Five Things You Should Know About Proctalgia Fugax (Pain in the Butt)

After a sleepless night. (iStockphoto)
After a sleepless night. (iStockphoto)

Proctalgia fugax was first described in Ancient Rome over 2000 years ago and still carries the Latin name which translates to “fleeting rectal pain.” I wrote about this some years ago. If you go to my website ( and search proctalgia fugax, you will find that this is the most discussed article – more than 100 people have shared their experience with this condition.

Because of my interest in this, my attention was drawn to an article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ March 19 2013) titled “Five things you should know about proctalgia fugax.”

First thing you should know is proctalgia fugax has many triggers. There are episodes of sharp fleeting pain that recur over weeks, are localized to the anus or lower rectum, and last from seconds to several minutes with no pain between episodes. The authors of the article say that there are numerous precipitants including sexual activity, stress, constipation, defecation and menstruation, although the condition can occur without a trigger.

Second thing you should know is proctalgia fugax is common. In the general population, the prevalence of the condition may be as high as eight to 18 per cent. Seventy five per cent are women. It usually affects patients between 30 and 60 years of age.

Third thing you should know is that anal sphincter spasm may cause the pain in proctalgia fugax. The authors say that although the cause of proctalgia fugax is unclear, spasm of the anal sphincter is commonly implicated. It may occur after sclerotherapy for hemorrhoids and vaginal hysterectomy. Stress, anxiety and irritable bowel syndrome may be associated with proctalgia fugax.

Fourth thing you should know is proctalgia fugax is a diagnosis of exclusion. That means there is no test to tell if the person is suffering from this condition. We have to exclude common painful conditions of anus and rectum before we can say a person is suffering from proctalgia fugax. These conditions are: hemorrhoids, cryptitis, ischemia, abscess, fissure, rectocele and cancer.

Finally, the fifth thing you should know about this condition is that the treatments are geared towards relaxing the anal sphincter spasm. These treatments are: oral diltiazem, topical glyceryl nitrate (gives you headache), nerve blocks and salbutamol act by relaxing the anal sphincter spasm. But these treatments are not very effective.

Persistent symptoms require thorough investigations of anal and rectal areas and if no pathology is found then reassurance to patient is very important. There is no known effective treatment for this condition. There are anecdotal reports of benefit from trying any of the following treatments:
-Reassurance and warm baths
-Topical glyceryl trinitrate 0.1 per cent or diltiazem two per cent whenever required
-Salbutamol inhalation 200µg regular three times a day or whenever required
-Warm water enema at the time of symptoms
-Clonidine 150µg twice a day
-Local anesthetic block or botulinum toxin injection
-Help to relieve anxiety and stress

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635 Replies to “Five Things You Should Know About Proctalgia Fugax (Pain in the Butt)”

  1. I have been suffering from Proctalgia Fugax since I was a very young child, unable to explain to my mother what was happening to me. We would be out walking, around town – anywhere.. and suddenly I’d be rooted to the ground, unable to move. I had to stand still for what seemed like “forever” until the excutiating and terrifying pain left me – which, as stated, could be seconds or 5 or 10 minutes. I am 61 years old now and still suffer with Proctalgia Fugax and one VERY RELEVENT thing I want to mention is that it does NOT always “appear” in the Anus region. I totally disagree with this. Sometimes it does yes, but very many times it very definitely originates in the private deep internal “Female” regions. Before I had it diagnosed, I could only ever discribe it to people as what I would say as yes, spasms, nerve-pains – VERY excrutiating like severe tooth-ache or ear-ache type pain. Nothing you could take a tablet (whatever) for – because you never knew when it was going to happen. It just “did” – and as I have said, I personally have never been able to move when it “happens” so would never be able to “draw a comforting bath” or “place myself on something soft to sit on – hot water bottle” etc., or apply a soothing application of whatever to the anus region (!) as I simply could NOT move – even an inch.. so would not be able to go and fetch anything that may or may not help! The very slightest movement increased the severity of whatever “It” was 🙁 I really and sincerely thought that one day, I may even die of “It” the pain was/is THAT severe! This was before I had it diagnosed, and told it was not life-threatening.. Whenever it occurs now, I stay perfectly still and concentrate on breathing techniques and total relaxation, and at the same time, telling it to “Go Away” that it is NOT wanted! I just wanted to share this with you, and do hope that women will come forward and hopefully, agree with me that it is not always in the Anal region. Thankyou for taking the time to read this. Dianna Grace formerly of Leicester, England.

    1. I completely agree with your post. Even though people here have mentioned many ways of reducing the pain during the episodes, many of them are not duable as the pain prevents you from moving or even thinking. I’m going through an extremely severe episode as I’m writing (I’m home alone and trying to find an immediate cure since this episode is lasting 2 hours!!!!!!) and I can’t get up alone to take a hot bath or do yoga or different positions. When the pain comes , my mind just stips and can only concentrate on the EXCRUCIATING pain and my body just paralyzes from the sharp feeling in my anus and the only thing I do is hold on to something really tight and tell myself to keep breathing because I know I’m a minute from passing out. This condition has definitely gotten worse as I’ve gotten older, and I’m really worried about overdosing on pain killers one day or getting an episode while I’m driving. I definitely feel like I need go try every prescription that’s been mentioned here, because I will not accept going through this for the rest of my life.

      1. I was experiencing episodes lasting for up to an hour or more, and it’s the only time I’ve screamed in pain outside of major surgery.
        I tried a bunch of treatments that didn’t help. The one thing that has been helpful: diazepam. 10mg at the onset of symptoms. I still have to grit my teeth and bear the pain for awhile until the pill kicks in, but knowing relief is coming is awesome. I’d say it works 90% of the time, and at least eases severity 100% of the time.

        1. Since I have removed sugar from my diet (not completely) I have not had one episode
          Mine were so bad I passed out and vomited
          The difference is a amazing
          I understand this will not work for everyone but I can’t believe that I haven’t had one

          1. Lesley, how long did you go without the pain after giving up sugar? Was it all sugar (including fruit) or just sweets and added sugar? Has the pain returned since you posted this?
            Thank you!

          2. Me too, I have noticed that the pain comes on when I eat wheat. Honestly if I do eat it on occasion I get one of these “cramps” within 12-24 hours EVERY time! I still eat fruit, but have tried to stay in like with a very healthy natural diet including a lot of vegetables and meat.

            Luckily I am able to move somewhat around when this happens. I take an ibuprofen and get in the tub, but I don’t sit in it. The water has to be the hottest that I can stand it without burning and the faucet runs down the backside of the base of my spine. It’s the only thing that works for me. It’s tough when it happens at work or when I’m walking because I do t have access to a bath. I have to just bear the pain and walk slow.

          3. I have also passed out due to the pain being that bad and also feel sick. I’ve now been getting it a few times a month for about 3 years now. I never know when they are coming but it always seems to be evening or in the middle of the night and the pain is that bad it wakes me up and I get in such a state I don’t know what to do with myself until it stops. I have always assumed it is my coil until I finally just decided to google it. I never even knew this was a problem that a lot of people get. Please any tips to help ease this pain?? Anyone??

          4. I’ve been suffering with it all my life thank God ….. years ago someone suggested to me that I try a little whiskey when I feel that a coming on.. it works very well if you can stand to drink any kind of hard liquor if when you get that little warning…. one shot is usually enough especially if you got a small body

          5. I have found the most effective treatment is to soak my nether region in hot water, typically a shallow bath, but I found that a sink also works in an emergency (hotel with no tub). As hot as possible is best. Sometimes all it takes is 20min, but had to soak for up to an hour or more at times. This combined with either ibuprofen or a muscle relaxant has kept me sane for the past 5 years or so. Not fun.

          6. also why you got to be aware of the triggers probably different for all of us but stress for one…… I think some artificial sweeteners can be a trigger but that’s probably can be Googled

          7. I have the same problem I call them bad cramps can’t explain feel like you are going to die but not. You try to squeeze your butt and hold it hard and see if it goes away not, the pain is so strong that I took an ice pack and put it into my butt and hold it there until it calms down to let it freeze I don’t care just make the pain go away when my pain is completely gone, then I still hold the icepack there so it won’t come back because it can I am prepared with 3 more icepacks in case.
            I haven’t had this pain for years now, but it came back due to much stress as I am in a lot of stress 3 years now with ex court and more court money is going down…and need to move from my basement apartment problem with landlord selling her home with this COVID 19 going on. Been here 2 years now she tells me she is planning to sell. and I have to look for a place if you know what I have been going threw you would agree with me why I am in so much stress. And things start happening to your body Calm down how do you calm down! Impossible. It happens because people bring it on. And I know what you are going threw its agony pain. I have been threw, a lot also with shingles 3 times, finally got my injection. I hope it won’t come back as shingles are far worse than this butt pain and having a baby. Shingles are worse by far!!! And Kidney stones 3 big one was bigger them my Kidney that god they did laser 3 times. Had it been there and more…. Oh well enough about me I just use a plain Ice pack and it helps my butt nothing warm no way it’s worse for me will come back the pain! I keep 4 ice packs in the freezer for this reason. I freeze my butt until I feel worse pain and later it relaxes the muscles inside my butt after 15 to 25 or 35 minutes. At this very moment, I am having this pain that is why I am writing here to explain this agony pain so I won’t think of the icepack that is so cold up my butt feels OMG! I am holding on…. It will calm down soon it will take some time. Okay everyone Have a good evening bye for now.

        2. Hello , I had one episode last night … I tried to control the pain but I couldn’t and immediately after the pain I feel so anxious can’t breath and I think I’m dying … do you guys think this has something to do with stress ? Because usually happened to me when I’m very worry about something . Thanks

          1. I have also removed sugar for the last 3 months and processed foods and not have one episode!! try it, it works!! also have 30 pounds!!

          2. I had an episode last night and I’m convinced that it always happens around ovulation for me.

          3. Yes! I have anxiety and panic attacks, my stomach is almost always upset then diarreah an gas in the morning times, I had this episode for the first time last night and walked it off, I try te tell my self I was ok and breathing helps,. If you suffer from panic attacks plz breathe, paper bags are always good have. That feeling of panic is horrible when it gets to its peak .

          4. I’ve had this on and off for 20 years and generally it is stress related. I found a non medicinal ‘cure’ that works almost instantly and every time for me. The core strengthening exercise known as a plank. When I plank I’m engaging my core (pulling my belly button in toward my spine). For some reason this immediately eases the pain of the cramp. I get an almost instant decrease in the intensity of the pain and over 30 seconds or so the pain eases to bearable then disappears. A side benefit is you are getting a good ab workout. Because I get my cramps at night mostly I can just roll over and do the plank in bed.
            Good Luck

          5. I have experienced this from as far back as I can remember. Something I have discovered is that sitting on the toilet and pushing gently as if passing my bowels works every time. Sometimes it takes longer than others depending on the pain but while pushing the pain is completely nullified and eventually it goes away all together. Great way to pass the time until relief. 😍 Also. Definitely happens more often in times of too much sugar, too much stress, and not enough water. Good luck everyone! May the ease be with you.

          6. Alex I totally think stress is a huge factor. I had never thought about stress until my husband brought to my attention that I always had one when I got stressed. I also get them other times but the majority of mine come with stress

          7. I have those a couple of times a year, invariably during the night. I get woken up by a sharp rectal pain that keeps increasing to the point that you are paralyzed, twitching in pain on the floor and you just want to pass out yet you don’t. The whole thing lasts no longer than 20 minutes but it’s absolutely horrific. I think in my case it could be related to intense physical activity, it seems to appear after heavy exercise that impacts abs and back muscles. It’s like something gets out of balance down there and then it starts, always during the night. During the attack, I sweat like crazy, my clothes gets soaking wet in minutes. I become unable to walk, get help, the “fugax” reduces you to a sweating body twitching on the floor in excrutiating pain. The level of pain is off the charts, I can’t compare it to anything else. First aid: for me it helps to get a glass water with sugar or some energy drink, anything that can give you a boost quickly. But this I can only do at the initial stage, if I am not quick enough I can no longer walk. Then my wife gets it for me if she’s around. I also crouch in fetal position on the floor trying to extend lower body muscles. It helps a bit. But whatever I do, I still get through a lot of indescribable pain until it goes away. Luckily, it does go away after 15-20 minutes. I am male, 44 years old. I have this condition probably since I was 25 years old.

          8. Could be stress related! Try cat pose (yoga) . I stumbled upon this by accident one day. It reduces the pain instantly and completely relieves it within a few minutes. Just hold the pose until it’s gone.

          9. i agree with Francesca Salvino. When my stress level us high it happens to me. . kool helps me, and sit in hot, but i really thing anxiety and stress play a big pary in this condition. We need relax more. 🙏🏼

        3. One trick i found was to lay on the right side ans take deep breaths to relax and it seems to be going on its own after 1 minute. The more u tighten up ur body…. the more itll hurt, you just have to relax and lay down.

          1. I do the downward dog yoga position. Its the only way i can get some relief when i get an episode

        4. Diazepam has helped for me as well, but it often takes multiple doses before kicking in. Symptoms occur so random, I am still trying to figure out what triggers it. Any preventative measure suggestions would be oh so helpful!

          1. I have suffered from this for years, maybe 20+ at this point. I have learned taking Citricel fiber has helped to delay and decrease occurrences, but does not stop it, just less. When I do get a Spasam, I take a script for Levsin which helps, and with Advil. If it gets really bad, then a warm water enema to apply warmth internally helps to relax the muscles and give some relief until the meds kick in. Hope this helps!

          2. Hey Eva,
            I’ve had this on and off for 20 years and generally it is stress related. I found a non medicinal ‘cure’ that works almost instantly and every time for me. The core strengthening exercise known as a plank. When I plank I’m engaging my core (pulling my belly button in toward my spine). For some reason this immediately eases the pain of the cramp. I get an almost instant decrease in the intensity of the pain and over 30 seconds or so the pain eases to bearable then disappears. A side benefit is you are getting a good ab workout. Because I get my cramps at night mostly I can just roll over and to the plank in bed.
            Good Luck

          3. Try sitting on the floor or a hard surface (chair) with a small sock rolled up and tucked up against anus. Roll a bit in it to put pressure on the muscles. This will usually help me after @ 10 minutes. I do it on the floor in my bedroom with the lights off so then I can go right back to sleep when the pain has subsided.

          4. Try taking 2 Citrucel(or generic equivalent) tablets daily with 8 oz. of water. This preventive measure took about 2 months to take effect but it reduced my episodes by about 95%.

          5. I have been suffering with this for 20 years… constant 24/7 pain. The only thing that works for me is Tramadol. An ER physician gave it to me and the pain was relieved….I just wish it would go away!

          6. Cynthia, the best preventive measure I have found is taking methylcellulose (Citrucel) on a daily basis. Before starting this regimen, I was getting 10-15 attacks a month. I went to a gastroenterologist and he recommended methylcellulose. He also said it would take 2-3 months before I saw results. He was right. After about three months, the attacks dropped to 1-2 a month and now, 15 years later, I get an attack 1-4 per year. I take the generic form everyday in pill form and will do so the rest of my life. When I do get an attack, I lie on my back, bring my feet up as close to my butt as possible and spread my legs as much as I can. This stretching usually gets rid of the pain in 5-15 minutes. My attacks use to last for hours. Now, PF is still with me but it’s impact on my life is very small. I also eat 3 bananas a week for the potassium (cramp fighter). I hope this helps you and others. It changed my life!

          7. I read Rick Nobles description and it is identical to what happens to me. I have had it since I can remember. It always strikes around 1230 a 0130 at night and lasts around 20 mins. It’s agonizing and unbearable. The only IMMEDIATE remedy I have found which works every time is a warm/hot water enema. The relief is almost immediate and the pain goes away. It’s a huge relief. But I am also finding that the attacks are getting more frequent and intense with age. Frustrating and annoying, but thanks to the enemas it is manageable. Would love to know what causes it. My twin brother also has exactly the same symptoms. Try the enemas!!

          8. Hi
            I’ve had this off and on for over 35 years. Started during my first pregnancy.
            I have found when I feel the pain starting that inserting a suppository (Anusol) seems to hit it quickly and stops the pain. It has made me less stressed about the PF knowing I can intercept the worst of it. Hope this works for others as I know it to be quite an excruciating pain.

        5. My old “cure” was 7 Ibuprofen. Far more than recommended.
          These days its 800mg Ibuprofen, 400mg Magnesium, and a 200mg Kava capsule. This combo is currently taking away my spasms.
          I am able to draw a warm bath most times before the pain hits too hard, this usually helps tremendously. Mine hit at night majority of the times. That cocktail takes 10-20min to kick in.

          1. I have had this for over 5 years now. I thing seemed to take the pain away, sitting on a hard corner, painkillers, legs over my head and massage. One thing works every time, guaranteed for me. This may sound weird but believe me it works. Whenever you first start to feel the pain, make a fist and punch your anus. Try and do it as hard as you can out of any rythem. Do it so you can feel when you punch it’s knocking the spasm. After about 20-30 seconds the pain should just stop. It’s like you knock the spasm out. I promise this works. If it doesn’t go at first just adjust tour body shape so you can get a clean punch.

        6. I take valium, diazepam, the second I feel it coming on. I also chew through 3 soluble aspirin as it gets into the bloodstream quicker. It’s an emergency situation as the pain is excruciating and goes down one leg and then the other whilst being a birth-like pain for 20 minutes with no reprieve. It’s the worst pain ever. I have to buy diazepam from the Internet as my doc doesn’t believe in it, but I worked out that this would help me and it certainly makes the symptoms more bearable. It always happens when I’m out for a walk, so I have a little emergency pack ready. Don’t leave home without it.

      2. From 16 I suffered large intestinal problems, similar to Krohn’s disease, with violent diarrhoea every morning, Ate once per day at night – coffee, apple and cottage cheese. Then developed proctalgia, suffering excruciating anal pain every second of every day. Desperate, implored doctor to give lethal injection. Never married, ashamed of diarrhoea problem. Unable to eat. Then started taking rounded teaspoon of cayenne pepper, twice daily. First time in life at 67 years, can eat food and diarrhoea gone. Now able to live normal life and have boyfriend.

        1. Jeanne, can you tell me how you came up with the idea of ingesting cayenne pepper? Did you hear about it as a cure? Do you put the Cayenne in something or eat it raw? How long have you been spasm free since starting it?

          1. Read about the properties of cayenne pepper. Was so desperate, wanting to die. Even composed letter to president for permission for lethal injection. Pain lasted for more than 2 years. Gastroenterologist administered injection of pethadine a few times, habit forming. First took cayenne pepper in cold drink. Others take it in yogurt. Now accustomed to taste, just add in water. No pain now. Friends are amazed to see me dine – me too! Recommend to anyone suffering IBS to be cured. Also helps reduce weight. Awaken every morning and welcome the dawn. Delight in dressing and spending day pain-free. (My sister is an ex professor of medicine who sent me to numerous specialists – to no avail)

          2. Hey Rachelle,
            I’ve had this on and off for 20 years and generally it is stress related. I found a non medicinal ‘cure’ that works almost instantly and every time for me. The core strengthening exercise known as a plank. When I plank I’m engaging my core (pulling my belly button in toward my spine). For some reason this immediately eases the pain of the cramp. I get an almost instant decrease in the intensity of the pain and over 30 seconds or so the pain eases to bearable then disappears. A side benefit is you are getting a good ab workout. Because I get my cramps at night mostly I can just roll over and do the plank in bed.
            Good Luck

        2. Hi, I have the same problem at 24. From as early as I can remember, I instinctively did Lanno’s version. Pull up lower abdomen with muscles, but the pain is still a pain in the butt. Lessened but still annoying.

          I tried yours today and it seems to be working. Does it need to be a full tablespoon? I ask because I’ve noticed it in pill version at 530 mg a pill. I hear a teaspoon makes for about 2000 mg.

          1. Please don’t ever consider lethal injection. It’s never an answer to any problem. Make sure you visit your doctors regularly about your symptoms. If you’re not happy with your doctor, find one you do like. There are medications and supplements out there that will help. All God’s blessings to you in your suffering.

          1. Maria, please find someone who can help you. Death is not the answer. Maybe a chiropractor, homeopath, or gastroenterologist. Maybe even an acupuncturist can help. Praying for you.

          2. Same here. Had this pain since 2018 or 2019 but not frequent. I suffered terrible period pains also. this year, i always had this pain in the butt. I can handle period pains but the one in the butt is killing me. I sit in a hot water bottle to help ease along with paracetamol. It also attacks in the middle of night or early morning. Any suggestion for a best home remedy for this or a medicine? Thanks

      3. I understand what you all are describing and thank the Lord that I haven’t had to suffer with it for years. I am 77 years old, was diagnosed with IBSC in my 30s, but never had rectal and anal spasms until I had a colon resection in February and the shock to my system kicked it into being. Fortunately, my surgeon told me prior to surgery that I might need PT afterward for my anus and rectum. When the spasms kicked in my body was wracked with pain and I couldn’t imagine what was happened. I asked for PT orders and have been treated for pelvic floor muscle relaxation. Several meds and treatments were recommended to no avail, but once the therapist began I started noticing improvement. My first response to spasms is always slow abdominal breathing, but after several months of therapy (which is a specialized physical therapy) I feel confident that there is answer to these spasms. My heart goes out to those of you have suffered much longer than I have, but please ask your doctor for pelvic floor therapy. Many of the ideas presented in these cases are included in the treatment, but it’s nice to have a therapist to explain why and to help you through it.

        1. Judy, can you please tell me what part of your colon was respected? I have been trying to research whether my upcoming sigmoid colectomy for diverticulitis is going to exacerbate my rectal spasms that I’ve suffered for about 20 years. Fortunately I don’t have them very often, but when I do it is excruciating. I have consulted several surgeons and other Specialists and none of them seem to think that the surgery would have any effect, but they are not basing these thoughts on any actual experience. Frankly, they just don’t seem to know. I have seen one other reference to somebody who’s spasm started after colon surgery. Was your surgery a resection of the sigmoid colon? What kind of progress have you made with a physical therapy? How long ago was your surgery?

          1. Long overdue update to my previous concern. 2 years ago I had a sigmoid colon resection for diverticulitis. I worried that it would make my PF worse. It actually did (and other pelvic floor pain) for awhile, but once I healed, it went back to pre-surgery spasms. Which, by the way, are much improved by some of the suggestions I tried here (magnesium citrate 400mg twice a day), hot water bath (buy a sitz bath at the drug store so you don’t have to fill a tub–it fits on your toilet seat and is a godsend!).

      4. I suffer as well from this and the only thing that helps when it happens is to sit on the toilet and push like I’m trying to have a bowel movement. It usually stops the pain within seconds and I can return to bed. Hope this helps!

        1. I’ve noticed with mine, if i do this, it relieves me for a few minutes only then the pain comes back even worse.. so i am so confused what to do..

          1. My father had it and would sit in a tub of hot water in the middle of the night. I have it and refused the hot water in the tub. Went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Mine feels like you are trying to push a pipe into another pipe that is a little too small. That is how I described it. They said perfect description. Pulled in the back and said they noticed in 50’s and in the 80’s no one had done a study. It is usually found in driven people that accomplish a lot in a day. You force control on your body during the day and it responds at night. I think it has everything to do with stress. They wanted to know what I did for a living and what my father did. We both accomplished a lot in a day. They said to tell my father to put a glass of water and crackers on his nightstand. Until last night, I had not had an episode in years and at that time had them at night and then during the day. Last night I slowly ate 2 cookies, no relief. So then I ate 3 cookies really fast and it stopped. The episode happened when I was sleeping sound, but disappeared after eating those 3 cookies as fast as I could. And I would say it has everything to do with stress.

      5. I started suffering from proctalgia fugax in my thirties, not long after I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I’m now in my mid-sixties. Only about seven or eight yrs ago, I started seeing a new gastroenterologist who prescribed sublingual (under-the-tongue) Levsin ®️ (Hyoscyamine 0.125mg tablets). This has been a miracle: it works almost instantly for me. Before these were prescribed, I would either writhe or rock for however long the pain went on, wanting to scream the whole time. It was almost worse than being in labor, because the pain came on unpredictably and I never knew how long it was going to last. Now, as long as I dissolve a hyoscyamine tab under my tongue, within less than a minute, the pain starts to subside, and in not much more time, I’m pain-free. There’s only been one time I’ve had to use two tablets, and I only waited a minute or two before taking a secon tablet . I keep tablets with me at all times, to make sure no matter where I am, I’ll have one to pop under my tongue if the pain hits me. Btw, there may be reasons you cannot take these, but I have no side effects from them at all. Talk to your doctor.

      6. My dr has given me .375 mg of hycosamine sublingual. Every time my spasms start i put one under my tongue and it helps it go away. Mine have been lasting hours and same thing can’t move. I feel dizzy and everything turns white and I hit the floor. They wanted to pull my drivers license at one point. Mine are mostly in the middle of the night and the medicine really helps. My obgyn suggested it. I cut them in half because it takes a whole pill 12 hours or so to dissolve. Brand name is Levison. This stuff is a miracle drug. Don’t swallow it because it definitely will make you sick.

      7. Just reading up on this its been happening in my sleep, the pain is so excuriating (sp) I cant move, it literally takes my breath away. Not sure, they say it only last minutes. Ive literally looked at clock, some episodes lasting much longer last one was 90minutes.

        1. I’ve tried a number of things that are supposed to help but I agree, in the middle of the night you don’t want to have to walk around in pain trying to find them. That’s why I keep everything by my bed… Muscle cramp pills, inhaler, heating pad, tennis ball or small can. That last thing (tennis ball or can) is something I used to put pressure on the area which gives a bit of relief. Either I sit on it or lie on it. I do always find that lying down is worse. I usually have to get up and try to go back to sleep sitting upright on the couch with the fall or can under my butt bone. Sometimes when it starts to feel well enough that I can get back in bed, lying down makes it start to hurt again. At least for a while.

      8. After years of suffering I finally discovered that if I can sit on the loo and bear down and try to poop the cramp will stop. It’s been a lifesaver

    2. My father, myself and my daughter have it. It happens w/o any forwarning. I would describe it as is someone took a pair of tweezers and brutally grabbed a bit of my innards and pinched hatd like a biopsy. They attack the vaginal area also. My daughter is only 16 and has had them for a few years now. It is embarrasing to say the least in public. One minute you are fine and the next you yipe in pain, and people look at you as you try not to grab your privates.

      1. Demi
        My dad, brother and I all suffer with this. We all take hyocyamine 0.125 mg as soon as it happens, sublingual. Yes, the pain is so intense that at times someone else has to give me the meds. Since it is sublingual, it dissolves instantly, and really does help it to lessen and stop much faster than when I don’t use it.

      2. I’ve had luck at least 3 out of 4 times by applying an ice cube directly to my sphincter area for around 1-2 minutes. While sitting on the toilet. It’s not very comfortable due to the cold, but it’s almost always helps stop the episode in its tracks. Not sure if the ice shocks the muscles or what, but it normally stops it almost instantly to a few minutes instead of 20-40 minutes. Hope it helps.

        1. This happens to me after episodes with diarrhea, wakes me up during the night. My doctor told me years ago to use an ice cube, either hold it to the rectum or break it up to insert into the rectum. I just hold it to the rectum. It does stop the spasms within minutes. Works every time.

    3. Thank you! Everything you said is 100%, exactly what I’ve been going through! This has started at an early age.. I’m almost 30 now and still happening. It is almost always both regions and not one. I’ve never gotten relief or help, as nobody can relate to me. I have learned to stay completely still as it goes away like you said. Thank you again.

      1. Hey everyone! Had a attack last night while I was working as a server! How embarrassed I was! I forced myself to crawl to the bathroom, grabbed a towel..turned on the HOT water. Put the hot towel against the anus. It worked instantly!! Hot water everyone! It loosens the muscle. Dr said this condition is caused by scar tissue usually. Hot water! I promise it works.

        1. If you don’t have access to hot water- Try cat pose (yoga) . I stumbled upon this by accident one day. It reduces the pain instantly and completely relieves it within a few minutes. Just hold the pose until it’s gone.

    4. I agree I had Botox injection into my spinchter muscle and that made symptoms worse! Then spinchterectomy which I am still recovering from. I had bowel movement yesterday and have been having spasms since! I am exhausted! Sometimes I get sharp pain in vagina area as well. I also noticed when my anus spasms so does my vagina and I leak urine. I have been off work since February and if I don’t heal I can not return not like this not in this much pain! I am 42 even took rep to ER by ambulance from exhaustion as after Botox I had no relief from spasms. Things are somewhat better after spinchterectomy but I need spasms gone! Surgery just done 4/19/17

      1. Have you tried magnesium? 500 mg a day really helps me with the spasms. Check with your doctor to see if you can add magnesium to your daily pill regiment.
        Good luck and hope you get well.

        1. This is the only thing that has helped my spasms as well. I wake up in the middle of the night with terrible cramping around my anus area and cannot sleep. I usually cannot force myself to have a bowel movement to bring any relief. But I have a magnesium supplement that works wonders. It is called Isaflush from the company Isagenix and it is the only thing I have find that works.

