Levator ani syndrome

Levator ani syndrome: Description, Causes and Risk Factors:Levator ani syndrome is a functional disorder of pelvic floor muscles, in which recurrent and persistent distressing pain is felt in the anus without detectable organic pathology. The syndrome is characterized by brief, intermittent pain and discomfort in the perirectal or rectal region that can be aggravated by sitting. Physical therapists are beginning to receive referrals for pain reduction in this patient population.Levator ani syndromeThe cause of levator ani syndrome often is unknown, but it may accompany other conditions (e.g., anorectal infection or surgery or trauma). Researchers noted that the syndrome is the most common cause was anal infection. It is believed the proximity of the lymphatic drainage to the pelvic musculature was responsible for myositis or reflex spasm of the levator ani muscle. It is also reported associated spasm of the piriformis muscle in number of patients they examined.Around 6% of people in developed countries are thought to suffer from levator ani syndrome, although no more than a third consult a Healthcare professional about the problem. Stress is a major risk factor.Symptoms:The main symptom is a dull pain which is experienced in the upper part of the rectum. Lying down or sitting can make the pain worse, while walking may ease it. Painful episodes occur on a regular basis and, when examined, the levator ani muscles may feel tender and unusually tight.Diagnosis:The diagnosis of one of these disorders is made primarily by a history of typical symptoms. Although most physical exams are normal, an area of tenderness may be felt. Exams include anorectal manometry, balloon defection, evacuation proctography, imaging of the pelvic floor, pelvis, and sacrum by computed tomography (CT scan) and magnetic resonance imaging.Treatment:Treatment such as levator massage, sitz baths, diazepam, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs offers only temporary relief. Surgery is effective only for selected cases associated with coccygeal injury. Electrogalvanic stimulation has been tried with limited success. Recently biofeedback was introduced to counter muscle spasm.NOTE: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.


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