Proctalgia Fugax. Fancy Name For ‘Pain Up The Bum’
Every have a pain, that shot right up your anus like a good old bolt? You’re not alone. Proctalgia fagax is a common and while not specific to pregnancy, it does get reported by pregnant people a lot.
Proctalgia fugax refers to the sudden onset of severe pain in the rectum area, which can last from seconds to minutes. The pain is sporadic and can be without warning.
Not to be confused with sciatica pain, or lightening crotch (Seriously, is having a baby not enough? that we’re not subjected to multiple shooting pains up the nether regions?). Proctalgia fugax
It most often occurs in the middle of the night and lasts from seconds to minutes, an indicator for the differential diagnosis of levator ani syndrome, which presents as pain and aching lasting twenty minutes or longer. In a study published in 2007 involving 1809 patients, the attacks occurred in the daytime (33 per cent) as well as at night (33 per cent) and the average number of attacks was 13. Onset can be in childhood; however, in multiple studies the average age of onset was 45. Many studies showed that women are affected more commonly than men. This can be at least partly explained by men’s reluctance to seek medical advice concerning such a delicate case as rectal pain, or asking for driving directions.
Proctalgia fugax means “anal pain of unknown cause.” As the name suggests, the exact cause of the condition is unclear, but the pain is due to muscles in the anal canal and pelvic floor tightening suddenly.
This muscle tightening is called spasming. It is believed that spasms occur in the smooth muscles of the anal canal and the anal sphincter.
Some people may experience sudden and severe muscle cramps in their anal canal. These spasms are more likely to occur at night than at other times. Some people may experience several episodes of anal pain, and then go long periods without any problems.
As the symptoms vary from person to person and are similar to other medical conditions, similar conditions must be ruled out before making a definite diagnosis. These conditions can include hemorrhoids, abscesses, and fissures.
Diagnosis involves a thorough medical examination, including of the genital region. The doctor may also order blood tests and an endoscopy test to look at the lining of the bowel. An endoscopy test is when a doctor puts a small flexible tube into the body that has a light and camera.
In most cases, tests cannot confirm a diagnosis of proctalgia fugax specifically. Instead, the examinations can exclude other, more serious conditions.
There are, however, some natural treatment remedies that people can try to help relieve the pain:
- Natural vegetable powder: Consuming this powder can help produce large, soft bowel movements that help to stretch out the muscles and prevent spasms.
- Pelvic muscle retraining: If voluntary muscles are in spasm, a person may be able to train their muscles to relax by doing special exercises.
- Warm baths: May help to relax the anal sphincter and reduce the spasms and pain associated with proctalgia fugax.
- Potassium-rich foods: Potassium deficiency is thought to be associated with proctalgia fugax. Bananas, raisins, and avocados are rich in potassium.
- Relaxation techniques: Stress relievers such as meditation, deep-breathing exercises, and yoga may help to relieve anxiety and stress.