Rectal Pain: What are the Common Causes? | Minnesota

Rectal pain is one of common symptoms in the minnesotan patients with anorectal diseases. It can be caused by various anorectal conditions.

Acute anal fissure usually causes sharp pain during intense, forced bowel movements, and it is often accompanied by rectal bleeding with bright red blood. The patients with chronic anal fissures usually have intermittent sharp rectal pain due to sphincter muscle spasm and bleeding with each bowel movement for a long time.

Pain that begins gradually and becomes excruciating may indicate infection that leads to anorectal abscess, and pain improves if the absecess ruptures, and pressure inside abscess reduces.

In general, external hemorrhoids often cause itching and discomfort due to the difficulty in cleasing after bowel movement, but it usually don’t cause significant rectal pain. They will cause pain, however, if the varicose vein complex ruptures, as blood clots occur and build up the pressure inside the lump. This condition, known as thrombosed external hemorrhoid, causes an extremely painful bluish anal lump. The somatic nerve in the anal canal (below the dentate line) can sense pain, this is why the patients feel significant pain with the immediate onset when they develop thrombosed external hemorrhoids.

Internal hemorrhoids, however, are not painful due to being located above the dentate line of the rectum that is supplied by the visceral nerve, like those found within the intestines, which sense pressure rather than pain. Similarly, rectal cancer typically does not cause pain unless the condition is advanced.

Proctalgia fugax (rectal pain) is an anorectal pain syndrome that occurs in episodes lasting seconds or minutes, typically in the middle of the night, though it is very possible to experience it during the day as well. Patients may feel spasm-like, sharp pain in the anus that is often mistaken for a sign that they must defecate. Levator ani syndrome presents the symptoms with vague, aching or pressure feeling high in the rectum. It could be worsened by sitting and relieved by walking. The pain tends to be constant and lasts from hours to days. It recurs regularly. Both conditions are recurrent, and while not curable, treatments are available.

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