symptoms?
Proctalgia Fugax will usually present symptoms such as spasms in the muscles around the anal canal and spasms of the muscle in the rectum’s lower portions or areas. The spasm or the pain caused by Proctalgia Fugax will usually occur without any warning and can inflict pain on individuals all of a sudden. The pain caused by this medical condition has been described as severe and extreme. This severe and extreme pain will also last for around a few seconds but some rare cases have been reported to last for around thirty (30) minutes. The pain caused by proctalgia Fugax can be excruciating enough that it may result in limited physical activity for the patient Some patients affected by Proctalgia Fugax may also have to skip work and stay at home during periods of extreme and severe spasms and pains.
Pain caused by Proctalgia Fugax will also have periods in between attacks where pain and spasms will be absent and the pain felt by patients will usually resolve on its own. Pain caused by this condition will usually happen at night and can be so painful that it can interrupt a person’s sleep. However, there are cases where this condition has been observed to occur during the daytime.
Triggers and Causes
There are no known specific triggers or cases for Proctalgia Fugax. However, there is data to support the observation that it may be an issue caused by the pudendal nerves of the patient. It has also been observed to happen after certain procedures requiring injections are conducted such as vaginal hysterectomy, or sclerotherapy.
Other causes or triggers of Proctalgia Fugax may include stress, constipation, menstruation, and sexual activities. There have been studies linking spasms with the amount of stress experienced by individuals. Evidence also suggests that menstruation can cause proctalgia Fugax which may explain why more women experience the said medical condition compared to men. However, Proctalgia Fugax has been observed to affect people regardless of whether or not they encountered or have undertaken some of the aforecited triggers.
Proctalgia Fugax is commonly detected and diagnosed by the patient’s medical partner or healthcare professional by ensuring that there are no other reasons for the said anal spasms and pain. To do this, the patient’s doctor needs to do certain medical procedures or processes. These include interviewing the patient or asking the patient regarding their symptoms of pain particularly in terms of duration and severity, the conduct of physical examinations, inspecting the patient’s body for any diseases that can cause pain the anus such as abscess, fissures, and hemorrhoids.
Once all the other possible causes of anal spasms and pain have been ticked off the list, the doctor can confirm the presence or absence of proctalgia Fugax.
How Is It Treated and Managed?
The treatment options for Proctalgia Fugax is varied and is different for various individuals. Getting relief from the said condition’s symptoms may work for one person, while another individual may require a different approach. One thing is standard in the treatment of Proctalgia Fugax and that is the management of symptoms is the best way to address it. This is because the aforementioned medical condition does not have any exact or specific cause and helping people address their anal spasms and pain may be the best strategy to improve quality of life despite the pain attacks associated with Proctalgia Fugax.
Proctalgia Fugax triggers must be identified early. Stress may be a trigger, and one way to prevent anal pain flare-ups is to have the patient undergo counseling. Other stress-relieving activities may also help, including enemas with warm water and baths that use relaxing and soothing warm water. The doctor may also recommend medications to help address the condition like glyceryl trinitrate and other forms of ointments. Extreme anal pain and spasms may also require anesthetic blocks or botox injections in the affected portion.