General Practice 2022

Proctalgia fugax: what é, symptoms and treatment

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Proctalgia fugax: what é, symptoms and treatment
Proctalgia fugax: what é, symptoms and treatment

Proctalgia fugax consists of involuntary contraction (spasm) of the anus muscles, which can last for a few minutes and cause a lot of pain and discomfort in the region.

This pain usually occurs at night and is more frequent in women between 40 and 50 years old, without a defined cause. Still, it seems to happen more often in people who suffer from excess stress, anxiety, or tension.

When there is pain in the anus region, it is very important to consult a general practitioner or a proctologist, to rule out other causes and start the most appropriate treatment, which, in the case of fleeting proctalgia, may include therapies to teach the person to relax, avoiding involuntary contraction of the anal muscles.Learn about other possible causes of anal pain.

Main symptoms

The most characteristic symptom of proctalgia fugax is the onset of pain in the anus, which lasts for a few seconds or minutes, but which can be very intense. Pain attacks are not very common, but some people may have painful attacks two to three times a month, for example.

The onset of symptoms usually occurs between the ages of 40 and 50 and should always be evaluated by a doctor, as other more serious causes, such as bowel or anal cancer, can also cause these types of symptoms. See how to identify anal cancer.

How to confirm the diagnosis

The diagnosis of proctalgia fugax is usually made by a proctologist through the evaluation of symptoms and some clinical criteria that exclude other diseases that can cause pain in the anus, such as hemorrhoids, abscesses and anal fissures.

Thus, the diagnosis is made taking into account the following criteria:

  1. Frequency at which pain in the anus or rectum occurs;
  2. Duration and intensity of pain;
  3. Absence of pain in the anus between pain episodes.

When there is a suspicion of other causes, the proctologist may also order some additional tests, such as colonoscopy, magnetic resonance imaging or ultrasound, for example, to rule out these causes.

How the treatment is done

The treatment of proctalgia fugax is established by the doctor according to the intensity, duration and frequency of contractions of the anus, and no type of treatment is indicated for those people whose proctalgia is not frequent.

Proctalgia fugax has no cure and, therefore, the treatment recommended by the doctor is aimed at relieving the pain at the time of the crisis.Although it is not yet a well-established treatment, the use of albuterol, a type of medication used by people with asthma, appears to help relax the anus, decreasing symptoms. Biofeedback exercises may also be recommended, which consist of doing exercises that contract and relax the anal muscles, controlling sphincter spasm.

In addition, it is important to regularize the gastrointestinal tract, through a balanced diet and exercise, and, in some cases, perform psychotherapy to relieve excess anxiety and tension, since proctalgia crises fleeting can also be triggered by emotional and psychological changes.

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