Anal pain

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Pain from the anal region can cause a lot of concern, as it is an unusual experience. The nature of the pain can often be a clue as to the underlying cause however referral to a colorectal surgeon to properly investigate this condition may be indicated.

TYPES OF PAIN
• A knife-like pain when you pass a bowel motion which may last for 10–15 minutes afterwards, is probably caused by an anal fissure. Some people describe it as like ‘passing glass’. In addition to the pain, you may notice some bright red blood on the toilet paper.
• A similar knife-like pain can be caused by herpes simplex virus.
• A nagging, aching discomfort made worse by defecation could be due to haemorrhoids.
• A throbbing pain, worsening over a few days, and bad enough to disturb your sleep, is likely to be caused by an anal abscess.
• Sudden severe spasms of anal pain felt deep in the anal canal lasting seconds to minutes, with no pain between episodes is probably a condition called proctalgia fugax.
• A dull aching pain or discomfort of the anus, that lasts more than 20 minutes, and frequently hours to days, may be due to levator ani syndrome.
• Pain over the ‘tail-bone (coccyx) may be due to coccygodynia.
• A continuous aching pain in the anus in which all of the above causes have been excluded, suggests referred pain caused by a back problem (when a part of the spine presses on a nerve).

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