    5. omg…I’m very sorry you had this so very long. I began as I recall getting these in my 40’s very few and then into my 50’s more often – now at 60 (a woman) still out of the blue, constipation or not – hey pop up and are horrible.
      I read about using an inhaler and since I’ve got allergic cough, mild very mild allergic asthma and rarely use my inhaler I tried it 2 times and last night it WORKED!! The albuterol..only one puff.
      You see it relaxes smooth muscle like our bronchiole tube and it relaxed my anal spasm within 2 minutes with one inhalation of my albuterol inhaler.
      Hope this helps. Ask your doc to order you an inhaler if you can..
      just ‘in case’!.
      I’m so happy it worked I can’t even say how thrilled.
      Please try this….one puff did it.
      My best to you and all who suffer from this. I understand the agony of this strange, painful condition.

      1. Are you still finding this effective after the year and a half of using this treatment?
        Hope so! If it is, I’ll talk to my doctor.

    6. I don’t know if this is good or bad, but I am so glad I am not theonly one!. I haven’t talked with anybody about it, because I thought people will think I am crazy.
      My episodes are at night, usually when I am sleeping very deeply.
      Getting up, setting straight in a soft spot and focus in something else, helps me to pass the episode faster. I try to make muscular exercises to relax the area, sometimes that helps and others just help me to pass the time.
      Setting in the toilet “trying” to poop, sometimes helps to relax the area as well.

      1. exactly like me.
        it happen to me in midnight when i sleep deeply every multiple weeks. especially when i have stress. i am using the methods you explained to relax the pain and usually use acetaminophen and Setting in the toilet “trying” to poop multiple times.

        1. I always feel like I need to poop while mine is happening so I try to get to the toilet while my butt is cramping itself in a twist. To no avail… there’s no poop… just awful stupid butt cramps..

          1. YEPP! Me too.

            I am a 33 yr old male. Mine started from visiting family and not being able to use the restroom the entire trip which was 5 days! Once I got back … I used the restroom the next day very lightly. The next few times I used the restroom a lot and it caused Hemorrhoids.

            Once I got the hemorrhoids i AGAIN was not able to use the restroom as my butthole was swollen closed!

            So after 3 days of not using restroom I went to the Hospital. They gave me medication to help “push” as well as a stool softener. I took the medication it didnt work. I felt what was trying to be released from my body and released it was WAY to large and incorrectly shaped to pass normally. I found an EXPIRED at home enema and squeeze the ENTIRE bottle in desperation.

            minutes later I felt STRONG pushing and contraction and the LARGEST stool ever came out. It was equal to FOUR normal size stools all bunched together. I actually started to pray to God before it thinking “I can;’t do this, I’m gonna die in here” before it came out. More HUGE stool came out. I was screaming in pain.

            After all this I passed out asleep in bed.

            NOW – this has caused the proctalgia fugax pain as my body went through HELL. It passed something that give me CHILLS thinking of it. I am now sore and feeling contraction and YES night it was HELLLLLLLL!

            I can stand for LONG moments of comfortably and then … it comes on and its a WRAP! Throbbing, contracting, BURNING (gas) and pain. I read that it SHOULD be able to just heal on its own and be fine.

            My ISSUE is – I cannot use the restroom like this and it is creating a cycle of constipation, hemorrhoids and then this things.

            Im FRIGHTENED to even eat! I wanted to read stories on eating during this.

          2. I used to have similar sever pain related to constipation. The thing that worked for me was “Meta Fiber Wafers.” It has to be that exact brand and type. The pills and the powder drink don’t work nearly as well for me. And all other brands “fiber cookies” etc. just gave me gas, nothing else. Take one pack of Meta Fiber Wafers a day and drink a food amount of water with it. Do this every day. It will take a few days to kick in (maybe 3). Trust me, this will help!

          3. Taking Magnesium each day helps me keep regular too. I take 400 mg in the morning and another 400 mg before bed. I have Proctalgia Fugax and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

          4. Keep things as soft as possible until you heal. Drink lots of water. A liquid diet for a few days might even be a good idea.

            Miralax or generic equivalent can really help. Also sodium docusate stool softener. Both available without prescription. Just until you are healed.

            Aloe vera juice can also help keeping stools soft. Has a mild laxative effect until your body gets used to it.

          5. Happened to me this morning after useing restroom usally hits at night an wakes me up only thing i can do is pace back an fourth slowly hunched over till it stops also take a bentyl i have levisin but havent tryed it

          6. I do the same thing!! It always wakes me up out of a deep sleep, the pain is so severe that I start shaking uncontrollably & grinding my teeth! I’m in a wheelchair from Muscular Dystrophy so I have to somehow gather enough strength to transfer myself out of bed and into my wheelchair all while trembling & shaking from this crippling pain and get myself to the toilet all the while I’m running HOT water in the sink and getting a HOT cloth to hold on my rectum & apply pressure & just keep repeating this process until it finally subsides enough so I can get to the kitchen and take some Ibuprofen! I’ve actually had to take 4 200mg Ibuprofens in order get some relief! Although I don’t advise this as this may not be an appropriate dosage for everyone, this is just what has helped me. But all the while during these episodes I too am feeling pressure down there as if I have to “poo” but there never is any bowel movement, just lots of pressure & debilitating pain!! This is absolutely horrible and extremely difficult for me with being in a wheelchair and already being stricken with muscle weakness, muscle pain and contractures, it’s extremely hard having to transfer myself anyway but it’s 10 times as hard when being stricken with this debilitating pain in my butt at same time!! This is literally “a pain in the butt” and I wish I knew what causes this, it is horrible to say the least but thank God the episodes only come every now and then as I could not tolerate them coming very often!! If anyone has any kind of advise of any kind of treatment for this I would certainly love to hear from you!!

          7. Hi guys. I am same with you. Instead of going to bathroom, i do hot water bottle and apply it in there and be still.. I am trying now my friend’s suggestion. I have mild chronic gastritis so ibruprofen or any strong pain meds are not good for me so she told me to try Paracetamol suppositories. It helped me relieved with pain but pharmacist gave me 250mg only but they are bloody expensive..€10 for just 10 pcs.

          8. I’ve suffered with this for about 24 years. May I suggest the following arsenal, which I’ve settled on after trying tons of stuff (some of the ideas came from this forum):
            Prevention: Magnesium citrate, 400mg twice a day (this seems to have reduced the frequency and definitely the severity)
            At your bedside keep the following in easy reach for when the spasms wake you: Hylands muscle cramp tablets (OTC). Put 3 under your tongue IMMEDIATELY when the spasm starts. I tried 2, but I definitely need 3, and it’s within the recommended dose. Since taking these, I haven’t had one get to the level of intensity that make me sweat and feel like I’m dying. They work pretty immediately–unlike pain killers.
            Go on Amazon and order a heated eye mask. I originally bought it for headaches that sometimes wake me, but discovered that it’s the perfect size heating pad for a butt crack! I remove it from the cover with the elastic strap, and instead slip it into a thin sock which can be washed after each use.
            Keep a sitz bath (get at the pharmacy) in your bathroom. Fill with water as hot as you can stand. It sits in your toilet bowl, so you can immerse your butt without having to strip down and get in the tub in the middle of the night. It’s the best relief!!
            Keep a tennis ball or some other firm, fist-size item in reach to press into your coccyx/rectum area. The counter-pressure helps. But I also realized early on that lying down keeps the pain intense. I have to be upright (seated). So try to stay upright until the pain subsides.
            I always wonder if ibuprofen, etc, actually helps anyone. You might think it’s the reason the pain subsides, but by the time it would take actually effect (usually 20 minutes?), the pain may very well have subsided on its own.

        2. I’ve had this for 10 years now. It’s the most uncomfortable feeling ever. It pretty much paralyzes you until you find relief. Literally takes your breath away. The only thing that helps me and I need to do it right away is to sit on a heating pad or in a hot bath. I’m laying on my heating pad and after 10 minutes it has subsided. It terrifies me to think I could be out somewhere or at work and this could occur.

    7. I’m sorry to hear of so many suffering with what I refer to as ‘My bum pain’ but it does make me feel better knowing I’m not alone!! I carry liquid mormorphine around with me as well as a radar key (disabled toilet key) and if I can get to a toilet before it reaches its crescendo then I quickly take my morphine dose and lock myself in the toilet. I then breath like I did when I went into labour, the morphine takes the edge off it and the breathing gives me something to concentrate on. Interestingly I have had two rectocele repairs. One with a mesh the other time muscles were pulled from each side to strengthen the area. I came round with proctalgia fugal after the second op and it took every drug under the sun for doctors to get it under control!! After each op to repair my rectocele my bum pain stopped! Gradually as the area weakened again so came back the proctalgia so for me it seems to be linked to that. Unfortunately it can’t be fixed again because the skin is too thin and could easily tear. I also have fissures and tears in my fragile anal canal !! Hope the find a cure soon other than morphine! 🙏🏻

    8. I agree, my pain started in my vaginal area and travels to my anus. It felt as if I wanted to push , like giving birth. I was driving with my kids in the car. I had to call my bestfriend to concentrate on something else. I said prayerfully I make it home. THANK GOD I DID! It lasted almost five minutes. I was darn near in tears. I googled this because this happens randomly. Luckily mybestfriend knew what I was talking about because it happens to her as well. Thank you for this post and page. It’s nice to know we are not alone

    9. Glad to have found so many people with similar problems to myself. Mine stated about 10 – 12 years ago I’m 42 now. Stabbing pain in the side of rectum just like someone pushing a cold nail through your rectum wall slowly. It would just randomly come on out of the blue. Lasting anywere from 45 mins to over 2 hrs my episodes happen only 6-10 times a year although recently I’ve experienced more them frequently and with a dull pain or some sensation 10-20% of the time. They started with just the stabbing pain but now have progressed to include a pressure feeling like I want to push something out with out anything being there. Pushing is a big mistake as it intesifies the pain ten fold. Now my nerve dow my leg becomes sensitised and I have a feeling of fake pain on the bottom of my foot, my toes curl and my legs go stiff. I also feel very light headed, like all the blood is rushing to the pain and cannot concentrate or communicate propery. Relaxing is impossible and I usually end up staggering from location to location, moaning and constantly changing positions all to no avail for anything up to 2 hours. They can come on independently, after constipation or diahorrea and a few times seems to have been triggered after an orgasm.
      *This happens one side side of my rectum, the pain builds and builds then spikes, the leg and foot go, slowly it subsides then it all starts again with the other side of my rectum. This is regular pattern and a distinct feature. Does anyone else get this on both sides too?
      I have been refered to gastro specialist who is organising a spine scan for damage as I have had a lot of high impact tumbles after skateboarding and snowboarding for years, I’m already booked to have a camera up my backside in a week or so to check for prostate trouble, heamoroids and fissures etc. but it is looking more like nerve or spasms at the moment. Hopefully I can get to the bottom of it (excuse the pun) and if it is PF or Levator Ani then at least it’s not someting life threatening and I can work on finding some effective pain relief.

      Good luck everyone else and thanks for sharing. I wish you all the best and hope we all find some peace and relief if not a cure.

      Love can cure just about anything.


    10. I just experienced this. You habe explained the way it feels very well. It happened to me while sleeping and actually work me up from sleep. The pain to me felt initially like the bottom of my rectum, and then as I thought about it after it passed, it also felt like it was part of my body behind my ovaries. It made me wonder if it was connected to ovulation, since that is a little of what it felt like and looking at my cycle, I am due to ovulate. Very interesting. I’m sad that you’ve had to deal with this all of your life. Thankfully you’ve found a way to make it pass less painfully or scary.

      1. came across this link whilst trying to find out what this horrendous pain might be. Have been suffering only recently but the pain literally brought me to my knees in work the other day!!. couldn’t move or catch my breath properly. unbelievable pain in my back passage and band of pain around my pelvis and lower back/ lasted about 15 mins the first time. then disappeared as quickly as it came. have had several episodes a day now for the past week. not constipated/don’t eat sugar although have been working a lot more hrs to earn the extra pennies, like everyone else. last 2 days it seems to be happening more and feel as if I have constant period pain as well even though I went through menopause yrs ago!!. also sitting is causing shooting pains so have to sit at a slight sideways angle to keep the pressure off my butt,lol.

        1. I’ve had PF for about 20 years. My doctor suggested I use Citrucel or equivalent daily. After about 3 months, my episodes decreased significantly. Now, MY BIG DISCOVERY, when I get an attack, as quickly as possible, I lay down on my back, bring my feet as close to my butt as possible and then spread my legs as much as possible. This stretching somehow reaches the anal muscles in spasm and usually within 5-10 minutes ,the pain is gone. Sometimes it takes longer (15-20 minutes) but it sure beats hours of agonizing pain! These two treatments have worked for me for many years and I hope they work for you.

        1. Try cat pose (yoga) . I stumbled upon this by accident one day. It reduces the pain instantly and completely relieves it within a few minutes. Just hold the pose until it’s gone.

    11. Sitting on a hard dining chair sitting very still until the pain subsides. Not all chairs work. Just the one that gas the firm of your buttocks-best I can explain.

    12. I have to say I am a man and I went to the doctor for this and they said they couldn’t operate or wouldn’t want to take a chance they thought it was an inside hemorrhoid and I’ve had this pain since I was a child it would come on and I thought I’d rather be dead. I’m headed come on three times in one night and for Shirley I thought I died. At times it wood go down to my genital area. The lasting pain is relieved sometimes by Tylenol 3 for me. I have never seen a post on this thank you very much.

      1. It’s a muscle spasm/cramp. You should never consider surgery for it!

        I’ve had it all my life. There are drugs which can relieve the cramp; they are muscle relaxants.

        I have found that the most important thing is to not lie down when it happens, but to get up, walk around, and drink lots of water. That stimulates the digestive system to get “unstuck” and you will fart and then the spasm subsides. It works every time for me and after years of fearing this thing, I haven’t had a serious problem for a long time. I don’t even bother with the pills anymore, just drinking water is enough.

      2. Omg i was working and one day it hit me like a ton of bricks they told me i have severe hemoroids i took a medical leave and thought this problem would go away but it only got worse and worse and the pain is excruciating, i thought they were so bad i had to have surgery and the Dr recomended we do rubberband ligation first so we did the rubberband is supposed to kill the hemorrhoid & fall off in 1 to 3 days but guess wat im on day 11 in excruciating pain no matter wat i do to treat hot sitz baths tucks my medicine regimand consists of oxicodone,ibuprofen, tylenol, senna, colace, milkamagnesia every 6 hours im still in excuciating pain i cannot sit on my bottom for too long all these symptoms i read in these comments i have as well in ur comments you said you thought it was an internal hemmoroid , if its not an internal hemorrhoid wat is it ? Do you know wat it is. Please comment me back i am dieing to Know wat it is?

    13. Yes I agree that it does move beyond the rectal region. My pain always begins there but moves to my vagina and seems to encompass the entire lower abdominal region. At first, I had no idea how to get rid of it and, the first time, I was in bed for 2 hours, in absolute agony. Now, I do lower back exercises whilst lying on my bed – very gentle but it does help, most of the time, but not all of the time. As you said Dianna, you cannot take anything for it, the pain arrives completely unannounced and so rapidly. I am not prepared to take any of the medications suggested above, and just to put up with it as well as do my exercises when I can. Interestingly enough, the majority of attacks have come when I am fast asleep – if I wake as it begins I can get rid of it within about 5 minutes, but if it is in full grip by the time I wake, it can take over half an hour. If I am out and about and unable to do the exercises – it is not good! Good luck to everyone with this weird condition!!

    14. I completely agree with you there and sometimes the pain comes from the anal and belly button at the same time yoh thts when i feel like dying

    15. Proctalgia Fugax, hello all ,first off I cant spell .and grammer not good , I have had this condition all my life ,on some occasions, iv come close to passing out ,,cold sweats ,,,the worst thing to do is if your passing a stool don’t push it makes it worse , after hospital investigations and seeing Drs they tell me they don’t know what causes it , I know exactly what causes it ,,, but you will have to think to find your answer , if you pour salt on a garden slug it will twist contort , if I eat mustard , extra spicy food as soon as it touches my bowel the same thing happens just like the slug ,,, before you dismiss this please think of the food stuff you eat and try and relate to it ,,,yes if my stools are loos and acid it happens , in the past I found walking helped to ease it ,, now I have a Ventolin inhaler ,that brings it under control , this pain is the worst pain in the world ,,,

    16. I suffer from the same and the only thing that relieves my pain is drinking water. Seems weird but it works most of the time.

    17. we are all different, reading this message board shows this , Hi Dianna . for myself I found in the most painful episodes , a brisk walk would help , I felt it offered, some massage to the lower bowel ,while it is cramping , if you relate the cramp in your calf you can at least give it a rub , fortunatly for me I have found my trigger is food stuffs ,,,my symtoms were anal cramping at first then move to my man bits lower abdomen Pain so bad you feel like your going to pass out, sweating nausia, and the feeling if life was to be like this all the time id rather be dead ,Oh and the overwhelming desire to pass a stool ,,which is the worst thing to do ,,well it was for me just made it ten times worse ,fortunately for me I have summer asthma and have the Ventolin inhalers , I have two good puffs and starts to subside , hope some of the things I have writen help some one , I think the worst thing is with this hideous condition is the feeling your on your own (god bless this message board )

      1. Hi Sally:
        I read your issue.
        I have the same problem, I have overactive bladder and the urologist did 6 sessions of treatment but later the gets very intense,
        Also my rectum feels burning
        I visited the gastrointestinal doctor and also told me is spasms
        Now I don’t know what doctors to see, why the spasms are in both sides?.

    18. Thank you so much for your response. I too have to agree and can finely say Thank God! Thought I was going insane. Trying to explain the severity of pain that course from these spasm I get. At times it will start from my anal and travel to my private part. These pains (spasm) would feel like an eternity .once again, Thank you for your honesty .I’m so glad I came on ur response. 😊

      1. I have had rectal spasms for 29 years.
        Yes, 29 years. I have taken a lot of medication and seen many doctors
        (specialists), but no relief from the doctors or the medication. Any help will be appreciated.

    19. I never knew what this was but it’s awful. I break out in a sweat from the pain at its peak and then starts to slowly diminish. The only relief I have found is getting a warm wash rag and massaging the sphincter muscle. It’s gross and embarrassing but it works but not like magic . I have PTSD when I get any sort of notion it might be starting. I usually wake up to the pain at night but I have gotten it during the day before

    20. Thanks for this forum as this condition is new for me. I can’t believe how intense the stabbing pain can be. I just wanted to concur with the above comment that I too experience the intense pain deep in my pelvis almost feels like between my vaginal canal and my anus, or deep under the perineum area. definitely not just located in the anal area for me. hope this helps other sufferers whose pain is not localized to the anus.

      1. I feel mine in my Tail Bone to my thighs to my Vagina down my legs. My lower back. I thought Shingle pain was bad but this pain is right up there and past.

    21. I share many of symptoms described here for over 25 years now. I sometimes get noxious and faith. But I did find a quick fix that works 100% of the time. Please dont judge…if you are alone, masturbation with orgasm, or sex with your partner, I know it seems hard to do in such pain, but the orgasm will instantly alleviate the excruciating pain. Since it happens 100% of time when I’m sleeping, I rush to a very hot bidet, swallow an excedrin and start masturbation. Guy’s dont laugh, just try it next time and transform the pain into pleasure!!

      1. This is absolutely true, i do this everytime i get an attack, i masturbate to orgasm and pain is instantly relieved.

    22. Muscle relaxers or in my case nitroglycerin tabs inserted via vagina or rectum definitely works. It’s the only thing that ever works for Me. Also I have noticed that so long as I stay well hydrated I rarely have these attacks.

    23. I so agree with you. I am 47. They started at a younger age also. Very rare. Had only to become more intense at 38 and only at night. Now they are coming any time and it’s horrible and yes on a woman is deep in her private along with all anal even my uterus. I can move, I just sit on the toilet because that’s the only thing that eventually will stop it…deep squat position and it’s agonizing.

    24. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience. I found the information extremely helpful. I knew I had Proctalgia Fugax and this evening for the first time I had an extreme cramp in my lower left abdomen. I was concerned something was happened with my kidneys or gallbladder. I now understand Proctalgia Fugax pain can occur outside the anal area. I was prescribed EaANUCORT-HC SUPPOSITORIES that could be used twice daily for up to 5 days. They definitely helped with the pain. If the extreme cramping occurs again tonight I am going to put in a suppository. I got them on 5/25/2018 and have one left. Hopefully if the pain is being caused by my kidneys or gallbladder it will still help. If not I will promptly follow up with my gynecologist about potential gallbladder or kidney issues. If you have any guidance in this regard I would greatly appreciate receiving it. You can e-mail me at
      Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge. Now going to lay back, breathe and be thankful for your guidance!

    25. This just happened to me again and it’s the second time. Excruciating pain and was soaked in sweat and on verge of passing out and vomiting from pain. I went for a run prior to getting this terrible pain. I literally thought my life was going to end from pain. I put my head between legs and held onto wall and focussed on breathing which was impossible due to ragged breath from pain. I saw spots and sensation of fainting coming on, I was so scared. Pain eased gradually and now I feel like I have been through the wringer. I will try cayenne pepper twice a day. Reading these posts helped me as I felt comforted knowing others understand the pain. Thank you for sharing 💕

      1. Hi
        For years I have used over the counter Anusol or Rectinol Suppositories or even a paracetamol suppository …..all have worked for me. I was lucky to have found this after only a couple of years of experiencing the pain and I have had it for around 35 years now…..but only about 4 times a year. The suppositories take a small amount of time to work on me. (I always carry a couple with me)

    26. Same experience for me. I’ve had this occurrence all my life. I didn’t know how to talk about it. I can’t move when this cramp occurs and it is excruciating. It feels like my body is trying to push something out. The muscle wall between my anus and vagina and especially the right side of my vaginal wall is in a charley horse type cramp. I have noticed in the past years that it occurs when I am dehydrated or have not taken my potassium and magnesium supplements. I believe that low magnesium in particular is a contributing factor.

      1. That’s how I felt. I’ve been driving and had an attack. I barely got myself pulled over safely. I felt sick and I was screaming in my car. I hung my head out the window to get some air. I was sure someone was going to stop to see if I was ok. At work I got helped to the bathroom . I was like God please stop it. I do take meds now for anxiety and depression. I think they are helping.I’m seeing a specialist to investigate further to make sure it is anything else. I think i know already. Going places is hard you don’t know when it will hit.

    27. i use to do that also , concentrate on the pain. what works better ( at least for me) is to drink a cup of hot water. it work within seconds. if i get such pine attack during the night then i walk for 10 minutes after the cup of hot water as i know from experience if i do not walk then i could get one more pine attack.

    28. Same with me. Recently it is taking long hours daily . I take 2 paracetomol and 2 spasomen every 4 hrs/6hrs as i cannot bare the pain. Made loads of tests and they said they are negative. Now was told to try acquapuncture. I am not sure yet as am afraid.

    29. I’m a white male, 43, and have had this for probably 20 years. At least I think it’s what I have. I get a dull aching pain in my rectum. I feel it gradually come on over a few minutes, but it can be pretty intense. It usually lasts from 20 minutes to 2 hours. It started out only happening in my sleep, but now it happens any time of the day. I haven’t noticed any relation to stress or any other trigger. When this happens I often want to lay down with my butt in the air, and push. Then if I suck my belly in, sometimes I can get air to go back up into my butt. If I can get enough air to fill up my rectum, it seems to provide some relief. Sorry I know that is very weird and too much info. I’ve never told my wife that before, but just thought I’d share something that helps me, and maybe it will help a doctor figure out what’s causing this.

    30. I just turned 18 in may and I began getting these pains in my I guess rectal area. I used to wear tampons when I was on my period but now everytine I put one in even for a minute I get severe pain like you said I’m unable to move. It hurts so bad and I have no idea where this came from. I want to find a way to make it feel less or even go to the doctor to see if I can get a diagnosis because I’m unsure of if this is actually Proctalgia Fugax. Have you had this same problem ?

    31. I read your comment . That is exactly what happens to me. I feel it it my female area as well. Then it travels to my rectal area. I can’t even begin to tell you how it hurts. I cry every time. I never know when it will hit or where I’ll be when it does. I’ve been in my car and pulled over in pain crying. Sometimes I think I’m going to die from it.

    32. I don’t know what I have but like you both areas and I can’t move either I have only started to have the pains this past year and it is excruciating I do feel for you hang lived with it for so long can I ask you does it travel down the back of your leg to the heal of your foot as sometimes it happens to me then the pain goes thankyou for sharing this with us

    33. I am so happy to have finally found some one with this symptom of also being in the deep pelvic area! I’ve also had this as a little girl and so did my Mom. I’m 66 years now. It can happen in the middle of night and wakes me up, where I have to lie down in the bathroom floor(as not to wake my husband) and moan and groan until it subsides! I am a retired OR nurse and this didn’t go over very well while in surgery! I’ve heard of people having this, but have never mentioned it to a physician thinking I maybe crazy. And yes, excruciating pain.

      1. I’m male. Had it 50 years. Yep have fainted a few times. Finally worked out if I lay down and tense up my butt cheeks really hard and just hold that as long as possible it actually numbs the pain.

    34. Try rubbing it out… I started having these episodes 10 years ago and for the first year I feared these episodes worse than death and when I would start to feel it come on(if I was awake) I would think it was a fart at first and then oh no maybe a poop and then that feeling just went from the typical gotta go gotta go gotta go #2 now to oh my god I can’t poop and it’s no longer a urgent feeling but a very painful feeling and I would sit on the toilet in tears and nothing else around me mattered except the pain for about 20min usually butt (lol) the pain would ease as quickly as it came and I didn’t know what happened… and one time I was awoken from deep sleep (usually when it happens) and in severe pain and I didn’t even make it two steps before I was crippled by the pain and I didn’t know what else to do so I started punching my butt and when I would hit the right spot I would get the pain to ease and go away… then I figured out this is just a cramp of a small muscle and can be rubbed out in 2 seconds as soon as the feeling starts to come on and it never gets past that for me now and I don’t fear an episode nor do I ever feel pain from them any more I simply rub rhe area with my finger tips and I seem to initiate the muscle to relax instead of contract further and I can go right back to sleep…. I HAVE A QUESTION HAS ANYONE EXPERIENCED ANY CHANGES IN YOUR EJACULATION ? Lack of control, newly experienced premature ejaculation ? A soreness uncomfortable feeling after ejaculating in your pelvic floor area? Or even any testicle issues? Strange uncomfortable feeling and a feeling of not wanting to touch or be touched in the testicles ? Or testicle not suspended as low as normal?

    35. This was perfect! You explained it the way I always try to explain it. The pain originated from somewhere deep and it’s just so excruciating I can barely move when it starts and I just never know when it will attack or what triggers it. It’s good to know someone else feels and understands my pain.

    36. I’ve had this ever since I could remember. I always have to use the bathroom right after. (Number 2) I’ve fainted from the pain before. It’s so terrible. It’s scary because you have no idea when it’s going to even happen 😢

    37. Thank you for putting into word’s what I’ve been dealing with for many years. I agree you cannot move during these episodes, yes definitely effects vagina area, painful, how does everyone deal with this? Does a Rectal Doctor treat this? Thank you for your response.

    38. I agree I think I have this and it effects me from under my tail bone to my vaginal wall this is why I was confused at first because when you hear people talk about proctalgia, they only talk about the rectum but it’s the actual muscles of the rectum and pelvic floor that are hurting. I absolutely hate it.

  2. I agree with every thing that Dianna has said,I have suffered with this “thing” for about 40 years.At first I thought I was going to die, and asked my friends had they ever had it..noone had,and I just think that people feel embarrassed to talk about anal things.I am now 72, quite fit ,do aerobics,ski etc and still suffer with it .not as often,mostly during the night,but now it seems to almost paralyze me from the waist down,it only lasts about a minute,but it is frightening. I would describe the pain as that of childbirth, as you want to push..but is goes as fast as it comes. I was first told it was congestion of the ovaries and then read an article in a magazine about the complaint, and was pleased to hear that it more common than I thought. I have just learnt to live with it

  3. Thank God this has a name. I just had another bout with it while walking the dog. My husband and son thought I was having a heart attack. I couldn’t even speak to tell them it was my rear. But it is just like giving birth. I was breathing like they teach you in Lamarres classes. Finally it stopped and I got my breath back.

    1. Oh boy, the same happens to me. I feel like I need to bear down. Push out a baby or a bowel movement. Real hard one. I can’t breath or move. Ive had it for about 7 years never knowing when it will happen. I’ve been at work and a co-worker had to help me to the bathroom. People could hear me crying in pain. I stuck my finger up my rectum and massage my rectum to get it to relax.

  4. I first started suffering from Proctalgia Fugax about a year or two ago and I’m so glad I found what it really is!

    Let me just tell you. It’s the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced and some of my episodes have lasted for 5-10 minutes.

    An episode only ever occurred once the day after sex, and the rest of my episodes (I’ve only had about 4 if I can remember correctly) have happened because of stress. It really knocks the breath out of you, and it’s such a weirdly placed pain that any position you put yourself in doesn’t really work!

