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What is functional rectal pain syndrome?

William B. Salt II., MD
Gastroenterology
There are two functional rectal pain syndromes. The first and most common one is called proctalgia fugax. This is a sudden and often severe pain in the anus or lower rectum that lasts for several seconds to several minutes and then completely disappears. It is common for the symptom to awaken people from sleep, and it can occur after sexual activity. The attacks are usually infrequent.

The second is levator ani syndrome, which is chronic or recurrent rectal pain or aching that occurs episodically for 20 minutes or longer. The pain is often described as a dull ache or pressure sensation that is vague and felt high in the rectal area. It commonly seems worse with sitting than with standing or lying down. When the doctor examines the anus and rectum, the tenderness is most commonly noted more on the left than the right side.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the MindBodySpirit Connection: 7 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functional Bowel Disorder, Crohn's Disease, or Colitis (Mind-Body-Spirit Connection Series.)

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the MindBodySpirit Connection: 7 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functional Bowel Disorder, Crohn's Disease, or Colitis (Mind-Body-Spirit Connection Series.)

Fast Facts on IBS: One in five people suffers from the frustrating symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). There is no simple answer--no pill, potion, or quick fix--that will cure IBS. But help...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.