Rectal Pain (Levator Ani Syndrome) Video Transcription

Rectal pain is also known as Levator Ani Syndrome. What it is is spontaneous episodic pains in the rectum that are secondary to spasms in the pelvic floor musculature. These pains are said to last at least 20 minutes at a time, and as they do progress they can last longer. Patients often say that it’s a sensation of a golf ball in their rectum. Patients say that they have a dull ache in their rectum, or a burning, itchy sensation in their rectum. Risk factors for Levator Ani Syndrome include a history of hemorrhoids or hemorrhoid surgery, history of an anal fissure, history of prolonged sitting, particularly sitting on a hard surface and with poor posture, or chronically holding your stress in your pelvic floor muscles, and it can be aggravated with intercourse. It may be relieved with bowel movements. It is important to let your doctor know that you’re experiencing these symptoms, because research has shown that the earlier that we catch and diagnose and treat it, the easier it is for us to make patients better. The longer things persist, the more challenging it is for us to make it go away. Really because it starts to become your new normal, both in the way your muscles are set, the way your muscle spindles are, as well as the way your nerves are trained and the way they function. So if we catch it early, we can retrain the muscles and the nerves faster, and with a better prognosis.