Levator Ani Syndrome is a type of non-relaxing pelvic floor dysfunction. This condition can effect men and women. That means the pelvic floor muscles are too tight and uncomfortable. The pelvic floor supports the rectum, bladder, and urethra. In women, it also supports the uterus and vagina.
Its main symptom is constant or frequent dull pain in the rectum caused from a spasm in the levator ani muscle, which is near the anus. Levator ani syndrome has many other names, including:
Pelvic floor disorders occur when the muscles aren’t working correctly. They occur from two problems. Either the pelvic floor muscles are too relaxed or too tight.
Pelvic floor muscles that are too relaxed can cause pelvic organ prolapse. An unsupported bladder can lead to urinary incontinence. And in women, the cervix or uterus can drop into the vagina. This can cause back pain, problems urinating or having a bowel movement, and painful intercourse.
Pelvic floor muscles that are too tight can lead to nonrelaxing pelvic floor dysfunction. This can cause problems with storing or emptying bowels, as well as pelvic pain, painful intercourse, or erectile dysfunction.
Symptoms of Levator Ani Syndrome can be ongoing and impact your quality of life. Most people with this disorder have at least a few of the following symptoms, if not all of them.
People with this syndrome may experience rectal pain not associated with having a bowel movement. It may be brief, or it may come and go, lasting several hours or days. The pain may be brought on or made worse by sitting or lying down. It may wake you from sleep. The pain is usually higher in the rectum. One side, often the left, may feel more tender than the other.
You may also experience low back pain that may spread to the groin or thighs. In men, pain may spread to the prostate, testicles, and tip of the penis and urethra.
You may experience constipation, problems passing bowel movements, or straining to pass them. You may also have a feeling like you haven’t finished having a bowel movement. Additional symptoms may include:
Levator Ani Syndrome can also cause pain before, during, or after intercourse in women. In men, the condition can cause painful ejaculation, premature ejaculation, or erectile dysfunction.
Identifying levator ani syndrome is often called a “diagnosis of exclusion.” That’s because doctors have to test to rule out other problems that could be causing the symptoms before diagnosing levator ani syndrome. In men, levator ani syndrome is often misdiagnosed as prostatitis.
With the right evaluation and treatment, people who have levator ani syndrome can find relief. Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist can often diagnose the issue in men or women. They also can determine whether muscles are tight or if they may be weak.
When you use a VuVa Rectal Dilator, soft tissue lengthens, relaxing muscles and ligaments. As the tissue relaxes, the Neodymium magnets increase blood flow to the painful area calming nerves. VuVa™ Dilators are the only patented dilators available with Neodymium magnets.They are used to gently open the rectum wider. Over time, this procedure widens the rectum. This procedure is usually necessary after rectal surgery and for relaxing painful rectal muscles. If the rectum is not dilated, it can scar, become narrow and prevent normal bowel movements.
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