Have you thought about the health of your butt lately? We tend to give anal health the short shrift in comparison to the time we spend thinking about the well-being of our vaginas, those pampered show ponies of the underwear area. But anuses require good treatment too, and that includes refraining from putting certain items and substances into or around them.
Anal fissures are not exactly a topic for cocktail party conversation, and the reluctance to discuss them often leaves sufferers thinking they are the only ones affected.
In fact, this potentially painful, debilitating, anxiety-provoking condition is quite common. If a fissure doesn’t heal on its own, it can usually be treated and recurrences prevented with conservative measures.
People frequently assume that the major source of anal pain is hemorrhoids, in which swollen tissue sticks out of the anus. However, anal pain can result from: - fissure, created by stool tearing the anus, which is generally an acute, sharp pain. There may be associated muscle spasm, resulting in prolonged pain over hours.
- abscess, resulting from a bacterial infection, which may cause fever, night sweats and prolonged, constant pain...
Anorectal complaints in the emergency department (ED) can be associated with great stress or embarrassment for the patient, and often lead to delayed presentation, with patients attempting to self-treat or simply dealing with the symptoms. While most anorectal conditions are not life-threatening, they may cause significant discomfort.
Dull aching pain symptoms are associated with coccydynia. The pain becomes sharp during siting or when getting up from sitting, pain originating in the middle just above the anus, pain improves while leaning forward or to the side, and local tenderness over the area. Pain will increased during sex, defecation and menstruating.
People who strain excessively are more prone to developing tears of the anal lining, known as a fissure. One study in Pakistan looked at participants who had chronic anal fissures with symptoms such as painful defecation, passage of blood from the rectum and difficulty sitting. Participants adopted a squatting posture on a modified toilet seat (with their hips flexed and feet resting on an elevated stool) to help mimic a squatting position. They were found to have significantly reduced symptoms compared to the sitting position.
Burning, itching, bleeding. A sharp pain in the rectal area that wakes you up from sleep. A feeling like hot coals during or after a bowel movement. Not easy stuff for most people to talk about with their doctor, despite the fact that these are all common conditions. Let's discuss 3 of the most prevalent and bothersome: hemorrhoids, anal fissures and proctalgia fugax.
Rectal pain is pain in the lower portion of the gastrointestinal tract. The term is often used interchangeably with pain in the anus or anal pain. It is a fairly common problem and can result from condition such as hemorrhoids or anal fissures. Rectal or anal pain can also occur with inflammatory diseases of the bowel, localized infections, or minor injuries to the area.
Sometimes, anal pain may result from an abnormality that has no identifiable cause, such as unexplained muscle spasms in your bottom.
Other less common causes of anal pain include:
-An inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's disease, where there may be anal fissures and abscesses as well as inflammation in the rectum.
-A bone-related problem such as coccydynia (pain from your tailbone) or referred pain from your lower back, pelvis or hips caused by arthritis or bone tumours.
-A urinary tract problem such as prostatitis (inflammation or infection of the prostate gland).
-Cancer of the anus or lower rectum.
-Proctalgia fugax: this is a fleeting pain of unknown cause that's usually diagnosed when other causes of pain have been ruled out. Paracetamol and a warm bath may provide some relief.
Anorectal pain is a relatively common symptom first described by the Romans.
Patients will often delay consulting a healthcare practitioner about this problem due to embarrassment and fear of a sinister diagnosis, tolerating disturbing symptoms for long periods.
There are two functional anorectal pain syndromes: Proctalgia fugax (PF) (fugax = fugitive/fleeting in Latin) and Levator ani syndrome (LAS).