    The best thing to do for me is lay down and find a decent position where it lessens the hurting even by a tiny bit and then breath very deeply like in meditation.

    Nothing like waking up in the middle of the night because your ass hurts.

    (Female, 22 years old)

    1. I’ve recently been put on Medication for depression and anxiety. It’s always in the back of my mind when I’m out of the house, what do I do if I have an attack. I feel that stress is a big factor for me, but then it happens when I don’t feel anxious as well, It makes it hard for me to want to go places. I can feel the affects of an attack after for awhile. My legs and lower back and I feel tired. I honestly hate feeling that it interferes in my life. Even though I still go out.

  5. I am also so very glad to hear that this is a “thing.” I just now had an episode, which is when I once again googled it, and it lasted about a half hour. It was so very painful, and I had to excuse myself from my coworkers and go sit in the bathroom. When this happens, I feel like all the blood drains from my face, I feel sweaty and OH MY GOODNESS the PAIN. This used to happen to me all the time when I waited tables, and I thought I was done with all that since I know have a sit-down job. But standing or sitting doesn’t seem to matter.

  6. I suffer from this as well ! Its comforting to know its common but its super painful and distabilizing , I get it once a month mostly when I’m ovulating and at the dead of d night ! The pain can be so severe sometimes I feel I’m going to faint !

  7. I, too, have suffered from this for about 15 years. It happens a few times a year, sometimes a few times a day (or night) when it does. It’s absolutely excruciating. The pain is so intense, I feel like vomiting. However, one thing that ALWAYS helps is to find something with a sharp, rigid edge (lip of bathtub, stair, edge of hard chair) and sit with the cramping area right on that edge. In a few seconds – sometimes a minute or two – the pain will subside. Continue to sit there for several minutes to make sure the cramp is gone, and the episode will be over. Hopefully this will work for you, too. It’s a lifesaver.

    1. Sounds exactly what I have to do. i use the edge of the hard toilet seat to help relieve the pain. What I have now found to be even more affective is to use the enema tube. The warm water and the tube itself really helps the pain. Only problem is if this attacks you when your away from the home. I started to leave the enema box in my suit case when I travel

    2. Sitting on an edge has worked for me in the past too. Also if the pain was in the early stage lying in bed on the index knuckle of a fist under my butt worked. Now I punch the area and am mostly ok after years of this problem. See my 1/12/15 post.

    3. Yes Yes Yes! You just described my experience spot on! I started with my bum pain shortly after I had an ectopic pregnancy. Everytime I tried to explain what was happening to me I couldn’t! It’s so hard to describe. Pardon me for this, but the feeling reminds me of an incident with my husband when we got a bit to enthusiastic in bed and his aim was off in a very suprising and unexpected way.(get what I mean?) I have actually almost vomited from it!

  8. Had these attacks since I was about 18 years old. Never understood what they were. Terrible things. The worst ones you really come close to blacking out.

    I don’t know whether this will help anyone but having been on and off the contraceptive pill since I was 20, I can definitely say that I have found being on the pill helped reduce the frequency and intensity of my episodes. Never had a single attack through my recent first pregnancy either. Now, off the pill and breastfeeding (baby 10 months) and I am getting these attacks much more regularly. Last night lasted 90 minutes and intensity was wave-like. Eventually subsided and fell asleep. Looking forward to stopping breastfeeding in a few months time and going back on the pill. Not fun but you’re certainly not alone.

    IT is very challenging when you can’t find anyone else who understands what you are talking about when you try to explain and you don’t know what it is. You wonder what on earth is wrong with you.

  9. I will also add that I agree with Dianna Grace. Drawing a bath or applying heat? Forget it. Not even an option, in my case. When it is intense, I can barely move. I just get on my hands and knees and breathe really loudly and deeply and hope to God it goes away soon.

  10. I’m so glad I found this site! I have had this pain on and off since childhood (I’m now 32). I can go months without an attack and then be woken in the dead of night (normally around 2-3am) with an excruciating pain. I try to take 2 neurofen as soon as I wake but that normally doesn’t take affect for about 20 mins. If I don’t have any pain killers then the pain can sometimes last for over an hour. There’s no way I can stay in bed, the pain is agonising and actually makes me feel nauseous. The only thing I’ve found that helps is to sit on a hard floor and ‘balance’ on the base of my spine and rock back and forth. Peppermint tablets do help prevent an attack but you have to take them everyday. I also find that certain foods can trigger an attack-bread, biscuits etc. I’m disappointed there’s not a cure but it’s good to know I’m not the only one, hopefully one day it will disappear!

    1. I also did this in the past and it worked: “The only thing I’ve found that helps is to sit on a hard floor and ‘balance’ on the base of my spine and rock back and forth.” Punching works better for me as in my post of 1/12/15

  11. Phew….I am so glad to read about this condition! I have had these attacks off and on over the last several years. I’m 63 yrs. old. I watch what I eat and since I’m retired I don’t suffer from stress, so I was at a loss for a cause and treatment that would help get me through the episode. Thanks to all of you for your comments and YES, Diane Grace, eventually my pain shifts from the rectum to the vagina area as the episode subsides. I typically do have a bowel movement and once that happens the spasms start to relax. I use a soft ice pack to lie on and that helps me…along w/ibuprofen.

  12. I have been getting attacks of PF since I was 17. I am now 46. It goes through peaks and troughs, but I get on average one attack a week. I go fuzzy. I can’t focus enough to talk in sentences, during an attack, which usually wake me at night, but sometimes occur during the day. My attacks are certainly caused by stress (good and bad stress), and intercourse. I first found reference to this in a novel, in my mid 20s. I regularly feel gratitude towards the author, who wove the condition, in a reassuring way, into the plot of his story.
    I think my point is that this should not be our embarassing secret. Just like the author, we should bring this condition into the open. It is a terrifying thing to experience in ignorance, so surely no-one should suffer in ignorance…by discussing this with our chikdren and friends (as appropriate), we can all take a part in making this a commonly identifiable irritation.

    1. I have had Proctalgia Fugax for going on 3 years, I’m 28 male. The first year was painful attacks every night, and all day and cause a weight loss of 40 pounds from lack of sleep and with the horrible stomach issues that come along with this was barely able to eat as it would just pass straight threw me and cause horrible pain. I am slowly learning to deal with this into the 3rd year, i still have horrible stomach issues and rarely am able to leave the house as long car rides and standing for any amount of time seem to cause this to kick into full swing again…I started researching this and am surprised i don’t see more mention of Botox injections as a cure, I found a study that touches on Botox as a possible cure but the conclusion to these studies are very hard to track, as someone who deals with this not once a week or month to month but, every day of every year…learning to deal with it is not an option, and with more and more people coming into the light about having this horrible issue, we know that “hot baths etc.” just mask the pain for a short time (when its even an option). the studies I have found can be found at:$=activity and corresponding links found there in.

      If there are any doctors reading this, more information on this would be wonderful as these studies only indicate that people did try this and appear to have found success at curing these symptoms not masking them, as I have hit a dead end on this as the information is simply not there. If this is a cure why is it not being shared, and if it didn’t work…what other options are there?

  13. I have suffered from this the last 28 years. I’m 35 now, male.
    It was unbelieveably difficult to cope with this as a child, ashamed of it and confused.
    The few doctors I told it just brushed it off and overlooked the fact that it was a huge step for me to even open my mouth about it.
    – Thank you for giving a name for it!!!!!!!!!!
    – My trigger is stress and I have searched different cures for it for a long time. Until my wife told me to try this Yoga position where you are on your knees, put your chest to the floor so that your pelvis will automaticly stretch the muscles around your anal. Plus it won’t hurt If you relax your jaw ( funny as it seems) – It works for me at least and it has given me a partial relief at minimum.
    Thank you!

    1. Hello petteri,
      I think my 5 year old son might be going through this, but I dont think he is in as much pain, mabe a 2 or 3 on a scale of 10. When you were a child, was it less painful, and got more painful as you got older?

      1. Sorry I didn’t reply to your question!
        I’m so sorry to hear about your son!
        – It was far worse when I was child. It’s been more controllable last years, as I know it’s related to stress and I have a method to relieve the pain.

    2. I have had this for about 20 years since i was a teenager. I found that standing in place for a 1/2 hour helps. The first 15 minutes are unbearable, but the body resets. If I lie in bed or sit, it does not seem to let up as easily

  14. I have suffered from what I can only describe as Proctalgia Fugax after searching lots of websites on my condition for a few years now and only used to get the pain once a month or every other month, and yes they are sometime so severe you do feel like your going to be sick or pass out. I had a hysterectomy 4 weeks ago and they took everything except my right ovary and now I’m suffering with this weekly, does anyone know why or has had anything similar, my biggest fear is that I could just about handle once a month but I’m really scared to think it may be more frequent. I feel for you all its a horrible experience, but strangely feels better knowing your not the only one and I will be trying a few of your techniques etc so thank you 🙂

    1. Hey Kathryn. I’ve had these episodes for about 15 years, and i feel your pain. They are the worst! But luckily, i have found something that works for me. When you feel the pain coming, or you are awoken in the night by the pain, quickly go to the bath tub, and turn on the water. The water needs to be hot! Not scalding obviously, but hot. Then sit in it, and and let the tub fill up around you. The combination of pressure on the rectum while sitting, and the hot water relaxing the muscle has worked EVERY time for me, and the pain ends within a couple minutes and never gets bad like it used to. It used to get so bad, that i passed out before. But not anymore. Try this! I hope it works as well for you as it does for me! This is the ONLY thing i have found that works. Let me know! Jason

  15. It’s 3 am and I just woke up with this anal spasm. I am 43. I have suffered proctalgia infrequently since my early 30’s. The triggers for me are not specific. Today it was either intercourse or earlier I held in my stools for longer than I should. I have discovered I can relieve my pain after defection. An enema or a forced bidet wash is useful to facilitate the movement.

  16. I am 42 and have had PF for about 12 years. It has followed a steady pattern of striking every 7 weeks or so. Always in the middle of the night, a pain severe enough to wake me up out of deep sleep. When I wake up, the pain is on the milder side, not yet cranked up. But it quickly gets going, and it is absolutely crippling. If there was a fire, I’d run outside my house and quickly get back down on my hands and knees in pain. It is dreadful.

    I had an attack last night, and it was so bad I felt like I was close to vomiting. Thankfully the episode was short lived (about 15-20 minutes), whereas normally they last around 30 minutes, sometimes even longer.

    My routine now is as soon as I wake up to the pain, I take 4 ibuprofen. One thing that provides a little bit of relief is soaking a washcloth with hot water and placing it on the area, applying steady pressure until the heat wears off, which happens within a minute or two.

    I really wish there was a remedy, or even people studying it…I’d sign up in a heartbeat!

  17. Hey EVERYONE. I’ve had these episodes for about 15 years, and i feel your pain. They are the worst! But luckily, i have found something that works for me. When you feel the pain coming, or you are awoken in the night by the pain (which is how it has always happened to me), quickly go to the bath tub, and turn on the water. The water needs to be hot! Not scalding obviously, but hot. Then sit in it, and and let the tub fill up around you. The combination of pressure on the rectum while sitting, and the hot water relaxing the muscle has worked EVERY time for me, and the pain ends within a couple minutes and never gets bad like it used to. It used to get so bad, that i passed out before. But not anymore. Try this! I hope it works as well for you as it does for me! This is the ONLY thing i have found that works. Let me know! Jason

    1. I have read many of these replies and it saddens me to think so many people are suffering from the same thing that I am. I am a 69 yr. old woman and have had this ailment since I was in my 20’s. I first saw a doctor in the early 70’s. No one seemed to know what I had that would be causing this pain. I was put through many tests more than you could possibly imagine. None of the doctors could diagnose what it was. The pain seemed to hit the anal and vaginal areas. The only way I could explain the pain was to compare it to child birth labor pains. I always knew when it was about to hit me hard. If I didn’t lay down and draw up my legs, I would pass out. This could strike me at any time of the day or night and also during sex. After so many years of suffering I found out that using an enema seemed to relax the muscles that were affected by this spasm and the pain would almost immediately stop. I finally found out from a doctor in the early 2000,s that this ailment was called proctalgia fugax. At that time he said very few doctors even knew of this ailment. It was a relief to finally put a name on this condition. As I have gotten older, I have less and less bouts of pain. Although I was told recently that there is a medication for it now, I will continue to use the enemas because I am sure that this method does work for me. I hope all of you find something to work for yourselfs. Good Luck.

  18. Wow!!! Im not dying!!! I have had this since I was 18, Im now 40. Doctors really need to figure this out. I have had so many tests over the years and nothing ever found. The doctors seemed to always think I was making it up in an attempt to get pain medication or something. I have dealt with pain so severe that I thought I was going to pass out at times ranging from 1 hour to 4 hours and it mostly wakes me up in the middle of the night but it has come on at all different times but mostly about and hour or two into sleep. I believe stress and large amounts of aspartame from diet drinks are big causes of mine. I have also experienced it after bowel movements, sex, and sitting for long periods of time.

  19. As I read through all of these comments, I am truly shocked to know that I’m not the only person to have this! I wouldn’t wish this on anybody and yet I find some comfort in knowing it’s not just me….
    The first time it happened was in the middle of the night, when I was maybe 30, and I nearly passed out from the pain. The only thing that stopped it was laying flat out on the cold bathroom floor (thank goodness I’m a neat freak!). After about 30 mins or so, once the pain stopped, I thought how bizarre it was but didn’t give it a second thought. Until it happened again, about 6 months later – and then has sporadically continued over the past 13 years. It happens in the middle of the night nearly 90% of the time – but it’s also happened at the office in the middle of the day (2X), at the office in the early evening (2X), in the mornings, as I’m getting ready for work (handful of times) and then a random occurrence at other times. The only “plus” to it NOT being in the middle of the night – I can start to feel it and so before the pain truly ramps up, I can pop an rx called “Nulev” and usually the pain peaks at around a 4 or 5 – but in the middle of the night, it’s been an 8 or 9 before. I can relate to just about everybody’s comments on here. But I still think that the whole thing is just truly SO bizarre. Just a little bit less bizarre, now that I know that there really are others that deal with it…..

      1. I’m on Meds now for anxiety. I think it is helping. I’m not one to pop a pill but i was desperate. I’m seeing a specialist to get a check up. The time I was driving and had to pull over safely was hard. I was sure someone was hoping to stop to see if I was ok. I was crying and rubbing my rectum with my hand. I rolled my window down and hung my head out in the fresh air. I was sure people going by would stop. I will be honest. I hate it so much.

        1. If you can get Buscopan I find it helps. It is not sold in the USA but is in UK and other countries, and can be found on eBay. It is made for relieving IBS spasms.

  20. I am a 37 year old female. I have not been officially “diagnosed” with this condition, but have been suffering from these exact symptoms EVERY night since I had a hemorrhoid banding procedure. I have had pain that woke me up from sleep before this, but it was not nearly as severe (or consistent) as this has been! Me doctor had told me that I had a “very spastic sphincter” which caused me GREAT discomfort during this banding procedure that was SUPPOSED to be “painless”. I compare the cramping/spasms to that of labor pains…absolutely, unbearably awful! I have tried the hydro-cortisone suppositories and the nitroglycerin ointment prescribed by my doctor, warm/hot baths, ice packs, flexerill, ibuprofen. I’m not sure that any of these REALLY help me. I am usually awake for over an hour every night…about an hour or two after I initially fall asleep…trying to rid myself of this pain in the @$$! Occasionally I have a little pain during the day…but it is tolerable…nothing like the pain I experience that wakes me from my sleep. I am very puzzled by why this seems to happen to everyone at night (waking from sleep in pain). I thank all of you who have posted new ideas for pain relief!

    1. I am a 45yr old male and have been suffering every single day from the excruciating pain now for over 3 weeks. It is especially bad at night and not a single night of sleep. It’s not one hour at night for me but the entire tight. I catch naps in between spasms. I couldn’t tell it was spasms as it was burning, stinging, throbbing, and everything else all at once. I did heavy narcotics and other meds, ice, heat, etc but nothing. Then I discovered I could tighten and push my muscles to relax but usually I’m too exhausted to even do that.
      FOr about 10 days the pain level dropped from 10 out of 10 to 7 or 8 max. However, I applied the new Nitroglycerin I just got and somehow afterward the painful spasms came and lasted 18hrs straight and no sleep and no relief. I’m frustrated. I’ve missed many work days and can’t go on my normal life.
      Anything helped? Any new findings?

      1. Hi! I’m a 41 year old female. I started having this issue about 5 years ago. It would come on out of the blue and last for a few hours at night. At first it happened about once every 3 months. Then it became more regular. I got diagnosed and researched different ways to keep it at bay. This past year has been my best year with it. I maybe had 2-3 episodes total for 2018. My solution? 2 tsp of powdered magnesium every night before bed. It’s called Calm and comes in different flavors. I mix it with about 4 oz of water and drink it down. I take it with me when I leave home for extended periods of time or I will have an episode. I do this EVERY night. I don’t skip – EVER. Or I have an episode. I think it’s a magnesium imbalance. Which is rare. But for some reason, I’m either not getting enough magnesium in my diet or my body is not absorbing it properly. Either way this seems to help tremendously. Good luck!

        1. I to think magnesium is the key, I have started taking magnesium tablets daily and since then I have had no episodes, being low in magnesium is actually quite common, they recon most people are deficient in it, and it does stop cramping, which is why sports people eat bananas,

    2. Mine happen about 45minutes after I fall asleep. (sometimes it will happen after sitting down for a long time then standing up) It can happen anywhere from 6 to 10 times a night lasting about 10 minutes. I’m going on 7 years and no relief. I’ve done the (Sitting on the toilet thing) only to cause myself to have hemorrhoids. I’ve tried yoga, walking, showers, hot towels, creams, pain killers and meditation. Walking and very hot water seems to help the most but this is somewhat impossible to do 10 times a night. I fall asleep every-where I go from sleep deprivation and am slowly turning into a hermit. To add to the joy of this excruciating pain I’m now having more frequent symptoms at work. I literally have contemplated the unimaginable to make the pain go away. I’ve read most of the posts and mine does seem to be a little different than most. I have begged my Dr’s for help and am desperate to find relief. Last year I had a heart attack and my Cardiologist almost made me feel as though I was wrong and it couldn’t cause that much stress. If any-one has any ideas to even dull the pain please let me know.

      1. You need to find a gastroenterologist in your area. They know about Proctalgia Fugax and will investigate your symptoms to make sure that’s what you have. Please don’t do the “unimaginable”. There is help. Blessings to you.

  21. I’m so glad that this isn’t all in my head. Every few months – including last night – I will wake up out of a dead sleep with this pain. Last night was the worst – it took a full half hour to pass. These tips are great, but mostly I am relieved that this is so common!

    1. I been having these things since I was 12. Mine don’t last very long neither. They go away faster as I found out about 2 years ago how to relieve it. I literally have to force myself to use the restroom or pass gas. After that, it magically goes away. I get on my hands and knees in bed. Face down, butt up in the air while someone massages my back when I don’t want to get up as it’s so late. Always happens at night when I’m sleeping, never while being awake. I can go a few weeks without one. Most triggers for me is climaxing. 😒

  22. Yep, I definitely get this and a whole lot of other things as well such as cramps etc. Have had the spasms off and on for many years. Just found out my 85 year old Father has suffered from them as well. I will be able to tell him what it is called now. It totally sux. Night time is definitely the peak times and you feel so alone when it happens. My husband hears me get up and I just say “Oh its just a pain in the bum”. He goes back to sleep!!!!!!Thanks for nothing hon! But seriously, I have found that by walking around and trying to pass wind often alleviates it for me a little bit. Usually lasts 5-10mins, so I am a lot luckier than most of you out there. But a strange thing happened today. I got the pain today whilst I was out cycling. Yes, I was on my bike…….had ridden about 45 kms and suddenly there it was. That’s a first for me. I might try the hot water thing next time it happens during the night if the “farting” doesn’t help. Heheheheh

  23. Anyone who has this condition needs to try the medication hyoscyamine. hyoscyamine is a smooth muscle relaxer. It’s cheap, just have your physician write a prescription for you. I carry a little pill vial around on my keychain with three of these any where I go. If I even remotely start to feel an episode coming on, I’ll pop them under my tongue and let them dissolve. This usually either completely eliminates the episode, or makes it much less worse than it would be otherwise (i.e., I don’t vomit or pass out from the pain). If it occurs when I am home, I will also run a hot bath and sit in it for a few minutes until everything relaxes, but when you’re out and about, you just can’t run to take a bath. I’ve been out jogging before and had an episode come on and ended up passing out in a strangers yard by the sidewalk from the pain. There is nothing more embarrassing than having people come up to you asking if you’re ok, and you just want them to go away so you can try to relax and hope it stops soon.

    1. Thanks! I will definitely ask my doctor about it. One question though,how long does it take to work it’s “magic”? Feel free to contact me

      From one pain in the arse to another

    2. Hi Ed… I’m glad you mentioned the hyoscyam – I go nowhere without that vial of pills. It is such a help. How true that the pain can make you feel like passing out. I’m so sorry that you had this experience while jogging. It is so hard to explain the pain, but I gave birth to a 10 pound 9.5 oz baby that separated my pelvis, and I’d rather go through that again than 5 minutes of this pain. It is great that they have this forum to not only find support, but hopefully to show others that this is not some made up concoction of our imagination..

  24. Thank god other people get it. I only seem to get it at night and the pain is disgusting. Itoo feel the urge to push and would sooner give birth. What I wouldnt do for gas and air when the pain starts.

    1. Re: gas and air, I too suffer from proctalgia fugax and have done for about 15 years. It just so happened that I had an episode while I was in labour with my first child. Oh great! I used gas and air and it didn’t even touch the pain!

  25. I commonly suffered from this after ejaculation. I was not looking to yoga for a cure, but it was very effective. That I had a relapse when I stopped the yoga, but was doing other treatments for relaxation suggests the yoga was specifically keeping it at bay.

    As for remedies during occurrence, a hot bath was by far the best.

  26. Hi all – Just wanted to post in case I can help someone else. My 4 year old son has suffered from this for about 18mths now 🙁 Our GP did not diagnose PF and advised he did not know what it was and as it was not happening regularly, was not interested in pursuing it further. After researching myself and reading everyone’s experiences I know without a doubt this is what he suffers from. Any ways – the GP did give me a cream to insert in to the anus to relax the muscles that is used by Haemoorrhoid sufferers. It is called Rectogesic and after only a couple of minutes of inserting, his pain eases and the spasms go away completely. I do also give him some Ibuprofen as the cream has some sort of steriods or something that can give headaches. It sounds drastic but seeing him is so much pain is terrible! From what most people have said – is this something he will have for life?
    Thanks – Amelia 🙂

    1. Hi Amelia, first off, it appears that PF typically does not afflict children, and that most sufferers say that it begins roughly around age 30.
      I would try seeing a proctologist just to make sure it isn’t something else, just to be on the safe side. But because so little is known about PF, it seems quite possible that your son does indeed have it. I’m glad you found a remedy, it’s awful to see a child in pain, especially the kind of pain we deal with. He must be a brave little guy. To answer your question, it seems everyone is stuck with it once they get it. But because he’s so young, it might just fade away, it’s really hard to say. I’d assume that he will be stuck with it, if it is in fact what he has, and it sounds like it is. Best of luck to you and your son!

      1. Mine started age 3 or 4. No one else in my family has it. Usually comes on in the night…comes in clusters. I feel for your son 🙁 Sometimes helps to get up and try and walk it off but this can be difficult when it’s too intense. Cold wash cloth… even an ice pack too

    2. I started getting PF when I was 11 years old, I’m 31 years old now and it seems to get more painful as the years go by. At this point of my life I got to the Hospital ER once a week, this pain is out of this world mind blowing!!! I’ve heard of several people stating that their kids first got PF in their early childhood around 8 years old. Some people say it started around age 30, I’ve had it since I was a child and I live on pain meds while it acting up. I will usually get it once or twice a year, it stays from about 3-6 months. The doctors are no help at all, and at this point I don’t see what else is there in life to keep on living for. Some people say that their pain is mild, some say it’s severe. When PF acts up for me, I feel my body shutting down. The pain is so much that I can’t walk, talk, think or eat.

  27. so I am not alone with this affliction.I am not a freak with weird conditions!!! well maybe I am but now I have a name for it and can relax a bit about it (all except my anus). The only difference for me is that anything hot or warm is like making it 100 times worse and engorging the area with blood by dilating the blood vessels. I have to use an ice pack and slip it between my butt cheeks and rub it up and down to get relief. Yep it wakes me up and I sometimes get it after sex which can totally spoil that event!!! i wish there was a cure

    1. Hi Kerrie – it sounds like you have had this pain on more than one occasion so I feel sorry for you. I have had on only 2-3 occasions during my life with one of those times being just last night. It was like a cramp in the sphincter and very painful. It woke me while I was sleeping and I didn’t know what to do. I took a pain killer but knew that would take some time to work so in the mean time I looked through my first aid kit and found some canestan (a thrush treatment cream) and applied some. I tried this because I thought it might have some pain relieving ingredient in it and much to my surprise, it gave me almost immediate relief and I was able to go back to sleep. Do give it a go and hope it works for you too

    2. Hi Everyone, after reading the comments on people having anal spasms mostly at night, I was glad to know I wasn’t the only one. I am 48yrs old and had a partial hysterectomy in 2011. some months after surgery I started having anal spasms that would wake me up from a deep sleep. First time it happen I got up and took about 4 aspirins. that didn’t work so I thought what the heck I would try putting on some prep H on my anal. WOW that made my pain go away in about 10 minutes. the pain is just on the outside anal not inside but so severe pain. that works every time for me. Most of my spasms happen at night but had a couple in the daytime that make it difficult to walk with so much pain so I always carry Prep H and relieves pain in about 10 min. Hope this help someone

  28. I too have been diagnosed with this condition. After many years of discomfort I decided to seek medical advice, thinking it may be prostatitis, or something more serious. I get infrequent episodes, maybe once every 6 weeks and invariably at night. My best means of controlling it, once the first indication of an attack is experienced is to take paracetamol, whilst waiting for that to take effect I sit on the toilet as if to defecate, I think this sitting position encourages the anal sphincter to dilate offering prompt relief.

  29. I also Have suffered from Proctalgia Fugax for many years. Remembering it first in the primmers at school whilst sitting on the concrete steps eating my lunch aged 6 years and am now 70. The trigger for me is getting cold in that area. I find if I wake soon enough in the early stages I can get out of bed quickly, fill a hot waterbottle and have a pain killer and keep walking I can shorten the duration of the pain. If it last half an hour I feel I have got off lightly. If not it is an hours misery. The only bareable thing about it is knowing that it probably won’t kill you and you will get over it until next time!

  30. Wow! I have suffered from this pain off and on since probably my early 20s. I’m almost 44 now and just finding out that others suffer from this debilitating disorder! It used to only happen once in a while when I was having a bowel movement. I would cramp up and have to stop EVERYTHING immediately! I felt like I would hit the ceiling when the crampy pain hit! Now for the last 5 years or so (since I developed diabetes and was officially diagnosed with IBS) the pain has only worsened and ALWAYS comes during my monthly cycle and sometimes throughout the rest of the month. Last week was by far the worst! I always try to take a few advil early in the morning when I’m on my cycle so that I won’t have to worry about getting the pain later. But last Friday I had to go to my doctor for fasting blood work and couldn’t eat anything before taking the advil. My appointment wasn’t until 10:30am and my doctor was running late. I felt the pain coming on a bit before I went into the doctor’s office, but there was nothing I could do! I barely made it through the appointment when I was writhing and sweating in pain! I ate a banana while still in her office and she brought me water to take my pills. My doctor said it would take about 20mins for the advil to kick in, but I knew better. I made it to my car, but I couldn’t even drive! I was trying to make it back to work, but I literally felt as if I would pass out and/or vomit! I finally decided to try to make it to a park just a block away to wait for the pain to subside in the shade since it was really hot outside. I made it there and moved around trying to get comfortable and cried in my car for over an hour waiting to see if I could make it back to work! It finally subsided enough for me to gingerly drive myself back to work. I still didn’t feel great, but I couldn’t miss anymore days. People have NO IDEAL what we go through just to TRY to live normally! I will try some of these other remedies I’ve read about in these posts, and will talk to my doctors again about prescription meds for this horrible pain! Thank you all for sharing more info!

    1. Hi Kelly – the pain is agony… feels like someone is operating “up there” with no anesthesia. I just had it show up last night… middle of the night.. just like the literature suggests… spent time on my hands and knees rocking until the meds take effect.. I take Hyoscyam sublingually… (I am pretty sure that this is the same as the Clonidine mentioned above. It relieves the symptoms within about 5 minutes, but they are an agonizing 5 minutes. Having spent about a half hour in agony in the past though, I go nowhere without these pills. In my case it is either stress (yesterday I had severe chest pains during the day) or sometimes it is if I have had leafy greens or spicy food that seems to be the trigger. I feel your pain, but am glad to know that this has a name, is rather like the agony of a charlie horse, and that it does not portend something worse. Betty

  31. Hello All,
    I too have suffered Proctalgia Fugax, several attacks per year, almost always at night and usually associated with an erection as well.

