Anal pain is more common than you think, and in most cases it is due to benign and common conditions. But do you know what those causes are?
What is the anus?
The anus is the part of the body that is located just at the end of the digestive system, after the anal canal. Specifically, we find it located in the perinea area, next to the genitals.
That is to say, it is the final end of the digestive tube, in which we find precisely the sphincter that regulates the process of defecation. Thus, the anal area is irrigated by the inferior rectal vein and by the inferior rectal artery, and it is through this part that we eliminate feces and gases.
To be even more precise, we find it in the longitudinal groove that divides the buttocks, constituting the final part of the large intestine, formed by the ascending, transverse, descending colon, sigmoid colon, rectum and finally the anus.
The layer of the internal lining of the anus, or mucosa, has three parts that are divided into the glandular, transitional and squamous part (from the innermost part to the outermost), to finally continue with the skin of the perineum.
There are different problems that affect both the anus and the rectum that are extremely common; in fact, much more common than they think. Among these most common problems or conditions we can mention the presence mainly of hemorrhoids, fissures and abscesses. And less common the presence of cancer.
Is it true that you can feel pain in the anus?
The truth is that most of these conditions tend to cause anal pain, which can feel like tightness or even small tugs that feel like whiplash. In fact, we could define anal pain as pain that is located both in the anus and in the rectum, or around the perianal area. Anal pain is medically known as proctalgia.
Most of the causes that cause the appearance of pain in the anus are benign. Moreover, anal pain is rarely an indication of a much more serious condition, such as colorectal cancer. Moreover, the pain can be tremendously intense as a result of the fact that in this area we find many nerve endings, and that, however, does not have to be a sign of a more serious pathology or a more serious illness.
Thus, we must bear in mind that anal pain itself is never a disease, but rather a symptom of some disorder or condition that may be affecting the anus itself.
Causes of anal pain
Although it is common for anal pain to be caused by common conditions such as hemorrhoids, fissures or abscesses, the truth is that there are actually many diseases or problems that can cause it. They are the following:
- Anal fissure: small tear that is located in the skin of the anus.
- Anorectic fistula: abnormal communication between the anus and rectum to the skin around the anus.
- Hemorrhoids: dilated or inflamed veins that is located in the anus or rectum. They can cause itching and bleeding, as well as pain.
- Perirectal abscess: presence of pus in the tissues around the anus. Usually caused by a bacterial infection, which tends to accumulate in the anus area.
- Fecal impaction: mass of hard stools in the rectum.
- Constipation: Difficulty passing stool.
- Cohn’s disease: chronic inflammatory process that mainly affects the intestinal tract, although it can affect any part of the digestive tract (from the mouth to the anus).
- Perianal hematoma: also known as thrombosis external hemorrhoid, it consists of a painful nodule that is located on the outside of the anus.
- Proclitic: inflammation of the mucosa of the rectum.
- Solitary ulcer of the rectum: causes severe anal pain.
- Rectal prolapse: protrusion of the rectum through the anus. It usually causes feces with mucus or blood.
- Ulcerative colitis: inflammatory disease of the colon and rectum, causing inflammation and ulceration, diarrhea and frequent abdominal pain.
- Elevatorany syndrome: spasms that are located and felt in the muscles around the anus.
- Colon cancer: is a type of cancer that develops in the large intestine or rectum.
- Anal cancer: it presents as severe pain in the anus, in addition to blood in the stool and fissures in the rectum. However, it is not very frequent.
- On the other hand, did you know that anal pain can also be caused by a poor diet? For example, by consuming foods with a lot of fiber or very spicy.
- However, although the most common is that anal pain disappears within a few minutes or hours of appearing, or even after a few days, in case anal bleeding arises or that bleeding appears in the stool, or that the pain continues for a longer time, the most appropriate thing is to go to the doctor for a quick and early assessment.
How can it be relieved?
- When anal pain appears, the most common is that you only feel jerks and that in reality the cause is not important due to the large number of nerve endings that we find both in the rectum and in the anus. For this reason, there is really little we can do when it comes to relieving pain, since in most cases it tends to last a few seconds.
- However, if it lasts longer, the key is to go to our doctor, who will perform a physical examination and help us discover the possible causes, especially if the pain is repeated over time.