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Anal Pain – 20 Possible Causes, Treatment & When To See The Doctor

anal pain

Pain in or around the anus and rectum is known as anal pain. Anal pain is frequently accompanied by rectal pain and bleeding. People may be ashamed to discuss anal pain with their doctor, yet it is a frequent symptom of a variety of medical disorders and is usually readily treatable.

The reasons for anal pain are usually simple to identify. Over-the-counter pain medications and hot water soaks (sitz baths) are commonly used to treat anal pain.

Causes of Anal Pain

Anal pain can be caused by a variety of factors. The majority of symptoms are minimal and will subside with therapy. Anal pain can be an indication of more severe disease, such as anal cancer, in rare situations.

Causes of anal pain include:

  • Anal fistula (an abnormal channel between the anus or rectum usually to the skin near the anus)
  • Anal fissure (a small tear in the lining of the anal canal)
  • Ulcerative proctitis (a type of inflammatory bowel disease)
  • Thrombosed hemorrhoid (blood clot in hemorrhoid)
  • Anal itching (pruritus ani)
  • Anal or rectal stricture (narrowing that may occur from scarring, severe inflammation, or cancer)
  • Levator ani syndrome (spasm in the muscles that surround the anus)
  • Proctalgia fugax (fleeting pain due to rectal muscle spasm)
  • Hemorrhoids (swollen and inflamed veins in your anus or rectum)
  • Anal cancer
  • Solitary rectal ulcer syndrome (ulcer of the rectum)
  • Constipation
  • Ulcerative colitis (a type of inflammatory bowel disease)
  • Proctitis (inflammation of the lining of the rectum)
  • Diarrhea (causing anal irritation)
  • Fecal impaction (a mass of hardened stool in the rectum due to chronic constipation)
  • Crohn’s disease (a type of inflammatory bowel disease)
  • A perianal abscess (pus in the deep tissue around the anus)
  • Trauma
  • Perianal hematoma (a collection of blood in the perianal tissue caused by a ruptured vein, sometimes called external hemorrhoid)

Treatment

  • Medicines such as pain relievers, stool softeners, and antibiotics (if there is an infection)
  • A high-fiber diet to help ensure soft bowel movements
  • Sitz baths with warm water to clean the anal area and relieve pain
  • Surgery for muscle spasms and to repair fistulas

Other measures to prevent anal pain include:

  • To protect the skin, avoid wiping too vigorously after a bowel movement.
  • Don’t use perfumed soaps or scented detergents. These may irritate the skin.
  • Don’t wear tight clothing so that the anal area can “breathe.”
  • To help prevent hemorrhoids, try not to sit for too long.

When To See The Doctor

If your pain lasts more than a few days and self-care remedies aren’t working, make an appointment with your doctor. If your anal pain is accompanied by a change in bowel pattern or rectal bleeding, arrange an appointment with your doctor.

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