    I am happy to tell you all that I have discovered an immediate cure that always works for me.
    It’s simple too.

    I make a fist, reach around and punch my anus with my knuckles. Good solid punches, enough to send a shock up the colon. I punch at different intervals in order to interrupt the timing of the peristaltic contractions.

    I normally punch about 20 -25 times. And that’s it. It stops.

    Since I discovered this method several years ago, I have been able to stop every attack since.

    I sure hope it works for you too.

    Good luck,


    1. My pain though is above the anus in the rectum area so I punch to the side and above the anus on the soft area of my buttock cheek. See my post of 1/12/15

  32. When I feel it coming on I get the hearing pad, turn on high and lay on it to where it will heat my rectum. I also have hooked up a Tens Unit and put the shocky things to where one is on each cheek and turn up on high (I know everyone else may not could stand it in high). The shock and the heat will shorten it better than anything that’s not medication. I’ve had muscle relaxer for other prescribed reason and used just a tiny bit if that and it will shorten it, same with hydrocodone. I’ve had them for about 20 years, but they stopped for awhile after hysterectomy. Just found a few years ago on the internet. Tried docs at first, but i don’t know if they even knew what that was 20 years ago. Pain and desperation is what led me to finding these ways to shorten it. If you feel it coming on while you sleep, jump up and get the heating pad and Tens Unit. You could shorten and weaken it tremendously.

  33. Hello to one and all fellow sufferers of this non life threatening, but nonetheless dreadful condition. I am a male, 71 years old and have had to deal with this PF for more than half of my entire life. My attacks have been mostly in the middle of the night, (99%) waking me up from sleep. Very rarely, have I had it during any other time (1%). And the duration of every episode has always been consistently at around 20 to 30 minutes, with the pain (coming in wave like form) escalating between 6 to 8 on a scale of 10. Either of three things I have always done to fight off and stop the attacks are: (1) while still in bed on a lying position, ease your body near towards your headboard or the wall, slip a pillow (or two) under your bum, and extend and lift your feet and prop them up against the wall; (2) and (3) have already also been mentioned by others, namely, get out of bed and walk around; or, go sit on the loo. I found out many years ago when I first started having these episodes ( I still didn’t know then what it was) that they will last longer, and the pain gets more severe if you just lie flat in bed and don’t move. If you don’t think you can manage to get out of bed to do either of (2) or (3), then at least, go for (1). Either one of these three “tricks” have always been beneficial in my case. I hope it will also help everyone else who tries them.

  34. Hello all.. I think this is what I have as well. Does it feel as if someone is violating your anus with a broomstick?? I have to sit on the toilet and attempt to pass a stool, which seems to help. I also have some lidocaine cream, which I rub on the area. Sometimes I feel a very hard mass on the perianal area… do these symptoms seem familiar??

  35. Hey guys, I wanted to let you know that my GI doctor saved my life and finally found a medication that takes away the pain completely within 20 minutes. The medication name is Cyclobenzaprine 10MG. After reading a few of your posts, I read that some of you found a medication by the name of Hyoscyamine, to help with the pain. I asked my doctor if I can try it to see if it would help with the pain, so he did. Hyoscyamine did not help me at all, and the side effects were annoying and did nothing for the pain.

    This year was a really bad year for me, the pain from the Proctalgia Fugax was even more severe. Frequently I find my self planning to take my life. I’ve had PF since 10 years old, I’m 31 years old and was just diagnosed with PF. I’ve spent 20 years in severe pain, every doctor I went to told me I was crazy and I’m only asking for pain meds because I’m a drug seeker. So apparently if you’re in severe crippling pain from a disorder that no doctor can diagnose, and you keep switching doctors, hoping to find one that can give you a better quality of life…you’re then labeled a drug seeker. When my PF acts up, and the pain ramps up to a point where I’m completely paralyze, it can stay like that for 2-3 days straight. My mental health starts slipping…it’s like be tortured for 2-3 days straight, and as soon as I go to the hospital ER because my doctors won’t help, the ER doctors would say that I’m a drug seeker because I’m always in the ER and not seeing my doctors who thinks I’m crazy and also refuses to help me. As for every job I’ve ever had…when my PF acts up, I start to missing days at work, HR department now wants a letter or FMLA note from my doctor, which can’t happen because all my doctors thinks I’m crazy, and a week or so later…I’m unemployed.

    I’m 31 years old now, and it took that long to finally find a doctor that takes me seriously. Today is Saturday and I got up late. My wife woke me up to have breakfast with her and our kids, but I get out of bed and noticed that the PF pain there and it’s getting stronger. I make it over to my prescription of Cyclobenzaprine 10mg, take one with a bottle of water. 20 minutes later, the pain is completely gone! and I have my life back again. One thing that I notice with Cyclobenzaprine, is that you feel the full effect after 3 days. At first I would take 3 pills a day, and by the 3rd day I only had to take two pills, one in the morning and one when I get home from work. After a full week, one pill in the morning works all day. I also notice that it takes effect faster when taken with an empty stomach, with food and it will take effect after an hour.

    1. I am a 55 y o. male and live in Australia. have suffered from this for 30 years and it is only now I know what it is. Everyone on this forum is correct. The doctors are NO help. They couldn’t even diagnose my cancer for 9 months, let alone something like PF! Sadly, medication isn’t helpful either. I am on enormous doses of Oxycontin and Morphine for bone marrow cancer and when I get an attack of PF, no amount of morphine will help the pain.
      Common sense is what helps and trying and finding something that works for each of us seems to be all we sufferers have.. The idea of hitting/punching the anus during an attack to help to shock the bowel spasm into relaxing – much like a muscle cramp- seems logical. I will try it next time and report the findings. I am shocked to hear so many women suffer from it as well. It is just comforting to know that I am not crazy and that along with IBS, is something real, serious and debilitating.

    2. I forgot to mention what seems to work for me the best during an attack. Because I am always on my hands and knees and cant really move during an attack, I always have a Microlax ( small self administered enema ) and I use this and find it gets the bowel motion started within a minute or so and eventually smooths out the contractions/spasms of the bowel and anus muscles. I hope this can give other people relief and besides, inserting a small enema into the rectum when there is already what feels like a bus up there, is no problem!

  36. Hey guys! I wanted to let you all know that I have found a way that will stop the pain of an attack. I use my hands and I put pressure on my anus when I start to feel an attack coming on. I know it sounds crazy, but I’m sure you all know that you will just about do anything to stop the pain when an attack starts. If you have a spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, if you can have them to push your butt cheeks together and put pressure in that area, it really works! I hope this helps. By the way, I’m 42, and I just started having this a year ago. They’re few and far in between. I hope it stays that way. My doctor said that anal fissures is what is causing mine. The only time the attacks come is when a fissure is irritated. He gives me something called Proctofoam for the fissures, and after using that for about a week, I never have any trouble. Good luck!

  37. I am a 38 year old female (almost 39) who has been suffering from PF for about 5 years now (since I was 33). It was incredibly humiliating to try and explain the symptoms to both my male family physician and male gynecologist, but I attempted. All of my attacks have occurred at night after I’ve fallen asleep. I have roughly 3-5 attacks per year, although I have yet to have one in 2014 so far (*knock on wood*). All but one of my attacks happened after I’d orgasm. Initially my gyno stated that my uterus was contracting when I had an orgasm and that was what was causing the pain in my rectum, but then I had one on a night that I hadn’t had an orgasm and I ruled that thought out. Then he thought it was perhaps something in my husband’s semen causing a reaction in my vagina which was giving the illusion that it was happening in my rectum. But it also happened after masturbation, so that was ruled out. My pain is most certainly in my anus without a doubt. I have had such excruciating pain that it has caused me to literally pass out. I can’t lie still; I always feel the need to defecate even though there is nothing to empty most times. I break out in a cold sweat, see stars and also feel like I’m going to vomit. After months and months of research, I finally went to my doctor with my research and said, “This is what I have!” He had never heard of it but diagnosed me after ruling out everything else. I do have hemorrhoids that I’ve had since giving birth in 1994, but I don’t think there is a correlation. I have also been suffering from IBS the last few years; but not sure about a correlation there. Nothing takes away all the pain. But I have found that if I put a softball between my butt cheeks and roll back and forth on it, that it helps. I also immediately take a pain reliever as soon as it comes on because mine last for roughly 30 minutes or longer every time and then I often feel ‘sore’ following an episode. I have tried the warm bathes as some suggested and I do find that helps somewhat, but I think that it’s mostly just a relaxation technique. Sometimes I do the deep breathing and I get on my hands and knees and bare down as if I’m giving birth. Like anyone else with PF, I am simply desperate for relief when I have an attack.

  38. Hi I’m 30 years old and finally just had this diagnosed. I started getting random spasms/cramps in the rectum around the age of 8. It would occur maybe 5-10 times a year for a while. At that age I didn’t really think much of it apart from how much it hurt when it did occur.

    At about the age of 25, for no apparent reason other than I was going through a very stressful time of my life it developed in to a daily thing and has never gone away since. It’s taken 5 years of different doctors, specialists and procedures to rule everything else out.

    I don’t get woken up at night with this, but I always get it first thing in the morning and for me it’s definitely linked to my bowel movements. I get a build up of pain behind my bladder area, which quickly escalates in to the full blown spasm/cramp in the rectum. Either 2 things will happen, I can get to a toilet quick enough and try to relax and take deep breaths until I open my bowl (which relieves the pain) or I get stuck where I am, bolt up right, can’t move, speak or anything and it feels like my own rectum is trying to swallow me until the pain eventually passes after 5-10 minutes, then I go to the toilet after.

    Although I always get this first thing in the morning, because that’s when I always need the toilet, it happens every time I need the toilet which can be anytime. This has left me not being able to keep a job or go anywhere too far from home and I’ve now got Dysthemic depression, probably due in large to this Proctalgia Fugax. It’s literally ruined my life, and I’ve been suicidal about it for a long time. It annoys me how people (especially doctors and employers) are so dismissive and unsympathetic of it especially when you don’t know what it is yourself. They just assume in it’s in your head or you’re just a loser or something.

    I would rather have been diagnosed and died of bowel cancer than live with this for the rest of my life.

    1. I have had something like this and my father-in-law (a physician) said he thought it could be “abdominal migraine” — when muscles which are meant to squeeze fail to stop squeezing. He gave me two prescription strength muscle relaxants, and although I threw up one, the other was enough to quieten the symptoms after about 15 minutes. The pain used to occur closer to the stomach, lasting hours and including vomiting that did not provide relief; I went to the emergency room at one point with it, and was given a CT scan to see if it was gallstones. Now it seems to occur mostly as rectal pain; feeling something like needing the toilet, but with more pain and sometimes even dizziness and nausea.

      It was solved with a variation of my father-in-law’s prescription Tylenols. Now, I always am sure to carry paracetomol or tylenol and take 1000mg if I feel this coming on, or am woken from a sound sleep by it. It goes away in about 15 minutes. This approach makes intuitive sense, too: muscle relaxants relax muscles. And so the problem is totally under control for me with occasional use of an over-the-counter product.

    2. Dear Ed,

      I was so sad to read your post. As a fellow-sufferer I do know just how excruciating and debilitating this can be, and I agree that people who have never experienced it just have not got the first clue.

      I am very lucky as it only happens about once a month so at the moment I am able to carry on a normal life. I can really understand how hard that will be for you, given the frequency of attacks you experience.

      I don’t know what to say, except please don’t give up. With the depression now adding to your troubles you have a hard journey ahead of you but please keep trying different things. I’m sure you’ve tried all that is described in these posts and probably more! But you deserve a good life and I hope that more effective treatments will be found. This would mean a brighter future for all of us, especially you, so please keep looking for a way forward.

    3. Wow, Ed, I feel for you. I cannot imagine dealing with this everyday. Mine started at about the age of 8 too and I’m 33 now. When I was younger the attacks were ALWAYS associated with bowel movements (usually from rushing on the toilet), but now they just happen sporadically; mostly in the middle of the night and not on a nightly basis. One thing I have always been thankful for is that it has never happened at work or while away from home. I actually fear that it will one day and I can honestly say I don’t know what I’d do. I hate that you’re being dismissed by your physicians; I work for a Nurse Practitioner at the moment but have worked for physicians in the past and I’ve found that a huge difference between physicians and nurse practitioners is that NP’s tend to listen and believe their patients more, so if it’s option maybe try seeing an NP. Being a man I obviously can’t compare the pain of PF to childbirth, but I pass kidney stones constantly and would rather have a stone ANY day than a PF attack. I hate that it has burdened your life to the extent that you would rather be dead, but I understand the feeling (on a much smaller scale) as I felt that way with my PF attack this morning. I think for me it’s the not knowing how long the attack is going to last (mine was 3 hours this morning). Hopefully, one day there will be more research into this condition and a more definitive treatment will become available. Have you tried the nerve block therapy? I don’t know much about it but have seen it mentioned on several sites under treatment options. We that suffer need to make our voices heard so that we are taken seriously and more research is directed towards this condition. Those who haven’t experienced it can’t imagine the agony. My thoughts are with you! I tend toward depression myself, but I’ve lived thru so many things that should have killed me so I have to remind myself that there’s a reason I’m still here. I know that telling one’s self that doesn’t do much for the actual feeling of depression or relieve pain one is experiencing, but don’t give up on life, you have a reason too.

    4. Try cat pose. I discovered this by accident and it relieves the pain almost instantly and for good within minutes.

  39. I have had this for about 10 years. I am 66. Usually only at night. Doesn’t seem related to anything I do. It did start after I had hysterectomy. It worried me so much that it was cancer until I found out that it was PF, searching the internet. I too get some relief with putting pressure on the anal area, and straining as if having a bowel movement. I also get esophageal spasms occasionally when I am eating. It’s very painful, feels like what I imagine a heart attack feels like.
    I have read some interesting things about magnesium lately that I think help. Magnesium relaxes muscle, so it should help if taken daily. Most forms are not very well absorbed. Magnesium chloride is one of the best. Foods high in mg are nuts, beans, leafy greens.
    Something else that I read was being prescribed was a xanax type drug, but I wouldn’t want to take that on a regular basis, since it is addictive. But I have a substitute for that. L-theanine, works almost as good. It is an amino acid that comes from green tea. Probably wouldn’t hurt to drink green tea too. L-theanine also quiets your mind so you can sleep, but it is non-sedating so you can take it in the daytime. Hope this helps someone.

  40. I am 67 y.o. and have suffered from this problem since about age 30. In my case, however, I fortuitously discovered a solution that worked for me. Not having experienced this before I didn’t know what to do so I tried defecating. Defecating worked for me and the cramping disappeared. However, the second time this happened I wasn’t so lucky. I couldn’t defecate and suffered through an agonizing episode of PF. But, the two episodes got me to thinking that there was a possibility that if this was caused by a sphincter muscle that was cramping, and that the passing of solid body waste stretched that muscle (like when you have to straighten your leg to relieve a muscle cramp in your thigh) and relieved the cramping, stretching the sphinter muscle might do the same. My solution? I inserted a lubricated sex-toy phallus into my rectum the next time it happened and it gave me immediate relief. I don’t know if it will work for anyone else, but there doesn’t seem to be any other treatment out there for most people suffering from this problem. I’d like to hear if anyone else finds relief by this method of treatment.

  41. I, too, have suffered from this (for the past 30 years or so, I’m in my late 50’s) and appreciate reading your comments. When I first experienced these cramps, they would only happen after orgasms and only 4 or 5 times per year. They were extremely painful while they lasted (20-30 minutes) and were a somewhat embarrassing and dampening feature of my love life. Since that time, they have continued but can also just come out of nowhere, waking me up in the middle of the night and rarely even occurring at work. What I have found most helpful is 1.) to squat, flat-footed, while hanging onto the edge of the sink in either my bathroom or kitchen counter and “bearing down”, pushing on my anus from inside as if I were defecating, and 2.) taking a hot bath. Sometimes I will try to do both at once by squatting in the tub with both arms hanging over one side of the tub. In this position, I have to turn my feet outward (like a ballet dancer!) and then dip my butt into the hot water. The stretching of the anus that I get from this position and the warmth seem to help reduce the severity and duration of the cramps. Where once the pain usually reached 8 or 9 on the pain threshold and at first seemed frightening, with these techniques, plus the knowledge that the attacks are temporary and almost always are gone within a half hour, the pain is now generally at a 5-6 level and I can deal with it better. The squatting technique might not be as viable as I progress into old age. At some point I might try pursuing the suggested medications. Thanks for that. My heart goes out to those of you with more severe cases and I hope that someday more research will come up with further help. One thing I forgot to mention is that occasionally I have also felt an internal connection between the anus cramp with a point on my belly, roughly halfway between my belly button and my genitals, as if there was also some cramping of muscles linking the two spots. Has anyone else experienced something like this?

    1. I am gratified to have found this forum. I have suffered from this for over 30 years. I’m 64 now. The first time it happened I thought I was dying. The pain is excruciating and I was sick to my stomach and felt faint – like so many others have observed. I was drenched in sweat and white as a sheet. It really is like being eviscerated with a hot poker. Child birth pains were not as bad as my first bouts of PF. In my case it always starts on one side of my rectum and then gravitates to the other. I used to think it had passed and it was start all over on the other side of my rectal wall. It feels as if my entire abdominal floor is in knots when I have a bad episode. When I feel an attack coming on I do this now: I breathe, bearing down. If I’m near a restroom I’ll sit on the pot and do this bearing down breathing. I keep up this type of breathing and it seems to lessen the intensity of pain and duration of the attack. I can use this technique anywhere, anytime even if a toilet is not available. It’s hard to describe the breathing except you must keep the pressure and focus on bearing down through the pain- even when inhaling I am bearing down. I also find walking while doing the bearing down breath technique helps. There really is no good way to handle this but I hope my comments will be helpful to you. It’s an embarrassing ailment and not one you can really talk about but I finally broke my silence and asked my parents if they have it. They don’t.

    2. Wow!, this describes my symptoms to a tee, including the cramp you get in your belly area. I’ve had this for the last three years and I’m in my middle fifties. When I first started having these cramps in my rectum, I just assumed it was some sort of constipation because of the constant pressure sensation on the rectum. Now, three years later, after several appointments to the GI doctor, and a clean bill of health from both my colonoscopy and endoscopy, I have been diagnosed with IBS and told I will need to take osmotic powder for the rest of my life. My pain level is a consistent 4-5 when I am having the cramps, and always start in the morning, especially after having a bowel movement. The pain seems to stay with me if I am sitting and can lessen if I am working out or doing some physical work walking around. After being dismissed by the professionals, it gives me comfort that this is a real condition, and I’m not just losing my mind.

    3. Bill so sorry for this dark dungeon of pain. I to suffer from this hell. I can only describe it as the devil’s wrench clamping down on me. Ok seriously, this is awful stuff, and it visits me to often. When my pain is severe it actually causes my feet to hurt. Maybe it has something to do with nerves. I don’t know. Has anyone else experienced this pain resulting in another body part to ache? My biggest fear is that while I am doing a group presentation the lighting will strike.

    4. I have sir. Not all the time. But I have thought there may be done kinda connection between rectum and belly. But it’s usually Only when it’s about to flare up. I notice that I’m rubbing my belly in a horizontal motion. Hope they find a cure for this sooner than later.

  42. I also suffer from this and have for a few years, I am 27 years old. I had a spasm last night after sexual activity and it was one of the worst I’ve had. It was very difficult to even try and sleep and after about 20-30 minutes and an Advil, I finally fell asleep. It does occur randomly at times and only lasts a minute or less, other times when there is a trigger, It can last 20-30 minutes. It doesnt happen very often, maybe a once every few months but I wish there were a cure for this. It is very unpleasant but Im glad im not the only sufferer.

    1. Yes Amanda…I suffer from it, and you’re right…the cliche that “misery loves company” is ever so true when it comes to this gremlin. Hope you get to feeling better.

  43. I am a 47 year old man and have suffered from PF for the last 17 years or so. For the most part it affects me (about 95% of the time) at around 2am and lasts for around 20 – 30 minutes like most in this forum. The pain is excruciating, it wakes me from my sleep and I can’t stay lying down and have to get up and walk around. I had seen my Dr when I first had this and he thought I had an anal fissure, so I tried treatment for that but the pain and symptoms continued for many years. I then spoke again to my Dr about this and he sent me to a specialist who deals with the ‘back passage’ and he diagnosed PF. He said that there is no cure (darn it!) and he said that in his experience that angina medication (the PF muscle is similar to the heart apparently?) usually in a spray form under the tongue has helped patients to reduce the duration of the attack. It helps to relax the muscle. From reading this forum – thank you so much to everyone who has shared their experience and what works for them – I found that sitting on the edge of my kitchen bench off and on & either taking the angina spray (lasts longer once opened than the tablets) or 3 x Nurofen Zavance or both sometimes, helps. All I can say is that it is so painful when it strikes and I usually suffer an episode once a month or sometimes every second month, usually I can expect an episode if I strain whilst trying to defecate ie. my bowels aren’t telling me it’s time to go to the toilet. It is frustrating and I just wish like everyone else there was a permanent solution for this, dare I say it, ‘pain in the arse!’

  44. I can’t believe how excited I became when I stumbled across the name of this affliction and found this forum. I knew others probably experienced this but had not heard or read of anyone else’s experience until now. But what a coincidence because it has only been in the last four months that I have found a way to almost completely stop it. (For me, anyway) And I really felt the need to share this with all of you.

    I got lost in reading the massive amount of comments here, and was very surprised that not one person has mentioned de-hydration or drinking more water as a means to contain the occurances. Because after 30 years of going crazy, I discovered that that simple thing was all it took to completely stop my anal cramps. Of course, my doctor wouldn’t have thought of mentioning this.

    I know a lot of you on this forum have a much more severe case than me and my remedy may seem trivial to you, but it has a lot of logic to it. The level of pain for me was about a 6-7 level (It’s actually a dull ache akin to a muffled foot cramp) and can happen at any time and for me lasts between 5 minutes to half an hour. But here’s the thing. I have also had foot cramps most of my life as well. They happen very quickly and cause sharper pain, but the way to alleviate the pain is to stretch the foot continuously without letting up. In reality, this is similar to “bearing down” while on the toilet. Which is one of the only things that help me get rid of the anal ache. What you are doing is actually a long continuous “stretch” of the anus.

    So I started to realize that these two occurrences seem very related. When I have mentioned my foot cramps in the past, people have suggested that I am de-hydrated and just don’t know it. I should drink more water. I also found out that de-hydration manifests itself by cramping to people in different areas of the body. For instance I never get cramps in my legs but I get a lot of cramps in the soles of my feet. Plus internally in the rectum, which lasts a lot longer than the feet. Anyway, I wasn’t really a water drinking person. Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon and perhaps wine at night. So I decided to start a regiment of trying to drink 6 – 8 glasses of water a day. I was also trying to eat more healthy at the time and started juicing, ingesting a lot more fruits and vegetables than I use to. (getting more fiber may also have helped) But guess what! My cramping both in my feet and my rectum stopped. Cold! While I was concentrating on it for about 2 months solid, I never got one cramp in either my feet or my anus. And this PF used to hit me 2 -3 times a week. However, when I got busy at work or stressed about things and was not concentrating on filling my glass of water up and keeping it on my desk at all times, all of a sudden I got a foot cramp before going to bed and ended up waking up in the middle of the night with an anus cramp. Wow. Guess I better drink more water, I thought. Sure enough, more water – no cramps. Hydrating my body has DIRECTLY related to the amount of cramps I get (or don’t get)

    I’m sure this is not the cure-all for everyone here. There are probably many other factors. And I don’t mean to trivialize this affliction. Trust me, I have experienced a LOT of discomfort for the last 30 years because of this. But for some of you, I will bet this will help. Just ask yourself two questions.
    1. Do I drink less than 4 large glasses of water a day? (And it has to be water. Juice, pop, tea does not count).
    2. Do I have any other types of cramps on occasion?
    If you answered Yes to both, then you have nothing to lose but try this simple test. Drink! Drink! Drink! It has saved my sanity.

  45. I’m a 54 year old man who has suffered this hellish condition on and off for many years. In the past few years the attacks have become more frequent and more severe. I also suffer severe ibs pain for which I use a tens machine. The trouble with PF is that there isn’t anything at all to stop the pain. Sometimes I become hysterical and feel like ending it all as the pain is so brutal. Like many of the sufferers here, I feel my life is just a living hell.

    1. Ian

      I too suffer from this little evil gremlin. The lighting strikes sometimes as often as two or three times a week with fortunate lapses of 2 weeks or so. It is miserable, but I find that intense meditation gets me through it. Take your mind to a happy place until the vice-grip from hell releases its hold on you.

    2. I feel your pain. I just had an episode this morning at 4:00am, woke me up so I started running a hot bath (usually I go for the hot enema first but I didn’t have one so the next most effective thing to help it for me is a hot bath). Normally the hot bath lowers the pain to a semi-tolerable level, but this time was different…it did nothing to relieve my PF and for a few moments I was wishing death. My episodes tend to last at the very least an hour…it’s 7:00 am now and it’s finally gone (crossing my fingers, I’m kinda scared to move around too much…afraid it’ll flare back up). I’ve been dealing with this since childhood…I’m estimating about 8 years old and I’m 33 now. It used to only be triggered if I had a bowel movent too quickly (rushed) but now it happens mostly without cause in the middle of the night and it seems to be more frequent lately. It’s so hard to explain it to people who havent experienced it, but I’m glad I found a website to share with those who do.

    3. @Brad. An hour long eh? What a stinger! Mine have not gone past 30 minutes, but one thing I noticed is that when it strikes in a severe way both my feet go into an instant ache. Maybe that has something to do with nerve endings; not sure what causes that.

    4. @Tim. Yeah, they tend to start small (pain level 4-5ish) when they wake me, then quickly escalate to a 10. The bath usually drops it back to a 5-6(this morning was an exception), but if I get out too soon, it shoots back up to a 10. On a very few occasions a hot-water enema has brought the duration down to 20-30 minutes (and I must be mental for not KEEPING a stock of them) but more often than not it takes an hour. It makes for a long day at work when you spend all morning laying in the bathtub. Then when they’re over you’re so drained…I’m just glad they’re fairly rare and I read somewhere that some people’s are constant for more than a day (rarely), so the hour doesn’t seem so bad in comparison. 🙂

    5. I frequently get woken up in the middle of the night in terrible pain brought on by PF. I have managed to nip the attacks in the bud however by taking a few whiffs of salbutamol (Ventolin asthma inhaler) which I asked the doctor to prescribe to me after reading a very good article on the internet called Proctalgia Fugax – A pain in the butt… I took the article to my GP and asked him for the prescription. My attacks could last up to an hour but now with the salbutamol they can be over in a matter of minutes and I’m back off to sleep again. I hope this helps.

    6. Hi Ian, I just wrote a new post which might be of some help. It should be at the top of the posts rather than repeat myself. I feel for you.
      Susan From Australia.

    7. Try cat pose (yoga) . I stumbled upon this by accident one day. It reduces the pain instantly and completely relieves it within a few minutes. Just hold the pose until it’s gone.

  46. Just a general question…are there any organizations formed for proctalgia fugax? If so, would someone post a link and if there aren’t would anybody be interested in forming one?

  47. I’ve been suffering from this condition ever since shortly after my second daughter was born. 26 years now. I’ve asked so many doctors and none of them have a clue. I figured if I were going to die from it I would have by now. Mine are usually in the middle of the night, although it can happen during the day time. They seem to come in bunches, if I get one I’ll probably get one for a few nights that week. The things that can help me (nothing works all the time) are mostly pressure to the anus. I sit on the arm of a sofa for awhile. If I’m driving or at work I sit on a water bottle and that helps. Straining on the toilet or a tampon lubricated with vaseline gently pushed into my rectum. Also, I immediately take a Hylands Leg Cramp pill when it starts. That helps quite often. It’s a homepathic remedy sold at Walmart by the vitamins. However, you would not want to take these often as they contain quinine. I’m assuming that the pain is from a Charley Horse in the bottom, and that’s why the Hylands helps. I also take magnesium and potassium every night. The funny thing is that I never get these when i’m on vacation. Stress?

    1. Hello from Europe

      I also suffer from Proctalcia fugax. Nothing I did helped until I met the doctor who prescribed me nitroglycerine sublingual spray against this horrible pain. Now, when pain wake up in the middle of the night I use nitrospray so many times that I do not feel pain anymore.
      Greetings and I hope that I helped someone with this information.

  48. I am so glad to find a current site about PF.I am 77 and have had episodes with this maybe a few times a year at first or sometimes after sex and didn’t think anything about it except it hurt!
    For the last 2 years i have been living with this frequently. For the last 6 months it is daily. It lasts for hours not as they say a few minutes. I take pain medication, usually 2 pills of hydrocone 5 mg a day but have had to start on 3 some days. The pain is so intense it is making my life a hell. I have been to every specialist my doctor sent me to and a few of them have diagonest PF. My doctor pt me on belladonaa suppositories as another doctor suggested but they were really expensive and I didn’t really follow thru. I am going back to my doctor next week and retry bellacona and give it a daily try and see if it might help. I have written down some of the other drugs that have been suggested here and will keep reading. I will let you know if the belladonna does any good. this is not a way to live.
    I feel fortunate there are others out there that have taken the time to post. Thank you.

