Proctalgia fugax: A cause of episodic rectal pain?

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Proctalgia fugax: A cause of episodic rectal pain?

Question

Recently, I have been awakened at night by severe rectal pain. My doctor has diagnosed it as proctalgia fugax. What causes this?

No name given
Connecticut

Answer

Proctalgia fugax is severe, episodic rectal pain that usually occurs at night. The pain may last from a few seconds to 30 minutes. The exact cause of proctalgia fugax isn't known. But it may be due to a spasm in the muscles around the rectum. On physical examination, there may be tenderness of the pelvic floor muscles. Although many treatments for proctalgia fugax have been tried, none has been consistently effective. During an attack, rectal pain may be relieved by warm baths, biofeedback and massage of the muscles supporting the rectum. A doctor with experience in treating proctalgia fugax can provide instruction on self-care treatments. Constipation may contribute to proctalgia fugax. So it is important to eat plenty of fiber.

Last Updated: 10/04/2006
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