The rectum is the lower part of the large intestine, and it ends at the anus. Injury, inflammation, and infections that affect the anus and rectum can cause rectal pain. For instance, determining when the pain occurs — such as when sitting or during a bowel movement — and uncovering any additional symptoms can help narrow down the cause.
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Anal pain can occur before, during, or after a bowel movement. It can range from a mild ache that can get worse over time to pain that is bad enough to restrict daily activities. Anal pain has many causes, most of which are common and treatable. However, if anal pain does not go away within 24 to 48 hours, it is important to see your physician. If fever is present with anal pain, a more urgent appointment is needed. This is a blood clot that forms in an outer hemorrhoid in the anal skin. If the clots are large, they can cause pain when you walk, sit, or have a bowel movement. A painful anal mass may appear suddenly and get worse during the first 48 hours.
Less common causes of anal pain
If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission. How this works. Proctalgia fugax refers to the sudden onset of severe pain in the rectum area, which can last from seconds to minutes. The pain is sporadic and can be without warning. The condition is also known as functional recurrent anorectal pain. It is part of a group of disorders that affect the workings of the stomach and intestine. This muscle tightening is called spasming. It is believed that spasms occur in the smooth muscles of the anal canal and the anal sphincter. Some people may experience sudden and severe muscle cramps in their anal canal. These spasms are more likely to occur at night than at other times.
Proctalgia is pain due to a spasm of the pelvic floor muscles, the muscles of the anal sphincter, or the muscles of the rectum. This causes severe stabbing pain like a knife sticking into the rectum. This type of pain may originate without warning. It may vary in severity and duration. It may pass quickly or might last much longer. Often the pain will be severe enough to awaken a person at night out of a sound sleep.