    1. I’m currently up and should be sleep but I’m worried I’m close to experiencing an episode. The past couple days I’ve been fortunate to not have an episode but I’m always nervous because I can feel it lingering around waiting to strike. I’ve never had one that just pops up on me it usually had a lingering build up kind of like a sneeze. I haven’t been officially diagnosed with this but I’m pretty sure that’s what it is because of the stories shared on here and the links I’ve read all describe what I experience when it comes. I haven’t had it very long. Just started experiencing this pain about 2 or 3 weeks ago. I took the above of one his suggestion which war to drink more water and I kinda think it’s helped, because I haven’t had an episode for the last few days (knock on wood)….. I’m 30 years old. I drink a lot of beer. At least a 6 pack a day. I don’t eat the healthiest foods and I’m not working currently. I’ve been curious if maybe that has some factors of this. Anyways just wanted to share this with you. Good luck.

    2. at least a 6 pack a day? maybe you have another problem like i had 37 yrs. ago. something you might want to check out. i really don’t think beer counts as water, but i am going to start drinking just plain water today and see if maybe there is some relief. I also looked up a tens machine (i had never heard of them) and ordered one from amazon this morning. thanks for sharing.

    3. Hi Geri, I too am new to this site, I would go to a health food shop and ask the Naturopath or someone very experienced , to give you a Magnesium, for muscle spasm. It is very easy to become deficient in this mineral as most soil deposits are depleted. Remember to have a good size glass of water. I would try this first befor you resort to drugs or other medical intervention, as they can lead to other medical issues. I had an episode this morning I think because I get slack with my water intake, and possibly deficient in mag myself, which affects the nervous system (stress), and muscular contraction.
      I will put an App on my phone to remind me of water on the hour.
      Kind regards, Susan

      1. I’ve been in this forum for a little while and I hey notifications anyone someone makes a poost to it. I’ve made a couple responses and posts of my own and I had read 2 people recommend drinking more water, and every since trying this suggestions. My episodes have somewhat vanished almost completely. There are a few times that I feel like is about to happen or I may feel like a flare up or something (it’s kind of like the feeling you get when your about to sneeze but you never do). But anyway here lately I’ve just been having continuous spasms but no pain associated with it, it’s just extremely annoying and it sucks, because my anus is just spasming continuously throughout the entire day and night with very few breaks. Another forum I read today suggested that I should increase magnesium intake so I guess I’ll be giving that a go next. If I was a millionaire I’d definitely find research for these issues for I’m sure there overshadowed by all the other illnesses and diseasesthat we face in this world. However the best of luck to each and everyone of you God bless

  49. Try drinking 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in 1/4 of a glass of water at the time of an attack – this usually alleviates any cramp and I also take 2 Asprin. Usually works pretty quickly although last night it seemed to take forever! I think it is linked to diet and in particular Irritable Bowel Syndrome. (Stress)

  50. I’m so glad this horrible pain has a name. I thought I would loose my mind trying to figure out what this was and why it is happening to me. It never last long but when it happends its crippling. It really scares the crap out of my husbandn the middle of the night

    1. After years of pain I finally figured out that it could almost always be traced back to times when I didn’t drink enough water. Either I was somewhat dehydrated at the time or have gone without water for 4 or more hours within the last day an a half. Also coffee, tea, alcohol etc. have a negative hydration effect as they will take water out of your body. When I drink a consistent and even amount of water I am usually ok. But for the times when I haven’t had enough water regularly the pain can come back. As soon as I feel that it may be about to start I can prevent it by rapidly punching for 15 or so seconds, medium hard, the lower right, sometimes left, part of my buttocks near or a few inches away from my anus so it can be felt deep down on my rectum area. I may need to do it three or four tmes. It seems to vibrate, shake, or jiggle the rectum area enough to prevent it from starting if I catch it early enough.

      1. Water has been seeming to be the solution for me as well. I stopped drinking it as consistently and it started to return with a vengeance. But I’ve downloaded a “drink water reminder app” on my phone and now that I’m back to drinking more consistently. It’s been helping. I hope and pray for everyone’s sake that lack of water is the solution.

    2. Hit send by mistake…. To continue: if I didn’t catch it early enough like if it already was started and woke me up in the middle of the night then it will take more on and off punching to stop it. Not hard enough to give a bruise but still pretty hard and very rapidly to have the effect felt deep enough.

      When I first discovered this punching technique and had been having the very painful episodes as described by others here for a number of years it took a lot of punching when I had one until it would stop and then would start up again 10 minutes later and would require me to repeat it. The episodes decreased in frequency and severity especially since I was able to catch it early enough when it just started or was about to start. By doing this over time and now about a year or two later I finally haven’t had any of the internal cramping pain or whatever it was. I still sense it may begin sometimes or there is a tiny bit of cramping but the feeling is much less than before and it doesn’t take much to prevent it. I’m hoping that if I continue to prevent it from happening that the muscle or nerves or whatever will learn, strengthen or heal so I don’t have to do the thumping punching thing any more.

    3. Similar methods that have also worked for me are in posts on 8/8/14, 10/28/14, and 10/17/13. There has been little mention of food as as issue but for me I think sometimes eating a lot of doughy or starchy things at once can be a trigger. In combination with not enough or erratic water consumption I suspect makes it worse.

  51. I just recently started having pain only after having an orgasm. Ive been gaving one or wo a month. Tonight it lasted for close to two hours. I took an advil after the first hour but it did not relieve the pain. Thats it, im never having sex again! This pain for hours is not worth the few seconds of pleasure lol.

    1. I’m not sure how far into this forum you may have read but, myself and at least 2 others think it may be related to water intake or lack thereof. Drink more water than you melman drink now and see if it works. All the best. Peace

    2. This is an easy remedy that will stop the pain instantly, every time.

      Get yourself a rectal enema from any drug store (not a disposable one) and as soon as you feel that attack coming on, fill the enema with hot water, (not burning hot), (just as hot as you can handle touching the water with bare hands). Insert the enema up into your rectum (You can use some petroleum jelly if you like) and gently squeeze out all of the hot water up inside your rectum. Remove the enema, but hold the water inside you. Instantly, you will begin to feel the pain and spasms relax and go away.
      After that, go ahead and let the water out (into the toilet) and take a deep breath of relief because you have just found out what really works and you won’t have to suffer through anymore long, agonizing attacks ever again. I promise this is true.

      Make sure to always keep your enema clean, within reach and ready the second you need it.

  52. A lot of people on this forum are saying that decreased water consumption may be related to this contraction type of pain. And it really does make sense, dehydration = hyperosmolar state = increased concentration of Calcium, Sodium, Potassium, and other elements that make muscles contract more or less. I can see that i’ve been dehydrated the last few days. I usually drink about 3 500mL bottles of water. The night when i had pain for over two hours i maybe drank half a bottle of water. I will make sure i drink plenty of water throughout the day from now on. Thank you everyone.

  53. My Mum, Aunty, Sister and I all suffer from this. I have been suffering from about age the age of 15. It’s not all the time but when it hits ( I have about 15 minutes warning time as I feel a particular type of pain begin in my uterus ) (it really hits and is too late to take any type of pain killer ) . The excruciating pain can last for hours – my sister has had it for up to 2 DAYS!! Yes she has had all tests and is OK. It leaves you feeling so exhausted , I believe just from your body fighting the shock of the pain. Not a terminal condition but also not to be taken lightly. Forgot to mention, my sister and I are both in our late 30 ‘ s now, both fitness fanatics and I drink 3 plus litres of water a day RELIGIOUSLY! I remember when I had started a new job and everyone was out for the day. It struck at about 2.30 pm. I was in absolute AGONY! I crawled into the only office that had air- con and keeled over on a chair, trying to keep it together. My new boss came back about 10 minutes later and when he found me he was really worried. I was in too much pain to speak , and so he came to the conclusion that I had not eaten enough and raced to the shop to buy me some pretzels!! When he got back he presented them to me as though it would fix everything! Soooo kind & thoughtful ( & hilarious once the pain subsided ) but I have been too embarrassed to tell him what was wrong , even to this day. So yep, it can strike any where , any time and jeez it really is a pain in the butt!

  54. I often get awakened in the middle of the night with this. I have had it happen during the day but mainly it hits in the middle of the night and will wake me up. It use to occur mainly around my menstrual cycle but it now happens just spontaneously for no apparent reason.

    1. I really hope and pray they figure out what’s the commonalities between all of us that have these episodes and even more so a cure, or at least something to keep it controlled or a special pill or drink for the pain. This sucks.

  55. I have been experiencing rectal spasm for 14 years. It maybe occurs a couple of times a year, but (pardon the pun), when it strikes the pain is excruciating, and has lasted up to an hour.
    Sitting in a bucket of water as hot as I can tolerate often reduces the pain level.
    I will take the advice of a few of you good people , and drink more water. I will also take a magnesium tablet to address any deficiency, as a lack of it can cause muscle spasm.
    Best of health to you all.

  56. It is agony.
    I also have trigeminal neuralgia, so I know pain all too well.
    I have had outrageously painful bowel spasms for decades. I went to doctor after doctor, describing my symptoms. Because I had had bowel issues as a child, it was labelled IBS. It was only last year, after researching my symptoms that I found an article on proctalgia fugax and I realized that this condition fit me to a tee.
    One middle of the night episode had me sitting on the toilet (which never really helps) sobbing. Out of desperation I took an Ativan. And within five minutes I was back in bed, drifting off to sleep. That was ten years ago. I now keep Ativan beside my bed for night time attacks.
    I realize this is not the ideal solution, but between the proctalgia fugax and the trigeminal neuralgia I will take my relief pretty well any where I can get it.

    1. I have suffereed for years with this, and it is very rare to wake me from sleep now, but rather it occurs at THE most inopportune times throughout the day….driving, at a meeting, at work UGH! For every occurance I chew 2 aspirins and place them under my tongue, they are orange flavored low dose aspirin available at any pharmacy. Relief in as little as 5 minutes usually. Gone are the days of popping advil and pacing the house or sitting on the toilet for an eternity, the aspirin really works! I kept a food diary when it initally started happening and nothing specific could be linked to the episodes of PF, so now at the onset of pain I chew the aspirin. If by chance I don’t have any with me where I am and it occurs, I have found that breathing the same way they taught me during hot yoga really helps too.

  57. I’m so glad I decided to research this issue today and found this site. I’ve been dealing with this for about 10 years now. Usually it’s a stabbing pain that only lasts for a few seconds, but on occasion, like last night at 1am, it lasted for about 30 minutes. To make matters worse, about 15 years ago, a roommate of mine has a hemorrhoid clot that exhibited the same symptoms and required him having surgery to remove. So every time I get these stabbing pains, I immediately think I have a blood clot in my colon and I’m going to need surgery. last night I got so worried that when the pain finally subsided, my blood pressure dropped, I got the cold sweats, became dizzy and almost passed out. All because I worked myself up so bad imagining the worse possible scenario, that I spiked my blood pressure. What a relief to know that I’m not the only one and that they will pass with time. I have found in the past that yoga breathing always seemed to help to calm my nerves while this was going on, looking back, it may have actually helped to stop the muscle spasm. Here’s a link, hopefully someone might find it useful:

    1. I have a remedy that works most of the time. Upon feeling the onset immediately drink two large glasses of water and then masterbate.

      The water takes awhile to process but helps in about 20 minutes and the other part of the remedy works to alleviate the pain much quicker, I’m guessing either because you clench the same muscles that are spasming and/or perhaps the blood rushing to the area helps. Yes, it’s weird, but we’re talking ass cramps here and they suck.

      A technique where you clench the spasming muscle for a few seconds then release to relax can help a little, but the other two have become a ritual for relief. I too have almost passed out from the condition and have spent many, many nights over the last 5 years or so waking up in pain. It used to last for an hour or more of writhing feeling like there’s a tennis ball stuck in there before I discovered the cause, for me at least, is always tied to dehydration.

      1. Masturbating has got to be the very last thing anyone experiencing this sort of pain would ever think of. Seriously, the LAST thing. Masturbating is unthinkable at a time like this and would not be helpful at all.

    2. Omg, I do the same thing. I get yourself so worked up about this that I feel lightheaded and almost pass out. I’ve been suffering from anal fissures for a year now and with a high fiber diet I have it under control. Now I get these shooting pains after a bowel movement and couldnt figure out why. Now reading all of these other peoples stories I know what it is. SO ANNOYING!!!!

  58. I thought I was only. It hit during my cycle. I thought it was cramps. It feels as if you are being rolled up like a condom via your rectum. Can’t sit or move. It went away after about an hour. I was perfectly fine, like nothing happened. I thought ibuprofen made it go away. Two weeks later, it hit me at work, out of nowhere. I stumbled to the bathroom and just sobbed. I couldn’t even sit to drive myself to the doctor. I paced back and forth a little which seemed to help enough for me to get to my OBGYN. I assumed it was a feminine issue, because it hit during my period, then ovulation. It lasted over two hours. They gave me ultra sounds. They eliminated the possibility that it was a OB issue. They sent to a gastreonalmist (not even attempting to spell that right). I described the systems to my him. He ordered a colonoscopy. With the nature of the pain, I assumed I had cancer or that my digestive system collapsed in on it’s self. The procedure came back clean. My doctor told me it was most likely this. I’m glad I’m not going to die, but discouraged because I’m not sure how to handle it if it hits me at work, driving or out with my toddler. The pain makes it impossible to do anything.

    1. As soon as you start to feel the pain. Take some Motrin This relaxes the muscle spasm and works quicker than you would think. My problem is I get light headed and sweaty so I feel like I’m going to pass out so its hard to even walk over to get the Motrin.

  59. Ive had this a couple of times. It always takes over my dreams where something is trying to get up my butt! Its really messed up, sometimes i dont wake up but when i do it usually stops

  60. I too have this diagnosis. It started when I was in my 30’s. I call it a “heart attack of the butt”. It is just awful, it wakes you out of a dead sleep and causes you to get very sweaty and nearly pass out from the pain. It can also occur at any time during the day with no apparent reason. I have found the best relief in a medication called Levsin (Hyoscyamine) it is an antispasmodic drug. It is a small pill that dissolves on the tongue, also if you are at home when the pain starts, it is very soothing to sit in a tub of very hot bath water. I used to get these “attacks” at least 2-3 times a month, I am now 60 and get them much less, about 3-4 times a year. My best recommendation is to ask your Dr for a scrip for Levsin, that has helped me the most, and you can carry the medication with you in case it happens at work or away from home.

  61. I too have this problem. I have found a weird method of relief which is to get Vaseline and stick your finger in there. Typically I have to remove hard poop and I kind of stab my colon with my finger almost like massaging the muscle. It gives pretty quick relief but highly annoying.

  62. This started happening to me about 10 years ago and usually in the middle of the night. For relief, I usually kneel on the floor and bend over so my forehead is nearly touching the floor. This seems to stretch the spasmodic muscle. If that doesn’t help, I’ll sit on the toilet and bear down as if having a bowel movement. Sometimes sitting on the floor so that my heel is pressuring into my rectal area helps. It’s usually all over within 15-30 minutes. What annoys me most is that it often happens after masturbation or a sexual dream. So I stopped pleasuring myself but I can’t control my dreams!

    1. So glad I came across this sharing of info; I’ve been suffering from this for decades without knowing what it was. Like @Peggy, I often just curl up on the bed with my legs crossed and put my head down on a pillow, doubled over. It happens during the night and passes within a half hour, on average. Occurrence is less than once a month, sometimes as little as twice a year. Like @Jones, I initially thought it was hemorrhoids and would try to poke some hemorrhoid cream up there, which provided some relief. Massaging the area also helps relieve the spasms. I’ve also experienced it post-orgasm, which is just so annoying! Pain to cancel the pleasure. However, since it’s not life-threatening, I would NOT want to take any prescription drug to alleviate it; I’m too aware that prescription drugs can cause more problems in the average person, and are not worth the risk. Unless it’s truly impacting your quality of life, what I’m understanding from all of this information is that we should just tolerate it, and be thankful that it’s not something more serious.

  63. I had my first PF attack in the early 90’s in my late 40’s, getting 1 to 2 a month. In 1994 I switched from running to mountain bike riding, but in 1996 I got into road bike riding in a serious way (over 7,000 miles a year, about 4,000 on the mountain bike in the early (dark) mornings and the rest on my road bike), and the road bike seat puts pressure on my perineum much differently than the mountain bike. My PF went away until 1999 when I had a job that prevented my road bike riding that year (I did either mountain bike or a stationary bike when traveling) and the PF came back. But since then I’ve been doing the road bike religiously (3 centuries (100 mile rides) last summer to celebrate turning 70) and no PF. (As an aside, I was on the national board of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, and in 1996 I mentioned this to a group of 4 gastroenterologists at a CCFA meeting who I knew and they couldn’t stop laughing, but it sure worked better than anything they could recommend.)
    But the weird thing is that I am getting the exact same pain, both in intensity and duration (5-10 minutes) in my upper chest, mostly in my shoulders, although I don’t get them as frequently as I got the PF. Has anyone else every experienced PF-type pain elsewhere in their body?

    1. Yes!! My left shoulder blade and it mimics a heart attack. It comes on fast and can last 10 to 30 minutes and I feel like I’m going to die and then it lets up. It especially helps if I can get someone to help massage the spot inside my shoulder right away. Pressing very firmly right at the core of the pain.

      I’m sorry all of you go through this horrible pain with PF. But it helps to know Im not alone. When I had my first attack at 35, I fell on the ground at a friends house (I didn’t know what was happening) rolled into a fetal position and the pain literally caused me to black out. I thought I was dying but how do you explain to people you’re “dying from a pain in your a$$”.) I was humiliated and when I tried to explain to my friend, he thought that was a huge overreaction to a muscle spasm! If he only knew. I’ve had a kidney stone and I put this right up near that level. Sometimes worse. Many times I’m in a sound sleep only to get awaken by this horrible condition. Thank you for sharing your stories. I’m going to try some if these home remedies.

  64. Just offering this for anyone looking for relief from this condition. I have had it for fifteen years and had no effective treatment until I found this. Buy an indian rubber ball, the kind with red, white and blue striping. Any similar ball will do. A street hockey ball works. Sit on the floor with the ball directly under the focus of the pain. Use your body weight to focus pressure where the pain is centered. This may not decrease the duration time of the spasm but it changes the experience from excruciating and uncontrollable to not so bad and under control. Previous to using this treatment I did not know what to do about it, nothing worked and the condition made me want to jump out of my skin. I find this treatment very effective and now when the spasm strikes I can easily just sit this way and read a book or watch television until it subsides completely, anywhere from 3 minutes to an hour for me. Like I say, before hitting on this the pain was unbelievable and I just suffered it for ten years. 99 cents for a rubber ball and it is now very manageable.

    1. I’m an MD, and have suffered from this condition for years, which can sometimes wake me from restful sleep. I’ve learnt more from patients about this condition than I ever have from other doctors or textbooks. Unless you have suffered from it, you have no idea how distressing it can be, so most doctors discount it as a minor ailment, which I guess it is compared with bowel cancer, which is what doctors always worry you might have.
      I agree with Mike, I find that pressure at the base of the coccyx (tail bone) either with my fist or a small ball (I use a tennis ball) relieves it quickly. It’s like stretching a cramped muscle. I take 2X 200mg of ibuprofen, and after about 30 mins can take the ball away, if I haven’t already fallen asleep by then

    I’m a 14 years old girl and starting getting these pains from when i was around 8 years old. At first i didn’t do anything about it and it wasn’t until i was 13 that i went and got medical help. Before that when i was little i used to put desitin cream (baby rash cream) and i mainly kept the problem to my self. After, i started to put this cream called calm skin. But nothing ever worked. It usually happened during the night and woke me up. My parents noticed me crying in my sleep and suspected i had a nightmare and i agreed because it was embarrassing i wasn’t quite sure myself. All i knew was i had pain in my butt. I thought it was because i ate a lot of carbohydrates and dry food so most of the time i just drank water, curled up on bed and massaged my butt and applied cream. It wasn’t until when i was sleeping next to another family member that they noticed and asked me about it. I told them and they took me to a doctor. He told me it was a spasm of the muscles. He told me to sit in warm water for 5 minutes every morning and night and apply hemorrhoid cream on the outside of the butt hole. Take wheat bran pills multiple times a day, eat salads and prunes, take a spoon of lactose syrup each day until the next time i saw him. I did this for a couple of weeks and went to see him. After, i stopped the medication. But recently they stared again and i’m worried because i got it twice in the past week and a half and i read on a website it is rare to get it twice in a month also they say it occurs in 30 or older. I’m 14! It is a sharp pounding pain and usually finishes after a few minutes. It mainly occurs during the night and wakes me up. Sometimes after i poop i can feel the start so i just wash it with water so it doesn’t start, if i feel it becoming stronger i apply cream and curl up on my bed and gasp from the pain. The pain is unbearable. I have a very low threshold for pain and cannot deal with it. Sometimes i feel like I’m going to throw up or faint from the pain. I just got it again last night (i usually don’t tell anyone and if i do i say its fine and normal because if u have it, you will know how embarrassing it is). I don’t exactly remember it but i remember rolling around in agony and crying until i went back to sleep. If it helps I’m extremely skinny and my mother had cancer. I’m scared to get it during school or while i’m out.
    Thank you

    1. I get what your going through. Mine started around the same age and I’m 28 now. My mom thought I was just making it up the first few times and she would get mad. It’s hard to make anyone understand the intensity of the pain or how disabling it is. Personally for me the attacks have lessened in frequency over time. They were the worst in my mid teens. Hopefully they will get better for you too.
      Take care

    2. Dear Hannah,
      After reading your experience that you suffered at the age of 8 that too in the night time, i feel like crying becausei too have this problem when i was 20 years old, so don’t loose hope. i will also narrate my experience and how i handle the pain later.i just wanted to reply to you. Earlier i used to suffer with this pain for 2 and half hours. But know hardly 30 minutes.
      God Bless You.

    3. Dear Hannah,
      After reading your experience that you suffered at the age of 8 that too in the night time, i feel like crying because i too have this problem when i was 20 years old, so don’t loose hope. i will also narrate my experience and how i handle the pain later.i just wanted to reply to you. Earlier i used to suffer with this pain for 2 and half hours. But know hardly 30 minutes.
      God Bless You.

  66. I have had this for 30 years. It is almost always precipitated by frequent sexual activity. The pain is a half a degree less than a kidney stone. I have found two remedies: 1) apple juice – drink 8 to 16 ounces as soon as you feel the onset. Do not wait to see if the episode will be severe (it almost always is); and 2) percocet.

  67. I am very glad I found this thread so I know I’m not alone. I’ve had these symptoms for over 15 years. I would get such a sharp pain that I would curl up in a ball and just cry. Never knew why at first, then saw a gastroenterologist, and labeled as part of IBS. I have a Rx of Levsin-SL (hyoscyamine 0.125 mg Tab SL) that I place under my tongue when I have an episode. I also take 600 to 800mg of Ibuprofen which helps the episode pass faster, and give myself an enema with water as hot as I can stand using a simple ear rinse bulb bought just for this purpose. I will sit on the toilet and hold the water for as long as I can. The heat helps. Sometimes I have episodes at work, in which case water is out of the idea, but I may need to take 2 of the Rx and Ibuprofen. Now I know what this condition is called, and know I’m not alone. My treatment helps me, and I hope what I’ve shared helps others too.

  68. This post is about Proctalgia Fugax- NOT IBS, anal fissures, etc. My problem is not with the anal sphincter- it’s further into the rectum…
    My episodes started in 1993. In 2008 I found information online that has helped me tremendously. I now know what causes my episodes, and what to do to end an episode shortly after onset.
    The muscles of the rectum are very good at moving averaged-sized stools through. However, if very small (about the size of a raisin) fecal material is present in the lower rectum, muscles spasms sometimes occur. The digestive system senses this fecal material, and wants to contract the muscles to move it through- but the feces is just too small.
    When I feel a PF episode coming on, and I’m home and not really in the mood to go through my 20-30 minutes of hell, this is what I do:
    I put mineral oil on my pinky finger and carefully insert it into my rectum. With a sweeping motion, I can feel the fecal material with my finger. I reach back with the finger and pull out the raisin-sized stool and let it drop into the toilet. For me, there are usually two of these small stools causing the trouble. Obviously I scrub my hands and fingernails thoroughly when finished. I breathe deeply for a few minutes as the muscle relaxes. Knowing the cause of my PF makes me feel like I’m in more control of these terrible episodes. Sometimes I have to just wait it out. If I’m home though, I can be proactive and find relief much quicker. At first I was very nervous, but after 7 years of performing this technique, I have become very comfortable with it, and am forever grateful for that info I found in 2008.

    1. Darren,
      I have this condition as well as severe chronic back and leg pain for which I take opiates.
      The opiates constipate me and sometimes, I have to help stools out of my rectum.
      So, I do what you do, but buy boxes of medical gloves instead of using bare fingers.
      I use water-based cream to lubricate my gloved finger, works like a charm, you will feel small stools perfectly well even with a glove.
      I would not use bare skin, even if you wash very well afterwards. If you have small cuts or abrasions on your fingers, you could get infections.
      Good luck!

  69. I was pregnant with my second child when hemorrhoids began and the doctor injected a medication to shrink them and these horrible cramps began after every treatment. The doctor kept telling me it shouldn’t hurt. They were extremely painful. I soon was having these painful episodes in the night. I complained enough and he sent me to a specialist whom gave me a diagnosis. But no treatment. That was 18 years ago. I continued with these painful episodes that lasted about 20-30 minutes, only in the night. While scheduling a colonoscopy, I explained these painful nighttime episodes. The doctor prescribed Albuterol inhaler. I was so skeptical. Upon the next painful cramping episode, I tried the inhaler. I was so very surprised when the cramps subsided immediately. I continue to use the inhaler only when the cramps occur, which is at night, and every time the camping subsides within 5 minutes!!!

    1. 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar & it will usually go away in less than a minute. I have suffered with these cramps for approximately 10 years. As soon as I feel it coming on I take the acv which helps keep things in check and he pain goes away quickly!

  70. I have just found a new technique for relief for this. It’s five in the morning and I just suffered through an hour long attack. My go to method is soaking in a hot tub for relief but that wasn’t an option! I finally went into my essential oils and applied full strength peppermint oil to the area. Full strength peppermint oil has a bit of a sting to it so you might want to dilute it in some oil and be sure not to touch your face with it full strength, but this totally worked. Pain free!! I think other essential oils like eucalyptus would work as well! Good luck, I’m going back to sleep!

  71. As well as lying on a small ball (tennis ball) at the base of the tail bone to stretch the perineal muscles, and taking ibuprofen, I contract my pelvic floor muscles every second for a couple of minutes, essentially trying to draw the perineal area into my pelvis. It has to be done repeatedly, but stops an acute attack straight away, until the other methods kick in

  72. I have been having these pains since I was a kid (around 9 I guess) and I’m 28 now. They used to show up once every month or so but when they hit the pain radiated all the way over to the abdomen and I start to sweat like crazy. I used to try and describe it to my mom like it was someone stabbing me down there n twisting the knife. But I have read that the pain lasts from a few seconds to minutes. Well occasionally get a lightening like pain down there but when I have a full blown attack its murder. The last attack I had was at easter and it lasted for nearly three hours. It’s so painful that I can not move from the position I am in for fear of making it worse. Walking or even attempting any sort of remedy is out of the question for me. I used to think it was related to gas or dietary intake earlier but it would just show up out of the blue. It’s reassuring to know I’m not alone but I’m so sorry for all those who suffer through this. It’s the kind of pain I wouldn’t even wish on my worst enemy!
    by the way I also find that it feels worse when the temperature of the room is cold. Anyone else feel that?

  73. Okay everyone, if you seriously want to stop suffering from Proctalgia Fugax.
    This is an easy remedy that will stop the pain instantly, every time.

    Get yourself a rectal enema from any drug store (not a disposable one) and as soon as you feel that attack coming on, fill the enema with hot water, (not burning hot), (just as hot as you can handle touching the water with bare hands). Insert the enema up into your rectum (You can use some petroleum jelly if you like) and gently squeeze out all of the hot water up inside your rectum. Remove the enema, but hold the water inside you. Instantly, you will begin to feel the pain and spasms relax and go away.
    After that, go ahead and let the water out (into the toilet) and take a deep breath of relief because you have just found out what really works and you won’t have to suffer through anymore long, agonizing attacks ever again. I promise this is true.

    Make sure to always keep your enema clean, within reach and ready the second you need it.

    1. Jane, that won’t matter, just follow the instructions and as soon as you let out the water, any feces that were in there will come out too. Usually, Proctalgia Fugax doesn’t occur when a person is about to have a bowel movement anyway, so I wouldn’t worry about that. Just remember to hold the hot water up there until the pain stops before you let the water out. In less than a minute the pain should be gone.

