Anal pain, also known as proctalgia, is pain or discomfort in the anus or rectum.
There are several types of anal pain, including:
- Proctalgia fugax: a sudden, severe pain in the rectum that comes and goes quickly.
- Levator ani syndrome: a chronic, dull pain in the rectum caused by muscle spasms in the levator ani muscle.
- Proctodynia: a chronic, burning pain in the anus caused by irritation or inflammation of the skin around the anus.
- Anal fissure: a small tear in the lining of the anus that can cause sharp pain during bowel movements.
Anal pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Constipation or diarrhoea
- Haemorrhoids (swollen veins in the anus)
- Anal fissures
- Anal or rectal infections
- Anal or rectal cancer
- Proctitis (inflammation of the rectum)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
Symptoms of anal pain include pain or discomfort in the anus, pain during bowel movements, and bleeding from the anus.
Diagnosis of anal pain typically involves a physical examination and may include tests such as anoscopy (a visual examination of the anus) or sigmoidoscopy (a visual examination of the lower portion of the large intestine).
Treatment for anal pain depends on the underlying cause and can include things such as changes to your diet and lifestyle, medication to relieve symptoms, or surgery to treat underlying conditions such as haemorrhoids or fissures.
It’s important to note that anal pain can be a serious condition if left untreated, so it’s important to seek medical attention if you suspect you have anal pain.
To discuss diagnosis and treatment options, please book an appointment with our specialist.
To learn more about appendicitis, please click on https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/anal-pain/
Dr Ibrahim Yahli MD MRCPsych