Anal Pain

The last type of pain anyone wants to suffer from is anal pain.  Suffering from anal pain can be extremely uncomfortable, somewhat embarrassing and relatively complicated.  Normal activities and daily functions become more difficult because of anal pain.  Therefore, getting to the root of the cause and understanding the issue is vital.  After all, no one really wants to suffer from this type of pain.  It’s not really even the type of pain a person prefers to skip work because of.  Therefore, the following information should hopefully serve as a guide to all those who currently struggle with this problematic issue.

Where Anal Pain Starts

As the name suggests, anal pain starts in or around the anus, which is the opening through which defecation occurs. Most anal pain is not serious, but in some cases it can be the start of a serious problem. It's always better to be safe and have something checked out if it persists, but most cases of anal pain are minor and resolve themselves in minutes or hours without consequences. In addition, this pain is localized to the anus and can be either sharp or dull, depending on the cause.

Common Causes And Conditions of Anal Pain

Understanding the causes of anal pain is the most important tool a person has to help them effectively treat their pain. There are a lot of things that can cause anal pain, and the majority of them are benign, meaning that they aren't harmful to the body and aren't cause for alarm. Here are some common causes:

•    Hemorrhoids – among the common and usually harmless causes for anal pain are hemorrhoids. These can cause discomfort when going to the bathroom, and they can also cause itching and burning when a person sits down. They can also bleed some, and in rare cases they can make it so hard to go to the bathroom that a doctor's intervention is required. Often they go away on their own, and no real treatment is necessary.
•    Fissures – anal fissures are small tears around the anal opening. These can come from straining to go to the bathroom, but some people are just more susceptible to them than others. Often they heal by themselves, but if there is bleeding it is a good idea to have your doctor check you out, just in case something else is going on.
•    Large or hard bowel movements – most cases of anal pain are short-lived, and they come about because of the need to strain to have a bowel movement, for example if a person is constipated. This pain can be sharp and immediate or dull and throbbing, but it usually goes away within a few minutes of completing the bowel movement and does not cause any further problems.
•    Proctalgia Fugax – this condition happens frequently among Americans.  It is associated with brief rectal pain.  The exact cause of the pain is not know, yet many doctors seem to think it is a spasam of the anal sphincter muscle.  In addition, the majority of people that suffer with this problem are women under the age of 45.
•    Levi Ani Syndrome – affecting 6 percent of the United States.  Women suffer with this more often then men.  When this condition happens, the groups of muscles that surround and support the anus (levator ani) have a spasm.  This spasm usually causes both anal and rectal pain.
•    Anal cancer – as a very rare form of cancer, anal cancer isn't talked about that much. Anything to do with the anus is generally an uncomfortable subject, too, but if cancer is suspected it's important to get treatment, even when feeling embarrassed. Usually, bleeding and severe pain are noticed if anal cancer is the cause, and these will be persistent. They won't go away, and will get worse over time.  

Common Treatment Options for Anal Pain

Those that have a condition like anal pain obviously want it treated as soon as possible.  Unfortunately, until the cause of the anal pain is known, treating it is difficult. However, some treatment options are more common than others. Here are some of the most-used treatment choices.

•    Over-the-counter medications used for hemorrhoids and other minor anal pain problems. These are found in all kinds of retail stores, and they are often used for pan relief.
•    Colonoscopies are also common to look for anal problems and issues with the lower part of the colon. These tests are routine and preventative in most cases, but they are also used when a problem is suspected, in order to rule out serious illness.
•    Proctalgia fugax attacks the body quickly.  Therefore a treatment is nearly impossible.  However, having an inhaler is handy if future attacks happen.  Individuals can use it twice a day.
•    Surgery to correct hemorrhoids and anal fissures has also been performed on some people who have severe pain and problems. While not that common, the surgery is relatively routine and can help someone with anal pain feel a lot better.  

Holistic Approach

Since much of the anal pain is relatively minor, it is easy to treat the natural way.  This eliminates the need for prescription medications and chemicals that many people prefer not to put in their bodies.  Fortunately, the natural remedies are often effective in combating anal problems.  Here are some to consider trying.

•    Add oatmeal to the water in the bath.  It has a natural soothing quality and can soften and heal the irritated area.  For many people, it will relieve the anal pressure.
•    Use aloe vera to promote tissue healing.  Try mixing this with olive oil.  Also, tea tree oil can be applied to the anal to promote healing.
•    Switch toilet paper.  The dry toilet paper can be irritating.  Switching to a different option can make a huge difference.  Considering trying wet wipes that are gentler on the skin of the anal.
•    Keep the anal dry.  Use unscented baby powder or cornstarch.  This will prevent chaffing and irritation.  
•    Eat a lot of fiber.  Constipation creates anal problems.  Fiber helps with digestion and decreases constipation problems.  Add more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to the diet.
•    Use a mild soap to wash undergarments.  Many individuals find that laundry detergent is irritating.  It has a lot of chemicals present.  
•    Try herbal remedies to help prevent or relief anal itching.  Good remedies include fagopyrum, croton, and aesculus.  Try a combination of these remedies.  However, make sure that they come from a reputable company before you consume them

When To See A Doctor for Anal Pain

Obviously with all types of pain, there are certain signs that might indicate a doctor is necessary.  It is important to evaluate the situation and use good judgment.  And, while usually anal pain does go away quickly, at times medical attention should be summoned.   There are times when individuals should seek emergency attention and other times when simply scheduling an appointment will suffice.  It simply depends on the situation. Feel it out and keep these guidelines in mind.  They will be helpful. Here they are.

•    Call the doctor immediately for possible thrombosed hemorrhoids.  Those that do not call will not find relief.  The key to relief is early treatment.
•    Call the doctor for bleeding problems in the anal area.  It could be a sign of more serious problems including colon cancer.
•    Schedule an appointment to follow up with the doctor when anal pain becomes more severe.  This is particularly important if the pain is associated with fevers and discharge.
•    An appointment should be scheduled if the pain spreads to other areas outside of the anus including the abdomen.
•    Call the doctor for the random occasion where a foreign object could be in the rectum.  If this is true, it will definitely cause severe pain.

Managing Anal Pain

Managing the pain associated with anal problems has a lot to do with your diet.  Eating the right foods will ensure that the body is digesting foods properly.  In addition, it will decrease problems associated with bowel movements, constipation, and diarrhea.  All of these problems correlate to anal problems.  

In addition, fixing the problem is usually something that needs to be tweaked.  Once it has been changed, the individual should return to normal health.  However, it is important to continually watch and monitor the pain.  If it comes back, treatment options need to be repeated.  Or, perhaps a visit to the doctor should be scheduled.  Keep in mind that every person understands his or her own body.  Therefore, they are capable of making decisions about when to see a doctor.  In addition, they can manage their pain effectively.

Lastly, this pain is nothing to be embarrassed about.  A good majority of people actually suffers from anal pain.  It is simply something that everyone chooses not to discuss because no one really wants to talk about why his or her anal is hurting.  Yet, with proper management, it will stop hurting.  So, if seeing a doctor will help the pain get better do not let embarrassment postpone the visit.  There is no reason to be embarrassed in front of the doctor.  He or she cannot say anything anyway.  That is why doctor patient confidentiality was invented!  Your concern will be safe with them.

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