      1. Hi Mariann,
        Just wanted to say, me, I only get this pain (usually if I am constipated or have other gastric issues) within just a couple of minutes of bowel movements, once the movement starts the pain stops (thank god…)
        I used to get it mostly in connection with BMs during my periods, so I guess everyone is different, I never have episodes unless I am about to have a BM.

    2. Dear Mariann , I can’t thank you enough for you suggestion. My first episode happened when I was celebrating my 42nd birthday. I thought that something raptured inside of me and I won’t survive. I’m 47 now and have these episodes several times a year, but for the past month it happened a few times already. I came across your suggestion with the enema. I felt the pain was coming and decided to try. It worked!!! It really worked. 30 minutes later, I m sitting and writing this Thank you to you. Thank you again. Will do the enema from now on.

      1. Tanya, I’m so happy for you. I know how horrible that pain is but now knowing that you don’t have to suffer from it anymore is wonderful. You should also notice that the attacks will become less frequent, until one day they’ll stop all together. Thank you for letting me know. Take care.

  74. Hi
    I just had wisdom tooth removal surgery (all 4) and so I stayed in bed for a prolonged period of time remainder of the day and the next. I read sitting/lying for a long time can trigger it. I had my very first two episodes the day after surgery and my period also began the same day. I think stress brought this on and I really do not want to suffer for years like I’ve read some of you have. I’m recovering from a chronic anal fissure and the spasms are coming in little short bursts now. Has anyone tried nifedipine ointment with/ without lidocaine or glycol nitrate (sp?) ? Seeing doc soon.

  75. I’ve suffered from PF for many years and have around 1 or two bouts per month, mostly at night, but more recently during the day as well. They last for around 15 – 30 minutes on average. I find it can be relieved by sitting up straight, drawing my knees as close to my chest as possible, and holding that position. The pain eases quickly and becomes tolerable for the remainder of the bout.

  76. I suffer with this too. It’s been going on periodically for about 10 years. I’ll be 54 soon. I remember my dad complaining of excruciating rectal pain for years. He had all sorts of tests that resulted in nothing. I suspect I have inherited this condition.

    Last night I had a few twinges before bed and stupidly, I ignored them. Never do this! By about 1:00 a.m. I was sitting on the toilet in agony trying to cope with the waves of pain.

    My typical go-to remedy (although it takes a while to take effect) has become this: I use an anal suppository (extra strength) like Preparation H or Anusol with some sort of anaesthetic and I take either an Advil or an xtra strength Tylenol.

    I do believe the dehydration could be at the root of this. I have a small bladder and don’t like to drink too much before bed because I’m usually up through the night, but better that, that go through this hellish pain.

    I do take 250 mg of Magnesium every night before bed and it does relax me and most likely my muscles. Last night, it wasn’t enough.

    I’ll be trying the 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar recommended above, and possibly the under-the-tongue aspirin next time it hits.

    My sympathy to you all. It’s a nasty condition and only we know just how painful it can be.


    1. I have experienced these symptoms maybe 4-5 time a year, almost always waking me up in the middle of the night This has been a problem over the past 15 or so years. I remember pacing the living room and bedroom floor waiting for the throbbing to subside so I can relate to many of the posts. What I have found to work within minutes (I’m my case) is a 800 mg of Ibuprofin (Motrin). For me, simply taking four 200mg Motrin as soon as the symptoms start has knocked out the pain very quickly. Tylenol, prescription pain meds. etc. has done nothing to relieve the pain like Motrin.

  77. I’ve had this condition since my early 30s and I’m now 50. Awful deep rectal pain in the middle of the night that awakens me. I get it so bad that I literally writhe and groan in the covers as I’m waking from my deep sleep. More often that not, my pain is preceded by a nocturnal erection. As you know, males can experience erections while in R.E.M. sleep. The stiffening of my male organ (!) then triggers the painful rectal spasms. Previously this would often happen during daytime sexual activities but now, blessedly, I only experience the pain when it hits alongside an erection in the middle of the night. Outside of the erections, I have also recognized a correlation with rich tomato foods and, worst of all, peanut butter. My chances for having one of these nighttime episodes is increased 80% if I eat one of those foods within 5 hours of bedtime. As far as what works for me, I have found that my painful bouts are almost always accompanied by gas. So if I’m able to belch, or especially pass gas, the pain quickly goes away. Sparkling seltzer water (my favorite is Schweppes) relieves the pain FAST. Now some of you might assume that I don’t have proctalgia fugax and that I’m just suffering from gas pain. Not true, I’ve been diagnosed by a urologist and I’ve also been told I have levator ani (severe tightness in that region). And as many of you have recounted, Motrin eventually relieves the pain as well. For the record, my spasms typically last 15-30 minutes, although I have experienced ordeals that have gone on for 60 minutes. There’s no better way to ruin the following day at work.

  78. I have suffered from these internal anal spasms for 6 yrs causing chronic anal fissures. I’ve tried botox injections , nifedipine ointment to calm the sphincter, various muscle relaxant medications. I’ve had 3 surgeries one to heal a deep fissure & another to drain a cyst created by the chronic spasms. I was convinced by numerous Doctors to have a colostomy to stop the internal spasm by creating a different exit point for bowel movements , well they were wrong It didn’t stop it at all. So the butt knot continues & controls my life there are days / nights I feel like I’m losing my mind from lack of sleep caused by the pain. I’ve seen plenty of doctors & browsed the internet for relief but no answers. Seems simple stop an internal muscle spasm & all is better but nobody has the answer. It’s a brutal pain to live with especially if you have to sit 14 hrs a day in a wheelchair I’m a paraplegic. I look forward to anyone finding the cure.

    1. Hi Brad, I’m sorry that you’re suffering with this condition and in a wheelchair too. If you are able to do this technique whenever you’re experiencing this spasm, I guarantee it will stop the pain instantly.

      Get yourself a rectal enema from any drug store (not a disposable one) and as soon as you feel that attack coming on, fill the enema with hot water, (not burning hot), (just as hot as you can handle touching the water with bare hands). Insert the enema up into your rectum (You can use some petroleum jelly if you like) and gently squeeze out all of the hot water up inside your rectum. Remove the enema, but hold the water inside you. Instantly, you will begin to feel the pain and spasms relax and go away.
      After that, go ahead and let the water out (into the toilet) The pain will be gone… I promise this is true.

      Make sure to always keep your enema clean, within reach and ready the second you need it.

    2. I consider the pain a charlie horse in the butt. Since it usually happens when I’m sleeping and the pain wakes me up, i lay in bed and spread my legs open like a frog and strech it out. I then massage the area between the scrotum and anus like a deep tissue massage. My solution will put me to sleep in 2 minutes. IT only took me 10 years to figure this out but it works. Try it and get back to sleep.

  79. I am so very thankful for this information on how to alleviate the pain.. I have only had maybe 6 episodes over a period of the past 6 years maybe? When I was eating a diet with a lot less meat I did a lot better, but lately the episodes have come back. A few nights ago I passed out on the toilet and bruised my cheek. So I was eager to find out what this was and how to alleviate the pain. Thank you every one for sharing.

    1. No enemas. No drugs. No medicated pain relievers. Trust my method. You have a charlie horse in the butt. Lay down and bring your legs up and out to the sides like a frog. Stretch out the area. Then rub the area between your scrotum or vagina and your anus. Do a deep tissue massage. It will alleviate the pain and then you can go to sleep.

    2. No enemas. No drugs. No medicated pain relievers. Trust my method. You have a charlie horse in the butt. Lay down and bring your legs up and out to the sides like a frog. Stretch out the area. Then rub the area between your scrotum or vagina and your anus. Do a deep tissue massage. It will alleviate the pain and then you can go to sleep. If you are paraplegic try a vibrator directly on this spot.

    3. I am going to try the massage tip, it sounds good. I am glad I stumbled across this site. I have been suffering from these attacks for a few months, very irregularly, and they are horrible. The other night I sat on the edge of the bed to rock back and forth a bit (it doesn’t help, it’s just the only thing I’ve ever thought of doing) and I fainted and woke up on the floor with a massive bump and cut on my forehead. The pain from these attacks is horrendous.

  80. I have had this pain since 1998 when i was 19 years old. I always thought i will go mud, it was very seasonal and rare but this days its more frequent. i always take a pain killer like panadol or diclofenac which relieves the pain with time. its real hell.

  81. I’m not alone! *phew* I’ve experienced this sudden onset pain around the anal-coccyx region and it’s a pain in the a$$ (no pun intended). Mine sometimes sporadically follows a bowl movement if I’m unwell and have diarrhea, when I experience diarrhea during my period (sometimes it’s accompanied by cramps) or right after an orgasm.

    I have some quick solutions that only take a few seconds to relieve the pain. Also, I agree that it feels like a ‘charlie-horse in the butt feeling’. The way I sooth mine is that I basically lean by butt against something flat and hard and hold it in a position where I find the most pressure is placed on the area.
    1) Against a wall: Stand with a slight squat with your back against the wall, then lean your upper body forward while pushing your lower back-butt against the wall. Hold the position where the most pain is felt (kind of like when you’re kneading a knot out of your back)
    2) Sit on the floor with your legs in front of you and lean back to put pressure on the spot that hurts. I find lifting your legs by bending your knees to your chest helps put more pressure there (kind of like you’re about to roll onto your back like in yoga but you don’t roll all the way).
    3) Lean against the edge of a table, bedframe or dresser – again have the point of contact be the point of the pain, hold and breath.

    I find the wall technique has helped me greatly especially when I’m at work. I just go to the bathroom and lean against the wall. Once I was taking a walk and it was triggered (I also felt like I had an upset stomach that day), I thought I could ignore it until I got back inside but then the pain made me nauseous so I found a big post (for a lamp) and casually leaned against it and the pain went away within 10-15 seconds.

    Hope this helps others out there!

    1. I can completely comprehend. I am going on 5 months of this…everyday! 4 months ago I had Botox for a fissure tear and hemorroid banding. Little did I know I actually had PF and those procedure would make it worse. Everyday for two months sometimes screaming in pain and all my surgeon kept telling me to do is wait to see the pain management doctor. I explained to my surgeon that I thought I had this PF but she kept reassuring me that I did not have it. After I waited almost a month and a half to get into the pain management doctor he said I had the proctalgia fugax. He did a nerve block. It did not help. Then in desperation I went back to my primary care physician. She put me on gabapentin and three different muscle relaxers. I started doing a lot better. I have had my moments where I felt that I had to go to the ER. I went to the ER in pain since I was put on all those muscle relaxers because the pain would not start. I still struggle every day with this problem. Sometimes I feel there’s no hope of getting over this. I got to see a physical therapist on June 9 but they didn’t have any other available appointments for me to go see until July 20. Just four more days and I’ll get to see her. It truly has taken over my life. I have a certain routine that I have to do every morning or I won’t even be able to function. The only thing that will help, due to fact that it feels like pulling as well, is sitting on something hard but that’s in the mild times. During the intense times I sit on the side of the bed crying and groaning. My family hates seeing me go through this.

    2. Amy, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re suffering from this pain every day. That’s just awful. It sounds like Jay offered you some advice that’s been very helpful for her, but sometimes what works for one person might not work for someone else. If you find that those techniques don’t help, then try this, I guarantee it will stop the pain instantly. It’s amazing how many people have been helped by doing this simple thing when the pain starts. Not only does it stop the pain but it actually lessens the frequency of attacks until they eventually stop all together. How great is that? So far, everyone who has followed these instructions has gotten instant relief. I was so grateful when I learned how easy it was to stop the pain. I compare it to the relief of an epidural during labor. (Moms can relate)
      So here’s what you do….

      Get yourself a rectal enema from any drug store (not a disposable one) and as soon as you feel that attack coming on, fill the enema with hot water, (not burning hot), (just as hot as you can handle touching the water with bare hands). Insert the enema up into your rectum (You can use some petroleum jelly if you like) and gently squeeze out all of the hot water up inside your rectum. Remove the enema, but hold the water inside you. Instantly, you will begin to feel the pain and spasms relax and go away.
      After that, go ahead and let the water out (into the toilet) The pain will be gone… I promise this is true.

      Make sure to always keep your enema clean, within reach and ready when you need it.
      Please let me know how you’re doing. Good Luck

    3. I’ve had this for years…and I do notice that it happens when I am stressed…and it does sort of remind u of a charlie horse…I get charlie horses in my ribs, toes, and feet…I’m writing because I was in the throws of PF, for about 3 hrs…. Then, I decided to take a muscle relaxer…it did help…but, like many of u say, don’t know if it was the pill or it stopped on it’s own…so good to hear of others’ coping skills and how they have learned different ways to ease the pain & duration of their attacks. So nice of all of u to be so candid! I am going to try some of your methods next time! Whenever that is…sometimes months go by…it’s hard to explain to your spouse…that u have a horrible pain in the a$$…BTW, I worked for gastroenterologists for about 10 yrs…one of the drs I worked for is my gastro dr…I will try to remember to ask him about possible tricks for PF…I remember calling him yrs ago and telling him I had this pain…and of course, he said, it’s PF…and since it usually doesn’t last long, taking a pill, would take at least twenty minutes to work….well, that was over 13 yrs ago…time to have another chat with him.
      When u don’t have them u sort of forget about it…
      I think someone compared it to childbirth….no way…childbirth, labor pains, pushing, is 100 times more painful…to me anyway

  82. I too suffer from this. I once read a newspaper article about it and it mentioned that artistic intelligent people have a higher incidence of having them and that stress is often a factor. I can vouch for the stress corillation, I usually only get them when I’m over stretched.
    Walking, sharp pressure and massage below the anus or sitting on the side edge of a seat seems to help shorten them for me. I’ll try the tennis ball suggestion next time. I question taking analgesics if your symptoms last less that 30 minutes, takes that much time for them to kick in.
    Dehydration would make sense as well, I get leg cramps if I haven’t been drinking enough water throughout the day, as long as I drink 2 quarts a day I don’t get them.

    1. Sitting on a ball works, but not all the time. Just had a severe attack and it took all my might to get through it. Tried the ball, but maybe did not sit on it long enough. It hurts just to sit on it also. I was in tears with this one as it lasted a good half hour….probably would have been longer but I took 2 Mersyndol forte which has now eased it. I will try the enema next time.

  83. Just found this forum…wow. Woke up last night with that dreaded feeling after 10 years with no problems. 30 minutes of agony, sweated a pool on the bathroom floor and then that weird … useless … erection.

    This is what I found worked when I first developed the problem: Melt 1-2 tablets of hyoscyamine 0.125 mg under your tongue or chew them up. Presto: gone in seconds! Going to need a new prescription. Used to be pennies, now $$$ (why?).

  84. I have suffered with this about 1-2x/month for about 10 years and I am 37. After years of just waiting it out in agony my husband asked if I had ever tried to ice it. BINGO!! I keep a marked beer bottle in the fridge, or can..(I don’t mark it “for my a$$);)…and when the pain hits, I spread the cheeks and sit on it! Pain goes away in about five minutes compared to 20-30. Hope this helps someone!

  85. At least there’s other folks with this. Had about 3 or 4 episodes of this, but the latest came after a break of 6 months. The others were more regular. Horrendous pain doesn’t do the pain justice. It makes you want to snap your bum off!!! Anyway, thanks folks for the tips. I was a good 10-15 mins into this one before I found this site. What a relief to know there are some other poor blighters like me. Thought I was dying until the 6 month break. Now, at least I can handle the pain knowing there’s folk like me. I must say, leaning the tail bone against a door frame did seem to help. Right into the base of the back. But it was only a good 15 or so mins into the ‘attack’, so it could have been naturally on the wain.
    Not too convinced about a dehydration cause. If anything, today I’d over hydrated. Went for a 4+ mile run though for the first time in ages. Maybe that was sumthin’?
    Anyway, thanks everyone for sharing. Made me feel a lot, lot better. I’m trying the tennis ball trick next time (if the door frame doesn’t work).
    Be good!

    1. Two extra strength ibuprofen an acetaminophen fixes mune within fifteen minutes. A real life saver for me when I figured this out. Used to sit there in horrible agony in the bathroom for like an hour. Guu

  86. Two extra strength ibuprofen and an acetaminophen does it for me within fifteen minutes. My episodes are often an hour long and very severe if I don’t. But hey, it may just be coincidence and they only last fifteen minutes now. Before I started running to the bathroom at the onset to down the pills i was sitting in the bathroom crying for an hour or more. Guuaa

  87. So I’m not alone! I get this every month or so and the last few times it happened at work. I had to walk around like everything was on and the pain is horrendous. Today it woke me out of my sleep 2 hours in. I was dreaming and had an orgasm in my dream (weird I know) and the pain was instant. I usually go to the toilet and sit rocking back and forth until pain subsides. It goes away and as I get back in bed it will come back for a few mins. Is this a lifelong condition?

  88. I find internal massage with the finger helps to relax the cramping in the anal and rectal muscles that cause this pain. I use ‘Germoloids’ as both a lubricant for the massage and as a pain reliever. It contains zinc oxide, which is soothing to the skin, and lidocaine hydrochloride which is an anaesthetic.

    I also find that mindfulness helps. Instead of resisting the pain, I embrace it. I explore it, how it feels, how it moves, how it changes.

    While this may not reduce the pain directly, it loosens my resistance to it, so that even though the pain may still be there, it causes me much less suffering.

  89. Hey Guys, I am having this problem of inflamation at my anal opening after every erection from the last 8 months. I regularly examinate my anus for any irregular thing. But everything is fine down there except the thing I face after an erection. Even a sexual dream is able to discomfort me. Anybody facing this?

  90. I came across this site after experiencing one of my most painful attacks for months and feel completely drained today after waking in the night to the pain. The pain usually lasts for 40 mins to an hour. I have had this condition for years and was finally diagnosed by a consultant who advised that Marijuana would help! Not much help as this isn’t available legally here in the UK plus I don’t smoke. I have tried various positions, sitting on edge of a bath pressing base of spine, Ibuprofen, massage but none work. I am a female and I cannot urinate usually when I have an attack and I find that the only way to deal with it is to accept the pain and know that eventually the spasms will get less painful and then suddenly stop. The only thing that seems to stop it sometimes is sitting on the loo and forcing out what feels like a big bubble in my bottom! Sometimes this can stop it immediately but it is extremely painful to do and if it doesn’t work can make the pain worse…..You would think a relief medically could be found…..

    1. Nicola,
      If you don’t have a problem using an enema, then this technique will work to stop the pain instantly, every time.
      (((Not only does it stop the pain but it actually lessens the frequency of attacks until they eventually stop all together.)))

      Get yourself a rectal enema from any drug store (not a disposable one) and as soon as you feel that attack coming on, fill the enema with hot water, (not burning hot), (just as hot as you can handle touching the water with bare hands). While sitting on the toilet, insert the tip of the enema up into your rectum (You can use some petroleum jelly if you like) and gently squeeze out all of the hot water up inside your rectum. Remove the enema, but hold the water inside you. Instantly, you will feel the pain and spasms relax and go away. After that, go ahead and let the water out (into the toilet) All the pain will be gone… I promise this is true.

      Make sure to always keep your enema clean, and ready the next time you need it. After doing this a few times, you’ll notice that you don’t have the attacks as often, then after a while, you’ll realize that they’re gone for good.
      Best of Luck

      1. Thanks very much for your reply. I don’t like the sound of that unfortunately….so I shall need to find an alternative solution (excuse the pun!)

    2. I completely understand how you feel. I was hesitant too when I was first told about it, but after suffering through a few more excruciating attacks, that brought me to the floor, immobilized in pain, shaking and sweating profusely for almost an hour, I decided that I was willing to try anything if it would stop that agony. The next time I felt the pain coming on, I was ready with the enema. It was super easy to use and the pain immediately disappeared. I felt foolish for not trying it sooner. There were only two occasions after that when I needed to use it. It’s been 8 years since I’ve had any attacks at all. It’s totally up to you, but when your pain gets bad enough, squirting a little water up there to stop it won’t seem like such a bad idea. 🙂

    3. It’s 5.18am here. After waking up at 3 in excruciating pain in was ready to off really is just the worst. After over an hour of itnot subsiding I went and ran a hot bath. Pretty much instant relief and I’m ready to sleep again if I’m not too traumatised still.

      1. Hello, I am glad that your pain finally subsided. I must admit, I have tried hot baths and unfortunately they have never worked for me. My pain usually lasts for an hour – and if they do in your case also, it may be that the spasm stopped on it’s own and coincided with the time of you getting into the bath… I am not going to try the enema as I don’t feel qualified to carry that out. The pain of PF is unbearable and I have passed out once and tend to feel nauseous for each attack. The only thing that works but again could be coincidence, is to sit on loo and push as if defecating and that can stop it but not always. I have a routine – wake up to pain in night which gets horrendus within 5 minutes, take two Ibuprofen(probably placebo), make a cup of tea, momentarily think about calling ambulance for pain relief (never have done), bite my hand, feel like throwing up, try breathing techniques, and try to relax…..and wait for the one spasm that is weaker to come knowing it will subside. I have had this for about 15 years so since I was 30 but distinctly remember having it once when I was about 12. To all you guys out there – this is 9/10 compared to labour pains but at least we get pain relief for that. I was prescribed Diazapan but I never took any as the doctor said it would take 30 minutes to work so I returned them to the surgery. Why can’t we be prescribed something that works quickly in the UK. A foreign pharmacist told me that in Europe they prescribe muscle relaxants that work much more quickly than Diazapen.

    4. I hear you. I am in the middle of an attack right now and it has been close to an hour which launched me into an interest search about ways to relieve the pain. I soon wish I had a enema to try right now. This pain is so bad I’m willing to try almost anything! I have taken the strongest pain meds, a hot bath, even saw that sitting on a tennis ball for a few minutes would relieve the pain but to no avail. Unfortunately I am just going to have to continue to wait it out again and suffer through another sleepless night. I will be going to the pharmacy to get an enema of have on hand for the next time to see if finally there is something that works. I will keep you posted. The time when PF is short (come and goes in a few minutes) I am okay to deal with but the times it lasts for more than 40 minutes or an hour, I would at least give the enema a try!

      1. Hi Jenn, I know the enema would’ve helped you. I hope you remember to get one before you need it next time. Please let us know how it works for you. Thanks

    5. Grab some pentyl nitrate (poppers) from any sex shop, head shop or the likes. Solves it instantly. I posted a more detailed reply elsewhere on this thread.

  91. Hey! Its so sad to after all this article i found i am also suffering this disease. Help me to know cause and prventive maesure

    1. I have found that only liquid acetaminophen helps with the pain . It must be taken as soon as you feel the pain beginning.
      Many stores don’t have this on their shelves., but they will order it for you.
      It works very quickly and that’s important, since the pain usually lasts only 20 minutes.

    2. Taking a hot bath should take care of the problem right away. I always jump in the bath even if it’s 3:00 am. It’s worth it and trust me it works!

      1. Hi – unfortunately I have tried the hot baths- but they never worked….I have since had a prescription for liquid morphine for the worst sciatic/disc pain I have EVER had in life (worse than PF if that is possible or close to anyhow) – so..maybe I should try 5ml next time I have Proctalgia and see if it works… didn’t work for my back/leg e.t.c. though BTW!!

  92. It is 5:38am here in New York City. This hits me — always in the middle of the night, pulling me right out of sleep — about once or twice every 2 or 3 months. Sometimes longer. The pain is just as everyone else describes. My contribution to the relief of the pain may seem very strange to hear, but it really does work. It helps me to read extensively about it. This has been the only thing I could get to work. I’m not sure why it works, but it does. I suspect that it might have something to do with getting or redirecting the energy or blood flow to my brain or reassuring my mind of its dominance through conceptualizing, etc., but I’m not sure. All I know is that it works. I even used this method when I broke my ankle skiing earlier this year. I’m 46 years old, and this was the first time in my entire life that I fractured anything, and it was the very worst pain I ever had. And this method worked to relieve the pain even for that. Here is what I do. I google the nature of the pain. Then I read (preferably) very dense explanations of the physiology of the pain. As I’m reading it, I really am academically gripped by it. It is as if I’m noticing or matching — in a kind of meditative state — the dynamics, about which I read, within the very centers of my body. This seriously almost instantly relieves the pain. It is as if by my noticing the mechanism in my body, I own it, accept it, and bring positive knowledge based attention to it. This is just a guess. The relief happens regardless of the why. Having come to know this method, I fire up the computer, do my google search and start reading away. This time, I found this site for the first time in my searches. After reading half a dozen of your posts, voila! Gone. It is truly amazing to me. Does anyone have any idea why this might work physiologically speaking — in addition to the more mind-over-body guesses that I’ve already proffered.

    1. I couldn’t agree more with you. I just posted a comment before reading yours and we both have the same remedy. You seem to have put the calming sensation into better words than I could.
      Reading and understanding. Even though I’ve done it over a dozen times & I know and have retained every possibly piece of information…it still helps.
      Awareness & consciousness. Knowing you aren’t alone in this huge universe.

      1. I posted this before but in case it got lost in the noise, here is what I’ve done to stop these spasms within about two minutes of onset — every time:

        take a large teaspoon-full of yellow mustard (like French’s), Ibuprofen and a lot of water.

        This has — pardon the pun — saved my ass now for about three years. Before that, I was on the floor, ready to pass out, just like everyone else. I hope this works for at least one other person somewhere in the world — it’s been a life saver for me.

  93. I’m having an attack too right now. I can’t even get up I’m still in bed, every time I try to move the cramps come back. I can’t walk at all when this happens, the last time I had to drag myself to the bathroom! I can’t even get up to make an enema I end up screaming in pain. Orgasms trigger it. Sometimes just going to sit down triggers it where I’m almost seated and I have to shoot right back up because of the sharp pains, that one drives me absolutely mad! Most of the time nothing triggers it. I can be in the middle of a conversation, it starts and I feel like hitting the floor. Sitting in the toilet used to help, but I can’t do it anymore it just hurts too much. All I can do is wait for them to pass and stay as still as possible with a rag to muffle the screaming. I want to try some of these remedies, some require getting up which I can’t do when the cramping starts, but I’m going to keep some of the other remedies by my bed and in my vehicle. So glad to see some things may help!

  94. My family doctor recommended I get some poppers or amyl nitrate to use to loosen my sphincter when an attack hit. Yes, we live in a largely gay neighbourhood and we can discuss these things. Anyway, the amyl has been so useful for me, literally ending an attack or making it only a few minutes, rather than an hour long. I just wish I could purchase this as a prescription but it’s readily available on the street here.

    1. I had only heard of poppers years ago as a party/sex thing, but if they really help, why don’t more doctors recommend them? My big fear is how do you do them? Do they have any other effects that might be considered side effects or undesirable? I suffer fissures and strictures from surgeries and Crohn’s and use topical diltiazem, but sometimes the spasms just go on and on and on.

  95. I often use penis rings while having sex with my wife. Just for the fun of it. Cos we both like it. 🙂 I notice that when using them, I have a higher occurance rate than when I don’t use them. It occurs right after having an orgasm, as my muscles in that region should relax at once, but it seems they don’t wanna do that. When I have my cramps, taking a sh** and relaxing, not stressing about it usualy helps in about 3-10 mins. I used to have really painful episodes, but as I got to know it was something normal, I learned to relax about it and they aren’t as painful now as they used to be. Microwave heating a cherry pit pack, having a towel with hot water and sitting on it also helps a lot. This doesn’t involve taking any drugs and gets the job done too.

  96. Sitting downstairs having a brief occurance now. I used to them regularly and would end up passing out.
    Solved my problem with pentyl nitrate (replaced amyl nitrate in the uk). Available in head shops, sex shops and dodgy newsagents.
    Open the bottle and carefully and slowly inhale from about 3-4 inches. Don’t get too close as they are considered dangerous when inhaled directly.
    Side effects can be lightheadness, a slight headache and a rapid drop in blood pressure.
    It’s definitely something to think about carefully before trying but it has an almost immediate effect. Pain subsides and the muscles appear to relax.
    Obv. Keep it out of reach of chilren.

  97. Hello all, I posted on here maybe 18 months ago or so. My symptoms are basically the same as all of yours. Middle of the night, excruciating, 30 minute duration, no real solutions, etc.

    I’ve had 1 occurrence over the last 5 months, and it was very mild.

    Usually within a 5 month period, I’ll have at least 2 major episodes.

    About 5 months ago, I drastically cut out sugar from my diet. I still ingest sugar, but…I don’t use it in coffee, I don’t drink my morning OJ (loaded with sugar), I try to eat bread with no sugar, and if I can’t find any, I usually won’t eat it. NO soda, NO cake, etc.

    I have no idea if my sugar intake drop is related to my Flugax drop, but I’m just putting it out there.

    If you try it and you still get attacks, well, you’ll still have done well by your body. I’ve lost 10 pounds.

    Good luck folks, I feel your pain, quite literally!

    1. Hi -I am not a doctor- but I can only say that I eat lots of sugar (am skinny and need to keep weight up!) – and it hasn’t altered the frequency. However – I note that when I have an episode – I do have wind that needs to escape which may be related to the gas in the lemonade I like…great to here everyone’s stories and opinions on this ( obviously not great that we all have to experience but you know what I mean).

  98. Hello,

    I am writing this almost immediately after one of these attacks. I was seated at my computer and the attack lasted about five seconds or so. It was extremely painful. I have had a couple of these before, this one was particularly acute in that the pain radiated into my abdomen. It took my breath away. I stood up and walked around for a few minutes, just to make sure everything had really calmed down both physically and mentally. The pain left almost as quickly as it came. It seemed like the origin of the pain was slightly to the right of center, if you can picture that. To me, the extreme level of pain suggests a nerve problem and not a muscle spasm. I had a colonoscopy about a year ago and have some benign, internal hemorrhoids. Everything else is normal too.

  99. I have a pretty quick cure that I worked out on my own, and it works for some family members as well: Outside pressure forces the cramping muscles to relax. Sit down on a hard surface- your warm bathroom tiles are ideal. Fold your hands around your knees. Try to lift your legs, so that your total body weight rests on your posterior – you’ll quickly find the position that works best. After from only ten seconds to a minute the muscle relaxes and the pain subsides. The pain may return if you stop too soon, and you may have to repeat the procedure.

    1. I shall definitely give that a try..and will let you know. Anything that does not involve an enema sounds good to me…we need a live chat setting up for people to chat when in pain to get through it..!

  100. Holy crap Im not alone!! Ive been getting these on and off for 10 years, mostly they were in the middle of night, but I have had them happen during the day also..lately they have been more frequent..I usually sit on the toilet rocking back and forth, I have tried the massage (didnt work). In the beginning they lasted maybe 10-15 mins, now they are 45+ mins. right now Im having a mild one at work, right side of my anus, always seems to be the right side, cant do much about it since Im at work..Thank God its a mild one..UGH. Maybe we should put our stats on here, to see if there is any correlation. 54 yr old woman, I work full time ( mostly sitting down all day) I also own my own business ( on my feet all night) which can be stressful.

    1. Mine always occur on the right side as well. Then the pain often moves into my abdomen and is accompanied by nausea and sometimes dizziness. Last night was awful but I still haven’t tried the enema many seem to find relief with, but a frozen bottle of water to sit on usually stops it for me within 10 minutes. I’m in my mid thirties and have had this off and on for about 10 years, almost exclusively in the middle of the night. Haven’t been able to find a pattern or relate it to anything. You have my empathy…it would be awful to deal with at work:(

      1. I am now 68 and have been dealing with this pain in the butt issue since I was in my early thirties. It usually occurs during the middle of the night while I am asleep with a mild ache but progresses until I can’t hold still anymore. I didn’t have a clue what it was or what I could do to get rid of the pain the first time it happened. Fortunately for me I could only think of trying to defecate–and it worked. This made me think it had something to do with my bowel movements. The second time it happened I couldn’t defecate so had to endure pain until it quit. But thinking about the circumstances led me a solution that has worked for me ever since. I reasoned that, just like a leg-muscle cramp that you can only get rid of by stretching out the muscle, my passing a turd the first time stretched my anal sphincter muscle and relieved the pain. Since I couldn’t be sure of having any solid waste of the right consistency to pass the next time it happened I thought I’d attempt to use a sex-toy vibrator to stretch the sphincter muscle to see if that worked. And it did. I know it sounds a bit weird, but this has worked for me every time since and I will probably continue to use it because it works instantly. I put a little lubrication on the end and gently insert it until the pain goes away. Unfortunately it’s not the ideal choice for work or in the car, but I’ve never had the problem in those places. Works for me.

  101. I’ve been dealing with this for the last few years and I’m only 20. It started when I was around 17-18, and I only get them right before or during my period. I didn’t know anyone had this problem. I can feel when it’s about to happen. It’s like a sharp pain in the stomach then it travels to my rectum. It’s so awful, I’m so glad it only lasts around 20 seconds or so. It has woken me from sleep before but, like I said, only around the time of my period. I usually just take some ibuprofen and lay on my side until it goes away.

  102. I have suffered dreadful muscle abdominal spasms since teens and thought it is ibs but then with pregnancy I developed piles so thought it was this. During my labour I experienced this dreadful anal stabbing spasm as the contraction ended. After that I experienced this pain many nights, practically catapayting me out of bed with this sever spam. As much as you try to relax and bear it , it gets worse and worse until sitting on the loo pushing seems to be never endless pain. I have noticed that my anus actually opens and remains open during this painful spasm and I agree with one of the chaps. I nit found a wY to stop the occurrence but have found a way to relieve the actual a episode by wearing surgical gloves and applying lots of hot water via a medicine syringe, the wrath seems to offer some flies but also as the anus sphincter is a muscle. I am a qualified masseuse and putting pressure on muscle eg quads etc alleviates leg spasms cramps, I also used this ten hi queen by pressing hard on the stricter ring of muscles slightly stretching them and almost immediately they relax and soften nd the pain subsides.
    I don’t understand why but I am now getting daily or should I say nightly events. I often feel bruised the next day as if I have been kicked up my butt. I do have internal piles and do not know if there is a relevance. I have had surgery and have a pelvic dysfunction and a connective tissue disorder so not sure if this is relevant. All else fails I find sitting in a hot bath and bathing the area . I agree the pain is beyond belief. Since reading these I have also noticed that I do get some low abdominal pain prior to this spasm if I am just half asleep otherwise it happens when I m in deep sleep. It frightens my hubby to death when I catapult out. As I already am an inhaler user I can’t see that this helps.

  103. Started getting these episodes a few years ago and they happen 3-5 times a year–not nightly thank goodness. I’ve found the pain can be controlled by taking the maximum amount of Ibuprofen and a big spoonful of yellow mustard (French’s) and a lot of water. It usually knocks out the pain in 2-4 minutes, often before I get to the point of passing out. I’ve also had luck with pickle juice along with Ibuprofen ( instead of the mustard, which I’ve used for cramps on long bike rides — so it seems to have the same affect as a muscle relaxer.

    Hope this works for somebody!

    1. pickle juice and 800mg of ibuprofen the moment i feel it start to come on, works for me. Been dealing with it a few times a year or so, for 20 yrs.

  104. I’ve had this for a few years, most noticeably since having my kids. I tend to get it once a month( I also get mittlesmerzt as well) I recently had surgery for a rectal intussusception and rectocele and since then it seems to be more frequent. I usually take paracetamol and codine as soon as it starts and fall into a hot bath. One thing that I read about that seems to help is gently punching the area repeatedly, I suppose its a bit like the “chopping” massage used on tense shoulders. It sounds odd looks weird but does work, one chap I read about couldn’t reach to do it effectively so he (gently) used a wooden meat tenderizer and he said that worked a treat. ?

  105. I’m 17, and have been suffering from this for about 2 years now. My episodes range from once a month, to a couple times a month, to a couple months a part. There’s really no telling when it will strike. Some episodes are mild and I can just put myself in a position where I can barely feel it and rock myself back to sleep, but other times (like last night) it’s unbearable to the point where I’m in tears. Last night was different in that it was so painful I was nauseous. My general doctor referred me to a proctologist but I know theres no cure. I’m not looking forward to dealing with this for the rest of my life 🙁

    1. I’ve tried many remedies, but found the most effective for me is a hot bath. I only use about 2″ of very hot water and soak for 20 to 45 min. I’ll take ibuprofen as well to help with the pain, but the hot water does the trick every time. I got caught once while traveling in a hotel room with no tub, but was able to use the sink (not a pretty picture I know), but again it worked after only about 15 min. This condition sucks, but at least I know I can fix it when it occurs.

    2. I am a female and have been suffering with this for the last 26 years aprox. I do have a way of dealing with it that may help some people too. I have no idea how I stumbled upon this but for me it’s a saviour. I shudder to think how painful the episodes would be without it. So here it is: As soon as you start to feel it coming on (for me it’s fast gradual and it does wake me up at night) MASSAGE VERY HARD THE AREA WHERE YOUR THUMB MEETS YOUR FOREFINGER. In that hollow place. Yes, I do mean the hand. Either one is ok. I mean really press and massage hard. It is an actual Chinese acupuncture point for going to the toilet but it never works for me for that. This point has a name. You can google it. Now, be patient it takes a couple of minutes to ‘kick in’ and you will feel gradual relief. You have to continue to do it for the duration of the attack. If you stop prematurely, a few seconds or a minute later the pain will come back. During this time also try to relax. After a while you will feel better, let go and find the pain gone. If not, continue massaging. In my case anxiety plays a big role. Best of luck. If it works for you, let others know. Cheers

  106. My now eight yr old daughter has been suffering from this since she was 18 months old. Due to her age, rectal investigation was considered too invasive. She was incorrectly diagnosed as having, rectal fissures (having suffered these myself, I knew this was wrong), bladder spasms, worms, hypochondria and IBS. She did, early on have quiet a severe lactose intolerance that was untreated, her symptoms would last for 7-8 nights, 1-2 hours, spasm pains. Topical treatment, warm baths, endless cuddles and panadol was our go to things, along with a recorded episode of playschool played at 2am. Now that she is older, her vocabulary is larger and her description is better, leading to the new diagnosis. The more I read, the more sure I am that this is finally the correct diagnosis. Thank you for the descriptions of personal experiences, it has helped endlessly.

  107. I’ve been having this problem for almost 20 years. The first time, I thought I needed defecate and, upon trying, found myself on the floor due to having passed out. My episodes typically lasted 30-90 minutes. The things that I found that help me are: I’ve noticed that I get my pain when I’m dehydrated, generally at night (usually 1 to 2 hours after going to sleep). Once I wake up and realize I’m having an episode, I’ll immediately start drinking water (I’ve have drank up to 4- 16 oz. bottles worth at times), take 4 ibuprofen and then get a heating pad, sitting on it on it’s highest setting. This usually cuts the pain in around 15-20 mins. As a “prevention” measure, my doctor suggested taking a vitamin called ZMA (Zinc Monomethionine Aspartate) used by athletes, specifically weightlifters, to relieve muscle cramps. Dosage is taking one-two pills before bedtime, I have noticed that the frequency has become less often and the intensity not as severe. Hope this helps someone out there.

  108. I’ve been dealing with this for the past 10 years and really didn’t know what it was. A proctologist finally gave me somewhat of a diagnosis and basically said it was a muscle spasm in my rectum or anus. As me and my wife call it a true “pain in the a$$!”. Some of the episodes are so bad or painful I feel like I’m going to pass out. More common than not when I get these episodes it forces me to try to push like I’m trying to defecate. I just had one tonight and had to search online to see if there were any real causes or remedies. I’m glad to hear I’m not alone. I’ve experienced extreme muscle craps in my calves all my life, I’m wondering if this is somewhat related. I’m going to try the vitamin ZMA as suggested in a post on here and will try to stay well hydrated. I will also try some of these other remedies suggested if this doesn’t work. Thanks for everyone posting about their experiences, it helps knowing there are other people experiencing the same pain I go through.

    1. This was the miracle cure for me and I know it sounds crazy but: Lie down and get in a position of a woman giving birth. Use a TENs device and place the electrode on the inside crease on the lower buttocks, about where the crease ends. Use 1 electrode on each side. Also make sure the area is dry. As soon as you realize you are having an episode set this up as quickly as you can. The relief will be almost instant and complete if you have the electrodes placed properly. I have suffered all my life with this, with episodes happening usually at night ~ once a month or so. This method has never failed me to relieve the pain. I am a male so I have to keep that area hair free because the electrodes are adhesive gel. I’ve tried everything before this, sitting on a tennis ball, sitting on the edge of the bath tub etc. and nothing else worked. The TENS unit I got on, made by santa medical, about $30. and I use it also for sore back, shoulders, muscles. It feels like a vibration and is very soothing. Of course I cannot guarantee this will work for anybody but it is a life saver for me.

    2. Is it possible you may have been laying on a remote or something of that nature because I actually just woke up from a sound sleep and I was having a spasm not to be believed I came so close to having my dad rush me to the hospital the best thing to do is let your mind relax and or to heal quickly take a almost hot bath keep in mind it will be tender sitting down but best of luck

  109. I’m a man and I’ve had the problem for 30+ years and discovered that if I sit on a hard surface such as a tile or wood floor and put all my weight on my tail bone it will relieve the pain in about 3 minutes. To do this I lean backwards a little while sitting with my knees bent and pick my feet up off the floor. I don’t know why it relieves the pain but think it may put pressure on the nerves and/or blood vessels leading to the area of the cramp. Works every time for me, but the trick is to be on a hard surface and to make sure all my weight is on my tail bone.

  110. Great to read all of your posts. As this is a crazy experience no solution can be any crazier! I’m 5 years in and 56 yo male. Occurrence is 2/3 middle of the night; maybe 1/2 dz annually. For the length and frequency I am currently just waiting them out; maybe I’ll have a bm and that helps; if things persist or worsen it’s good to have a bag of(silly) tricks available! It was interesting when I asked my Nurse practitioner what was going on; he left, came back with P F written down on a note pad and basically said “Sorry & Good Luck with that”. I can imagine him calling the Dr. and the doctor telling him who tell me!

  111. Wow, I didn’t think so many people experience the same symptoms as me. This started couple of years ago after I had complete hysterectomy. It is so painful that I passed out from the pain couple of times. My GI prescribed me levsin ODT tabs. to help with the pain. Attacks last about 20 minutes and more. Unfortunately there is no cure for this, so would have to learn on how to deal with this pain.

  112. I saw a doctor for this a year ago but the pain comes back every once in a while. His advice was sound and I haven’t really seen it recommended online. I started taking psyllium husk (metamucil) to bulk up my stools. You have to take a lot but I notice the pain is gone in a few days. I am still confused over whether I have Levotor Ani syndrome or proctalgia fugal since the pain is a constant dull ache. it does wake me in the night though.

  113. I have had this problem since been on nilotinib for leukaemia I have terrible stabbing in the anus and sharp cramping pains nothing helps ..can anyone. Help please

    1. Hi Diane..iv been on nilotinib for over a year now and suffer terrible with stabbing pains in the anus and soreness .told specialist but was shrugged off as hasn’t been reported before ..been given creams for haemoroids but nothing helps .

    2. Hi..iv been on nilotinib for over a year now and have severe soreness and cramping in anus thought it was haemoroids at first but nothing helped ..its extremely painful at times especially during bowel movements.

    3. Methocarbonal is a muscle relaxer I have been on them for a couple years now. I’m suppose to take them 30minutes pre having a bowel movement to help relax the muscles. If I don’t have a bowel moment that day then I have just take one pill before bedtime so it stays in my system. Over the last year I have only had a handful that came on but quickly took my medicine and less then a minute later all spasm stop. You need to consult your doctor and see if you are able to take these and see if you can get a prescription for them. I also do warm baths that help to relax the muscles while the medicine takes affect. I hope this helps. Something I would tell you not to try is try sitting on the toilet and passing a bowel movement because you will make the spasm worse since that is causing them to work more and your goal when the spasm come on is to relax those muscle so in the meantime I would do warm baths.

  114. My son (8) has been diagnosed with this but we have serious doubts. Why?

    1 : His latest “episode” if you call it that has lasted 23 days – yep – DAYS.
    2 : He has constant pain (4 out of 10) with spasmodic pain spikes but also higher pain spikes when passing wind and 10/10 pain spikes when defecating.
    3 : He has had a fistula.
    4 : His GP has twice suspected anal fissures.
    5 : He has had worm infections.
    6 : The pain worsens when he moves into certain positions.
    7 : The pain is worse on a consistent (left) side.

    Any thoughts?

  115. Has anyone experienced gas with these painfully attacks? I have had these attacks for many years and thought they were trapped gas pains. Sitting on a hard ball does help with the pain, and pain goes away after passing a lot of gas. This may sound weird, but I can’t urinate until this gas has passed. I am going to try taking the ibuprofen and hot bath as some of you have suggested.

    1. I know for me, I feel like I need to pass gas or defecate. However, sitting on the toilet and straining to do this makes the spasm SO much worse. I cannot urinate either while the spasm is occurring but I think that just has to do with the spasms.

    2. Mine is usually triggered with gas sometimes. I take gas medicine to help. I also take Xanax and that makes mine go away. I hope this helps.

      1. yes, definitely for me. I have been taking de gas everyday to see if I can stop having an episode. So far so good but I will wait a while longer before posting to say that it is working for sure.

  116. I’m 24 and I’ve had this problem since I was 15. It always wakes me up in the middle of the night a few hours after I’ve fallen asleep. (Mind you; I could sleep through a tornado).
    I don’t ever get sick. I never have headaches. I don’t even keep medicine in my home which is a downfall for me because right now, it’s 8 in the morning and I’ve been up since 6am sweating, pushing, teary-eyed, squirming, nauseous, feeling clammy like I’m about to vomit & hoping to God I’ll pass stool. Everytime I sit on the toilet and end up rocking back and forth. I ended up pushing out NOTHING & giving myself a headache from pushing so hard. It really is a PAIN IN THE ASS. I hate that I’m part of the 8%, but I’d like to say that I feel for ALL OF YOU.

    It’s probably the worst and most painful feeling I’ve ever felt. The only thing that ever helps me is getting online and reading stories of people who are going through the same thing. It seems gross and morbid to find peace in reading other people’s stories about their anus pain.
    i tried the warm bath and NOTHING. I’m almost willing to try anything at this point in my life. I mostly just try to breathe, relax and focus on counting the seconds in the spasms. The episodes get longer and stronger with age. They go away for minutes at a time and recur in 15-20 minute intervals within a 4-5 hour span. Some spasms are short and some are unbearably long. I will usually have about 10 episodes a year.

    No one probably cares, but I find it helpful knowing that I’m not crazy, & I’m not alone. Good luck to all of you. I’m sorry you suffer from these horrendous symptoms, but this too shall pass.

    1. I’m curious as to why you are “hoping to God I’ll pass stool.” If you have found passing stool helpful you may wish to read my post of October 22, 2015:

      Meredith says:
      October 22, 2015 at 11:13 am
      I am now 68 and have been dealing with this pain in the butt issue since I was in my early thirties. It usually occurs during the middle of the night while I am asleep with a mild ache but progresses until I can’t hold still anymore. I didn’t have a clue what it was or what I could do to get rid of the pain the first time it happened. Fortunately for me I could only think of trying to defecate–and it worked. This made me think it had something to do with my bowel movements. The second time it happened I couldn’t defecate so had to endure pain until it quit. But thinking about the circumstances led me a solution that has worked for me ever since. I reasoned that, just like a leg-muscle cramp that you can only get rid of by stretching out the muscle, my passing a turd the first time stretched my anal sphincter muscle and relieved the pain. Since I couldn’t be sure of having any solid waste of the right consistency to pass the next time it happened I thought I’d attempt to use a sex-toy vibrator to stretch the sphincter muscle to see if that worked. And it did. I know it sounds a bit weird, but this has worked for me every time since and I will probably continue to use it because it works instantly. I put a little lubrication on the end and gently insert it until the pain goes away. Unfortunately it’s not the ideal choice for work or in the car, but I’ve never had the problem in those places. Works for me.

    2. Sarah,

      I’ve had these episodes for over 20 years and one made me pass out and I went to the hospital what I found is that I was low in magnesium, try taking magnesium and if you have to take a bath because of the pain take it in very hot water- almost to the point of burning you and it will get rid of the pain.

  117. I’ve found this page after 14 years of experiencing this pain, with a 7 year absence in the middle. It first arrived age 24, only in the daytime, while I was teaching in a classroom; I would need to lie on the floor and had to leave the classroom.
    For 7 years or so it disappeared and then returned up to twice a week, now I’m 38. I had only ever experienced it during daytime, until I visited a specialist who confirmed my self-diagnosal – he warned me it is a night time pain, and then I began to 10% of times wake up at night with it! I have no idea what to read into that.
    I have noticed chilli/caffeine coincide with its onset, usually consumption of chilli the day before or caffeine the same day. A BIG observation for me, as someone who teaches somatics, is that to breathe and relax into the area aggravates it, which is uncommon for most pain. Instead, I have to isolate the area from any movement, and focus my attention clearly elsewhere, with as little physical movement as possible. This is how I came to find this page – I sat motionless expect for my fingers and google searched. This diversion of my thoughts can override the spasm which otherwise may last 20 mins and ride 2 cycles of spasm – the 2nd spasm is usually triggered by any motion too soon after the first spasm. The 2nd spasm can arise even if I remain in stillness though is less likely.
    I really hope sharing this information can help each other. As the specialist said to me, “It’s not a sexy topic so it gets little research.”
    Thanks all.

  118. Male, 26, and had this issue for the last 4/5 years. First time I experienced the lightning bolt going down my bum I was standing up at work. Was in a fairly stressful state at the time. And it felt like it came out of nowhere. Scared the sh*t out of me, literally.

    Haven’t gone to the doctor because I’ve dealt with abdomen/pelvic/below-the-belly-button pains that were never diagnosed after countless er visits, colonoscopy, mri, and other scans. Every doctors best guess was stress. It was hard to accept that stress could cause so much pain but it is so true. Once I did accept it I’ve realized how much anxiety/stress I go through. Now I’m working as a teacher in a stressful environment and my episodes happen for weeks/months at a time. Currently I have been dealing with it for 3 months straight, 1 to 5 times daily, 5 to 25 min each attack.

    What I have found is that my episodes occur more frequently + intensely after a night of heavy drinking. I don’t hydrate myself as it is and alcohol will dehydrate you more. Drinking water during my episodes help immediately. Idk if it’s me taking my mind off of it during that time or if the water actually takes care of the problem. But when I drink more water the issue is less prevalent.

    I used to be a very athletic person but college and the work to come after significatly decreased my opportunity to exercise. The combination of alcoholism, lack of exercise, stress, and dehydration is my understanding of the cause of this ass pain.

    I usually feel it right when I wake up in the morning and it comes with the urge to pass gas or make a bm. Laying in the fetal position (tightly, cannon ball style) on my right side helps the gas pass and eleviates the pain. But, the episodes occur any time for me.

    As I was reading some other suggestions online (literally minutes ago) I felt the lightning bolt on its way from my bladder to my a-hole and I tried the “pinch the space between your nose and upper lip” method and surprisingly the pain went away immediately. That was cool.

    Bottom line is that we should always stay hydrated, avoid stressful situations when possible, and get your body moving (exercise).

    Hope this helps. Best of luck to all of you. Stay strong!

  119. My partner lost his mum and had to give up the home of 43 years, he has had this pain now for 1 year no let up at all all day, he can only walk about 100 yards and has to sit down on one leg to press the bum cheek.
    Doctor at hospital injected Botox in the spinxter and he also has a fisher but it did not work,
    His friend had his spinxter cut and has had no more problems since but my partners surgeon said to give it 6 months. It is now taking over his life, he can’t go anywhere but does work he broke down the other day and cried as he has no let up from the pain unless he stops going to the toilet. Back to the doctor again

  120. Wow Iv been suffering from this for almost 3 years now.. I’m 23.. Female… I didn’t know what was wrong.. I thought maybe I had IBS … I have to go to the toilet every 15 mins when I have the spasm and I believe coffee makes this worse! I end up pushing so hard I almost pass out… Even when nothing comes… I push so hard I worry I’ll get a prolapse.. This is so weird but I found the only thing that would relax my butt is having normal vaginal sex… It’s all linked I believe.. It relaxes pelvic floor pain and anal pain… Then I found out about vaginal dilators which help relax your pelvic area. Still this is not always an option while I’m at work… It sucks.. Really takes a toll on my life. My poor boyfriend has to wait for me to go to the toilet when we go to the shopping centre.. Every 15 mins… He is very patient.. Then I get sick of it and frustrated I just wanna go home… I feel like it’s too hard to ignore sometimes.. But I will try the tennis ball thing.. Also Iv found leaning up against the wall with my butt puts pressure and helps… Or even pushing and massaging around the outsides of the bum hole works too… Pushing the area hard

  121. My GI doc had made up at nitrogylcerine ointment that I applied at the time of attack and it was very effecrtive but cannot be used along with other nitrates such as ED medications so it was d/c’d. the standard that works very well, is getting on a heating pad. In my case, since symptoms can last up to o30 minutes or more, the heating pad will provide relief in minutes. I believe the heat is a distraction and then the pain just dissapates.

  122. I have suffered with this evil condition for twenty years again it struck me in my early twenties. I have random attacks with almost no warning from mild to being knocked out. I normally only get them in my home. Doctors have examined my beyond believe think the anal camera count is around 20 now plus endoscopy. I’ve tried just about everything above to relieve pain when an attack occurs. A red hot bath seems to do the trick so now every time I feel the need to poo I run a bath just Incase. I find it hard to describe to people what the pain feels like but I’ve broken bones that didn’t hurt as much as a bad attack. Feel for all people suffering and hope the doctors will come up with something soon. People who suffer with this say it starts in early twenty and seems to leave at around sixty I find that very strange. I was seen by a Greek specialist visiting the uk studying this condition who diagnosed my condition 7/8 years in. Hope I’ve helped anyone as when I first started I was very scared.

  123. 27 year old female. I have had a few very mild episodes over the course of the past year. I didn’t really think much of it and they would usually pass within 5 minutes or so. Last night however, for the first time, I got the full force of the lightning bolt and realized just how bad an attack could be!! I was literally screaming in pain and it lasted 45 minutes. I was sore most of the next day. I am terrified of it happening again. I wasn’t sleeping and can’t imagine how bad it must be to be woken up with such pain. It was bad enough being awake and having it quickly build up, least I half had warning… I completely sympathize with everyone here who is suffering with this. I will try some of the tips here if it happens again (I’m still hoping it was a 1 time thing…) I have also had bad spasms in my calf and knees before which felt similar in a way, this was just in a much more awkward area… Good luck everyone

    1. I have suffered from this for around 30 years. As I am getting older I am finding that they are more severe and lasting a lot longer. 6 weeks ago I had an attack so bad that I passed out from the pain. When I came to every time I moved I vomited. I was hoping that this would never happen again but unfortunately I had another episode on Sunday night. The attacks are always in the middle of the night when I am asleep and can last from 3 mins to 30 mins. The only advantage of passing out is your can’t feel the pain but the nausea and vomiting (and diarrhea in the last episode) I could do with out.

  124. I am new to this group. I am a 45 woman and this PITA – pain in the ass – started this week. Was diagnosed with fissures but the symptoms are more of this. Yesterday I had 10 severe episodes lasting about 20?minutes long. The pain so unbearable I thought I was going to pass out. I’m taking pain meds, Advil and Xanax which barely took th edge off. A very hot bath seems to help – took 8 of those yesterday.
    Just wondering if this is going to be a daily thing or does it go away and just resurfaces when it feels like it. not sure how did handle an episode in public. Glad I found this site that’s for sure. ???

    1. I can sympathize with you. Most people only get them at night so hopefully yours won’t continue in the day. In the last week I have found that hard pressure on the anus as soon as the pain starts is helpful. Buscapane is a anti spasmodic and could help you (ask your chemist). Hormones, hemorrhoids, fissures, wind can all contribute to an attack (for me any way). I have only just found this site as well and because the attacks so bad looking for anything that will help. I just read one lady uses a vibrator to stretch the sphincter and it works for her. Not ideal when you out though 🙂

    2. I keep a heating pad by my bed and turn it up to high then place under my bottom. Saves getting up and running a hot bath which I used to do.

    3. Yes or a wheat bag is what I use, I place it between the stone kitchen bench top and under my bottom and push as much weight as I can downwards and it tends to relieve the pain, which is excruciating, much quicker than otherwise. Plenty of water each day and I’m going to also try magnesium tablets as well, lucky my attacks only happen once or twice a month or so. Good luck to all of us!

  125. I’m a 52 year old woman, I’ve had this occasionally since I had children, I always thought it was piles till now. My husband has recently started to get it too, perhaps as he is more stressed than he used to be. I’ve found the best way for us to get rid of the pain is to lie on the stomach and then vigorously massage the spinal area from the small of the back to as low as you can towards the coccyx. You can do it yourself with your knuckles if your arms are bendy enough. Also going into the yoga ‘pose of a child’ sometimes helps: on your knees, bent over forwards with your forehead on the bed, arms relaxed at sides. If you rub your lower spine as well, it can help too. I’m amazed to find this is so common, just glad I only got it later in life, it must be terrible to have a young child with this pain.

    1. I never google this pain in my arse until this early morning attack. I had episodes before but it was weird only occuring 3am until lately it has no definite time, it just woke me up from sleep. I cant understand the pain. My pain tolerance is very high but this one is unbearable. I thought I was just having constipation or something so whenever I had the attack I often go to my throne and bear down but nothing happens. Still the pain is there. Lately I discover about bending over, on my belly with pillow, positioned myself for 10-15 mins and after I pass gas it suddenly disappears. The passing of gas really helps a lot. It relieves the pain and I can turn back to sleep.

      Thanks to this blog, I thought I was just alone suffering from this monstrous early morning pain.

  126. I’m 20 and I’ve been getting this pain for at least a couple years. It occurs primarily during my period (and I don’t even really get cramps!) 1-4 times each day and never during the night, but I’ve had episodes during all parts of my cycle with no obvious cause (I used have shooting, much milder pain down my abdomen between periods, which I thought was related and which my doctor attributed to ovulation). It’s only seconds long but it’s incapacitating — I can’t breathe or move or shift, even though my intuition is that changing positions would help. I’ll usually go to the bathroom or pass gas afterward with no problems but it seems like that material making its way down is what causes it (coupled with some menstrual aggravation idk). I’m in good shape and overall health; used to have digestive issues but fixed them through diet (vegan and mostly following the low-FODMAP diet), which also seemed to make the pain go away for a few months. It’s back now and as bad as ever; the only thing I can think of is that I’m pretty stressed and low on sleep. I’m so so sorry to anyone who suffers this pain regularly and for extended periods, hope we all figure something out! 🙂

    1. It’s most likely pelvic floor issues. Very common. You can help by placing your thumb inside the vagina a gently pressing the back wall til it’s a little uncomfortable. Over and over. Feel free to look it up:)

    2. Omg I first had this happen at 15 walking home from school and it knocked my down. I tried to breath but it only made it worse. I was trapped on the sidewalk motionless until the pain stopped. Sweating. Crying…lasted what seemed forever. I still get it at work. I’ve learned to try and not look like I’m in the worst pain ever but it’s so embarrassing. I noticed it does worsen with the bloating from menstrual too. I get small ones here and there and I just freeze what I’m doing and wait for it to end. I wish I knew how to fix this. All Dr’s have looked at me like I was stupid and said it’s just period cramps. Like I don’t know the damn difference. So I’ve stopped asking. Guess I might just be dealing with this forever. I’m only 29….long way to go…can’t imagine having this pregnant or when I’m 70 + 🙁

      1. Luckily mine stopped when I was pregnant. I read Angelas comments from 28th March and have now been to the doctor to get some Sublingual nitroglycerin spray. I am hoping that it will work as it does for her the next time I have an episode. Unfortunately none of the others suggestions have worked for me. But it is worth giving them all a go to see what works for you

  127. I have been having the same problem for almost a year now. I am younger than 30. Younger than 25 and I have rectal pain. It mostly occurs for me when I am awake and most of the time when I am coming on my cycle. To help relieve the pain I lay on my bed bent over with my knees tucked into my chest and I rock back n fourth a little. It helps brings out the gas, once the gas is out I get relief but I still fear the pain. The pain is absolutely freaking terrible. I feel like I am going to die. I get paralyzed, not being able to move because the pain is so bad. I do cry sometimes and I don’t know what’s worse labor pains or rectal pains. Right now, I am having rectal pain and I can get no relief. I am constipated and it hurts so bad to go. It hurt really bad for the “matter” to pass through my rectum. I have purchased preparation h wipes which provide absolutely no help what’s so ever. I have taken stool softeners which did not help at all. I have been bed ridden the past two days. Not being able to move, not being able to pass bowel because the pain in my rectum is excruciating. I sweat massively, I shake tremendously, and I scream loud trying to allow the stool to pass. So I have to squeeze it back which makes my stomach hurt and rectum hurt as well. Here I am looking for help on the internet.

    1. I would suggest 2 things. Go to the doctor to get something stronger to get rid of your constipation and if you haven’t been examined you probably should but moving forward always have a large tablespoon of Psyllium husk, either on your cereal or you can buy it in drink form. It will ensure that you don’t get constipated. Mine is definitely caused by my cycle and wind but it is important is to keep your stool soft. Feel better

  128. This started happening to me when I was a teenager. I would pass out sometimes from it. The worst pain ever!! I’m 37 now I read about using an inhaler a couple years ago it helped. I told my Dr. when I was younger he stuck his finger up my butt said are you serious you’re fine I was 14 frigging asshole. Same Dr. who told me to leave his office right after a grand mal seizure go find another Dr. long story off subject he was not cool. Anyway I get pain in my lower abdomen also alot it feels like pressure kinda like the same pain down to to my rectum?? Is that part of this??

    1. Hello All,

      I have had this pain for over 20 years; my father and sister also have it.
      Probably 4 times a year, I get woken up in the middle of the night by an excruciating pain as if someone has kicked me really hard in my private area, but the pain clearly radiates from anus. I consider myself having a high threshold for pain, but I have had episodes where I’ve felt like crying. It hurts so much that I need to lie down, otherwise I feel like I’m going to faint.

      The only way I can alleviate the pain (and thankfully it works every time), is to sit in the bath tub and run warm to hot water, just enough to cover the affected area. I sit there for 5 minutes, or so, and the pain goes away. I then go back to my bed and place a pillow or blanket over the area to keep it warm, as I gradually go back to sleep.

      I wanted to share my story with the hope that this remedy will help others afflicted with this disorder.

    2. Lee thanks for being so detailed. I did what you said and Im back to feeling normal again. This hot bath has cured me for today. Thank you for sharing.

  129. I’ve just experienced a 20 minute utter agony pain in the backside. It is so crippling. You want to try to defaecate but there is nothing there. It is the most painful spasm ever. True, lie down and keep still, movement brings the spasm back. I find that if I take 2 nurofen, ibuprofen immediately with a valium or diagram, it aborts the attack. Mine has just subsided on nurofen only. Valium so hard to get. Those two remedies do work though.

    1. I also suffer for 20 years for proctalgia fugax, pain in the rectum, which is sometimes unbearable to the point that I was going to die. A few years ago, but my doctor in case of attack pain nitroglycerine sublingually, which saves me from torment. So when pain occurs, which I usually wake up from sleep, use sublingual spray and pain disappears. If I had not had this spray to the pain by now died. Sublingual nitroglycerin saved me. I hope I have been understandable because bad speak English. Angela

  130. Hi Everyone
    I’ve been getting several attacks of Proctalgia Fugax per year, almost always at night.

    I stumbled on a way of making the attack stop every time. It’s really simple.

    I make a fist, reach around and sort of punch my anus with my first knuckle. Not too hard but just hard enough to send a shock wave up the colon. I punch at different intervals in order to interrupt the spasms.

    I normally punch about 20 -25 times. And that’s it. It just stops.

    I began using this method several years ago and I’ve been able to stop every attack since.

    I sure hope it works for you too.
    Vancouver BC Canada

  131. For some reason i find i am able to reproduce mine consistently i.e i know what triggers mine and only that trigger . who can i talk to? may be of help in pointing to a clue as to explain the mystry


    1. I don’t think there is anyone to speak to, that’s the problem, as the condition doesn’t present a health risk as such no one is looking into the issue.

  132. I’m only 14 and these perfectly describe my symptoms, although I get them 2-3 times a week, is this a problem?

    1. You would have to check with your doctor to make sure that everything else is ok. I starting having them at around 14. I have had everything checked to ensure that something else isn’t causing the pain. The condition itself doesn’t cause any harm to the body, so if all else is good then no, its just, as they say, a major pain in the arse, literally.

    2. Hi everyone. This may helps others as I found it stopped mine last night. The pelvic floor muscles are like a figure 8 shaped muscle which encircle the anal canal and the pelvic area. Just as the spasm started to come on I squeezed the pelvic floor muscles very tightly and released several times and the pain stopped. Imagine you are trying to stop the flow of urine. I hope this helps someone else. I did read elsewhere on this site that strengthening this muscle can help. The above is how you strengthen them. You can do it in any position, sitting, standing or laying down. So a lot more discrete and inconspicuous than some other suggestions. I tried James solution but unfortunately that didn’t work for me.

    3. Lesley, thank you so much for posting the tip about squeezing the pelvic muscles. That had helped me tremendously. After laying on my left side in a fetal position, my stomach cramp was reduced, but that sharp cramp/bloat just moved from there and remained trapped at my rectum. After squeezing my pelvic muscles several time, like you suggested, I was finally able to force/push out extremely small amount of trapped gas when I tried really hard to pass gas. So odd to think that I have to work so hard to move the gas from my left abdomen and then work hard again to finally pass some gas from the rectum by following your squeeze advice. I didnt ever expect having to put in this much effort to just be able to fart!

      First time ever. First, I felt a sharp pain of cramp and bloating. My husband gave me some pepto bismol, I did the left side fetal lay position, and then, I was able to move the gas from my left ribcage to my rectum, yet when I tried to fart, I couldn’t. And so instead of being able to fart, my pain moved from my left abdomen to my rectum. That was until I found the solutions from other posters like Lesley in this site.

      Cause: not sure. However, its onset did occur during sex.

      1. Bopha, I am so glad that it helped. The tighter you can squeeze the better it works. I have been strengthening mine and it has reduced how often I get attacks.

  133. David and Jake – thank you for the pickle juice suggestion. I didn’t realize that pickle juice is recommended by doctors and athletes as a way to prevent and treat cramping – esp for runners. Since our condition involves cramping, it makes sense that pickle juice can be both a preventative and treatment. I drank my first glass of pickle juice mixed with water just now as a preventative. It wasn’t bad! I am going to start drinking this every day and see what happens. Thanks again for sharing this and I do hope it works for me.

  134. I have been suffering from this since my twenties. Always wakes me up in the middle of the night, and on a few occasions at work. Tonight is the worst pain yet. I’ve tried an enema, hot bath, stretching, pushing on my lower stomach. The enema usually works, but not tonight. I’ve never told my doctor, because the episodes only happen 4-5 times a year and usually over within an hour. Not tonight, I’m on my second hour. I will be making an appointment in the morning. I definitely don’t want to ever feel this pain again. I’ve had 3 children and this ranks right next to child birth.

    1. Yeah, this is excruciating! It always wakes me up from a sound sleep. I’ve been tracking diet and other sundry things with relation to this jolting pain. I find this happens when I eat a lot of popcorn, nuts and most recently discovered that it happened when I took Zyrtec D. Decongestants mess me up in other ways…like my nail beds are sore and the skin peels from underneath my nails. So, I am going to do my best to eliminate these things and see if it stops. It’s not often, but it’s enough pain to make you want to do ANYTHING for relief! I had a negative colonoscopy last year, so that’s why I’m thinking it might be something diet/environmentally related.

      At least I have a name for this phenomena and sadly some people to commiserate with!

  135. I suffered with this pain for years. Negative colonoscopy. Just had a sudden attack tonight. Always at night. No way I could sleep. Took Advil and the hottest bath possible. After 30 minutes tolerable. It’s horrible and I feel for you all. I don’t tell anyone about this. The pain is just God awful.

  136. Thank you Dr. Bharwani for providing this helpful and knowledgeable website and a place for us all to exchange inputs, concerns, advices, and solutions. I just realized what caused my excruciating cramp and Proctalia Fugax.

    Awful cramp: I can’t eat whole wheat bc each time I do, I get awful cramps, bloatings, my body just does not do well with whole wheat. Even a little hurts me. Well, my dear husband prepared me a whole wheat wrap for our taco dinner yesterday, which I had no idea that it was whole wheat until just a few minutes ago while I was looking for ginger for my previously upset stomach (I had only one wrap and he prepared it so I didn’t see the package’s label)! So my body was already having trouble dealing with the whole wheat in my system and then I got intimate and that might have aggravated the digestion even more. Then to top it off, when I felt the first sign of cramp during the intimacy I shrugged it off thinking no big deal bc I thought it was just regular gas that will take its course. Big mistake because then I had that sharp pain afterwards and it snow balled to this Proctalgia Fugax which has finally mostly gone away thanks to the people here posting helpful remedies. This was what I did to alleviate the pain and problem: 1. Take pepti bismol 2. Lied on left side in fetal position and massage left rib & abdomen, 3. followed Lesley advice to squeeze pelvic muscle 4. followed Lee’s advice to sit in a really warm or hot bath 5. Sit in fetal position and rocked back &forth in the hot bath 5. Ate ramen noodle (since I ran out of soup) Back to feeling 95% painfree again from the PF. I hope this helps and that anyone who has/had to deal with this feels better bc it is excruciatingly painful.

  137. A single asprin or ibuprofen relieves it in 10 minutes..liquid (children’s Ibuprophen relelieves it in about 5 or fewer minutes.

  138. I’ve found as a women a Kegels 8 internal pelvic floor machine to really help. They have many settings but the relax one really helps. Even if its after an episode it reduces a reoccurance.

    Sometimes mine is so bad I can’t sit down at all. Kegels machines can also be fitted with anal probes.

    Best money I ever spent.

  139. I have the same issue. It’s horrible. I also have IBS and gluten sensitivity. I do think that because of my IBS, I am constipated often, and lately I find when I struggle to move my bowels, I later have these episodes. I have to get more fiber, drink less coffee (diuretic) and drink more water. Anyone have luck with meds?

    1. I got some Nitrolingual spray from the doctor. It works every time. It is for Angina but works for this also. I reduced my intake of sugar which seems to have stopped by episodes. Sugar bloats me and gives me gas I figure this is the reason. I also have Psyillium Husk which completely stops constipation when you have it on a daily basis, its soluble fibre and is great for IBS sufferers. Hope this helps

  140. i am a 45 yo female, these horrible cramps began when i was 31. The first time it lasted 12 feeaken hours. It was horrific. Now i get them durong sleep, especially after a wet dream. I take a motrin and straddle something. I tried a hot bath and massaging the area and i could feel the lump, massaging worked well. The last time lastes 45 mins. It was similar to my labor pains. Wouldnt wish this on my worst enemy.

  141. I am so glad I found this article!!! I’ve been dealing with this since my early 20’s (I’m now 35) and there isn’t ever a specific trigger for it. So glad to see I’m not the only one, very interesting information. Finally had something to call the pain instead of just telling my husband ‘it just really hurts and I don’t want to move’!

  142. I had my first episode in my late teens. It was so painful, i fainted. They come quickly and go away just as wuick. I just had one, and it occured in bed when i tried to lie on my side. I had diarrhea all day, so it may be connected to that.

  143. I was diagnosed with Proctalgia Fugax in 2007. My episodes have been excruciating and unbearable. I was prescribed the medicine Levsin. I get the generic brand that is called Hyoscyamine 0.125 mg SL which is sublingual (under the tongue). I found that this works for me and it works fast. As soon as I start to feel it coming on I put one under my tongue and within a matter of minutes I start getting relief. Sometimes I have had to use two pills before due to the severity of the pain. . A doctor that gave me my colonoscopy diagnosed me and prescribed this medicine. I hope this can help all those who suffer from this pain.

  144. I’ve been suffering for years with this condition and am happy to say that I discovered by pure accident a remedy which when taken at the first sign of an attack works within a matter of a few minutes and stops it completely. It’s an over the counter medication and inexpensive. It’s hyoscine butylbromide 20mg. Common name is buscopan but I buy a generic brand which is cheaper. It’s exactly the same ingredients, just not paying extra for the brand name.
    I used it one night as I didn’t have any other form of pain relief and I just thought, “it stops my stomach spasms, maybe it’ll work for this as well”. And it did. I’m delighted.

  145. This can happe. To me at any time, but usually during the night. The on,y thing I have found that works is to use a suppository. I usually pass a small, hard stool and have relief.

  146. I get these 2 or 3 times a year wake up in middle of the night stabbing pains in the bum i sit on toilet and push usually small stools then urinate pain goes after bout 15 mins

  147. I’ve been suffering with this condition for 20 years..usually one attack per month. I started taking magnesium supplements about a year ago for leg cramps and am happy to say I very rarely get any attacks anymore. Not sure if it’s related but if magnesium helps leg cramps why wouldn’t it help with these cramps as well.

  148. Hi,

    I have had this problem on and off for a few years, it is connected initially with a fissure and hemorhoids. You can get internal scar tissue which can contribute too. I would say please don’t strain really hard ever! This can lead to haemorrhoids and a fissure which will make things much worse! I promise you! I get it when there is a build up of poo, but that doesnt always mean I can just poo, so sometimes I use a large enema bag and this is the thing I recommend, get yourself a large enema bag or colema kit and when you have these attacks, don’t strain, just sit and breathe and relax and if nothing comes, use an enema to do the work, it is much better that way. Does anyone else’s bum go in when you get this? Mine goes in on one side only, and it hurts, until I poo or use an enema and then it is out again as normal. ??

  149. I’ve been dealing with this condition since I was 15 or 16 yrs old and I’m a 42 year old woman now. My episodes are random, usually at night and last anywhere from 5-25 minutes. I have not had to resort to meds because by the time the meds enter your system the episode is usually decreasing or gone. I have tried the under the tongue meds but I find that a heating pad or hot bath is the quickest relief. When I try to explain this to family or friends they just don’t get it. Thanks to everyone for offering advice.

    1. I have removed most sugar from my diet and I have not have one episode since I have done that. Sugary food gives me wind so maybe thats why?

  150. I was diagnosed with PF in 2014, and told to use the nitro-glycerin I had left over from an angina attack that I had a few years earlier. I actually put the nitro into the orifice that’s cramping the most, which could be anal or vaginal, as I’ve done both and it does seem to take the edge off, for me the pain is not just in the butt it’s in my whole groin to include my butt. I usually have attacks that wake me up and they last around 15-20 minutes. My last attack was especially unusual because I was awake and standing up working on something when it began. I felt it coming so I went to the bathroom to sit it out and was preparing to use the nitro glycerin when the pain became so intense that I passed out. I woke up a few minutes later — still suffering from the sharp pains — but then I passed out again. That time, I woke up over an hour later. When I fainted I fell and hit my head pretty hard, suffering a slight concussion. Since the fall, my Dr wants to begin some sort of treatment, but I’m hesitant because I’ve read the research and I see there isn’t much available for the treatment of this condition. I’m hopeful that botox might work, if it’s even offered. There is no way I can take the time to run a warm bath or start an enema, if you’re able to do this and you have PF, then I must have something else. The pain is too extreme and it takes over and I can’t get in a bathtub let alone fill one or use an enema either. Reassurance isn’t worth much. When it can do this to you, it becomes dangerous.

    1. I also don’t have the time to run a bath or anything like that. I started passing out with my attacks and I would vomit every time I moved after the faint. Something to do with the Vagus nerve being aggravated. I also use the spray if it is extreme (but under the tongue) which works every time. I also found that I could stop the attacks by squeezing my pelvic floor muscles as hard as I could then releasing and repeating until the attack passed. This works for the slightly less extreme ones. I have however found recently that sugar plays a big part in my attacks. I recently removed most of the sugar from my diet and haven’t have one since. Sugar and sugary food give me wind so I assume that is why I no longer get them. I may get a small one but it is over in a flash and bearable. Hope this helps

    2. Have you checked out pudendal neuralgia .. ? Similar but different to PF and apparently can be helped by Physio.
      I’m not an expert but I am a PF sufferer and have done lots of reading this morning after a nasty attack last night.

      With pudendal neuralgia the pain spreads to the front.

      1. I’ve not heard of pudendal neuralgia but the area that is affected sounds more similar to my own because it involves the whole pelvic floor. Are the attacks similar too? By that, I mean are they usually at night, happen randomly, and cause fall to your knees cause someone just stabbed you in the crotch–10 level of pain?
        I do try squeezing the muscles when having an attack, but it doesn’t really seem to help me–I actually fight it hard, like a battle for control of the muscles, lol. Sounds silly but it’s true. Sometimes it seems to ease the cramping momentarily, but it’s as though an attack has a cycle to it. I keep my nitro close by. I read somewhere, probably on here, about staying hydrated and have been trying that to what appears some success since I haven’t had a complete attack in a couple of months just some weird pains that make me think I will that don’t go full-on PF. I’ve never had vomiting with this, thank God, so sorry that anyone has that with PF too. Thanks to everyone.

  151. I’ve dialed in on the two, maybe three triggers to an almost certainty:

    – Cheap chocolates that coat nuts, fruits, etc. (I assume this is some sort of “binding chemical” in the recipe that is causing it) 80% of my incidents
    – Salami, pepperoni, etc – again, I think this is some sort of binding agent or preservative. 15% of my incidents
    – After sex – 5%.

    It may just be that I prefer the chocolates over sex, thus the differences in the percentages 🙂 Not!

    Serious – I can always trace this back to the above three triggers.

  152. I find that running a warm shower and laying down with my knees and crotch i the streem seems to be the best relief. I habe started trying the ventalin but have not seen a change yet. I have had the condition for over 25 years. Its a pain but there is always the knowledge that the attack will end.

  153. I am a man in my late 40s. I never experieneed an attack before the age if 40. I now get the pain about once every 6 weeks. It’s always about an hour after going to bed. The pain builds slowly in the rectum about 3″ up and always to the right hand side. It lasts for 5-15 mins. I always end up getting out of bed and pacing round the room willing the pain to end. When pain subsides it does so much more quickly than it starts. When the pain ends there no residual effects, there is no feeling that anything happened at all.

  154. Im not sure what i have but i am 27 yrs old male and i have been having these neddle/knife like dharp pain in my rectum area almost feels like someone stabbing me. From the inside out and the pain tatakeme took my feet and needing too grab something with both hands and to squeeze until the pain subsides which only lasts seconds but reoccurs one after another but everyone of them make me need too clinch my fist and tighten every muscle in my body

  155. I have had this for about 5 years , started immediately after I had a full hysterectomy , I always find that I have an attack come on if I have not drink enough water (dehydrated) or if I am under stress. I take 2 Advil immediately when I feel an attack coming on & it’s always at night lasting 15-20 minutes . It’s a very intense pain .

  156. I have suffered with this issue for over 30 years…used to be every once In a while, meaning months could go by. Now almost every night. What works for me, is I get out of bed and massage the area through my underwear and it seems to loosen up the spasm in a couple of moments. Unfortunately it can happen several times a night.. The pain is too much to just wait it out. Maybe this technique can help someone?

  157. I received Botox injections to ease the muscles for several years.This was experimental and it worked. Yes it was painful,but it was effective.

  158. as a 55 year old male I have experienced this sharp pain in my rectum roughly two or three times a year for maybe the past 5 years. it’s excruciating and it’s always at night. I have to get up and go sit on the toilet trying to force something out. sometimes there is nothing there to come out but after long enough pushing it seems to ease the pressure enough to go back to bed and sleep again. if I do manage to push something out or even urinate it helps fairly quickly. today for the first time it happened during the day ( after eating lunch ) and I had an episode last night. I am presuming it has something to do with eating too quickly and causing air pockets maybe?

  159. I am 53 yo male and have had this most of my life. It wakes me from a deep sleep about 3 or 4 times a year. I have always got out of bed and immediately ran a hot bath and set in the tub with the water running. However this can be a dangerous. Recently I passed out in the tub from the pain and my head went below the water. The lack of oxygen must have woke me up because i came up out of the water gasping. Be careful with this. Since then I have been using albuterol inhaler and it seems to work. My doctor told me about the nitroglycerin idea and I’m going to try it.

  160. I started getting these attacks abt ten years back and get one severe one every two/three years. The unbearable pain makes me unconscious. A doctor had told me there is no treatment. The pain lasts several minutes and once over things are back to normal. I feel frequent toilet visits and passing gas aggravates the area triggerring attacks. I am not taki g medicines but its always at the back of my mind.

  161. Due to an industrial work accident I ended up having L4/5 & S1 fused and then due to continuous pain was put on Fentanyl. When I started on Fentanyl (Max dose was 150 mcg every 48 hrs, after 8 years of this over the past year I have weaned myself off of it so current fentanyl as of 08/13/16 = “0”) the issue began within a month of starting fentanyl; however kept being treated as a “Constipation” issue and the lower back pain was 100% attributed to the hardware in the spine, for 8 years, Miralax, etc…. eventually Movantik was prescribed to counter Fentanyl’s effect on the digestive system this lead to a very serious case of impacted-bowel, so stopped the Movantik, additionally have had very serious reactions to Lyrica and all of its relatives, so no to any of them.
    The pain has existed in a mild to a slightly more serious degree 24/7 for me for the past 8 years (since starting on Fentanyl) the daily pain is discomforting’ however the major issues are the frequently (approx. 3 to 4 times a week) night attacks, I want to die! (As they say) there is no “good” position to get in, in bed any position gives you about 30 seconds to 1 minute of relief. Standing walking, etc…. provides some minor relief from the pressure. (Standing! Standing! – Ha! You have to – the pain is so intense I am not able to lie still in a bed so getting up and moving is the most beneficial, pain reducing option)
    Since stopping the Fentanyl (08/13/16) the severe rectal pain issue has at times reduced somewhat; yet since stopping fentanyl is so recent many things in my body are still, withdrawing/ detoxing, etc…. and I currently would not want to label anything result / condition etc… as permanent. When I first stopped the Fentanyl I had 4 straight nights of extreme rectal pain, extreme (soaked) sweating, and was in and out of bed every 2 minutes for hours, that has reduced to now it is about every third night is a night from hell as they say, the constant 24/7 rectal pain currently has reduced from a 6 to about a 5 however is still there 24/7 perhaps as more time away from the fentanyl build so may the pain reduce. Saddest thing I have encountered is any MD I have spoken to about the issue has shied away from it and wanted to talk about something they were more familiar / comfortable with, i.e. “Well constipation may be the issue, let’s talk about that….” I’ve appreciated the few that have said, “Wow sounds rough and frankly there is not a lot of info on that issue, mostly the drug companies don’t see it as a money maker so no one wants to research it to much”
    “I’ve found that wearing a glove and inserting a finger and massaging the area can bring some relief; however not enough to warrant doing the task.
    I find the desired thing is, unless I need to do other things, is to get on the bed and with pillows be at about a 30֯ angle, (also have a small pillow for back use right at the rectal area) propping from the waist to the shoulders in an upright position, straight up standing or 90֯ bending at the waist are very pain inducing positions, walking though is tolerable, painful but tolerable). After driving for 30 or so minutes the lower back/ rectal area pain is intensified and I need a good 15 minutes on the bed in a 30֯ propped up position to relieve the intense pain in the rectal area; hopefully as the time off of fentanyl increases the rectal area pain will also decrease.
    Hoping you can glean physical benefit from this post and know you have moral support.

  162. I also have this problem few times a year. I am 66 year old females. The pain usually comes at night while I am sleeping. I go to bathroom but unable to have bowel movement. I had colonoscopy , no abnormally found. My GI doctor suggested that I should use magnesium up to 800 mg. So when pain comes I take magnesium and it helps me .

  163. I am 39 and have had this issue for 2 years. At first it started at night and would last for 2 hours. It was horrible. Just recently it has started to happen during the day more and not so much at night. I had a signoid to see if I had any polyps…..Nothing. Only cure I can find is magnesium. My friend, who is a chiropractor, heard about my issues and told me to try Natural Calm Magnesium Supplement. It’s a powder. So I bought some and when I feel it coming on, I get a teaspoon of it, mix it in my water, drink and I promise you the pain is gone in less than 2 minutes. Works EVERY time. Please try this. I know someone else posted about magnesium and I believe this is the answer too.

    1. I believe magnesium can help some cases…I take it daily and it does help prevent the attacks altogether which I believe is a better outcome than treating the attacks when they occur. If I get an attack now which is seldom it is not too painful and does not last for long at all.

  164. I have suffered with Proctalgia Fugax for many years and was diagnosed by my gastroenterologist. My mother has periodic episodes, my grandmother had them and now my daughter also has episodes. For myself it occurs less often once per month, more often once per week. My gastroenterologist prescribed sublingual Hyoscyamine. It did not work. I resorted to leaving a bottle of water and acetominophen by my bedside each night to take when I awoke with the pain. It wasn’t a quick answer but helped when the pain lasted up to an hour. For the past several years I’ve had episodes of restless legs in the evening also. About 3 years ago I purchased a product called Hyland’s Restful Legs from my local Walmart. It is homeopathic and comes in a small bottle of 50 sublingual white tablets that worked wonderfully. One night the pain of the Proctalgia Fugax was so severe that I tried 1 of the Hyland’s tablets sublingually. Within a few minutes I could feel the pain subsiding but it hadn’t gone away so right away I tried a second tablet that did the trick. I didn’t even need any acetominophen. Now, the pain I’ve endured from the spasms of the Proctalgia Fugax riveled childbirth. One night while trying to reach the kitchen for acetominophen I fell to floor with pain so severe I felt myself loosing consciousness. The Hyland’s Restful Legs sublingual tablets have stopped all that. I keep them by the bed and when I feel an attack coming I put 1 or 2 under my tongue and the pain subsides within minutes. Because my attacks can be so severe it does not fully relieve the pressure and tightness in my rectum and pelvic floor right away that usually lingers after an attack but it works amazingly to really quickly curb the level of pain you can have with this condition. I only hope this information will help others. As far as I know there is no other safe and gentle, non-invasive, medical remedy for Proctalgia Fugax. Please note, I do not work for Hyland’s. I am just a sufferer.

  165. I suffer with this and it was particularly bad during childbirth, the immense pain was far worse than the contractions…has anyone else experienced this during childbirth?

  166. I have suffered with this for many years probably from my late teens and am now 47, it always happens at night, very occassionly in the day and last for various lengths of times, it feels like you have squeezed your bum cheeks like you are stopping a motion and the muscle has then gone into spasm, the pain radiates from the rectal opening into the bum cheeks, I have found that stretching the muscles works quite well, lie on your belly either in bed or on the floor and draw both legs upto your chest so that your bum cheeks are at full stretch, i find this works in no more than 5 mins, I also recently started to rub the area (bum cheeks as near to the rectal opening as possible without going to close to the sensitive area) with a pain relieving gel such as ibuprofen, sorry I didn’t think of this sooner as it works wonders, hope this helps

  167. Andrea, not sure what country your in, I’m in the UK and we have the ibuprofen gel and also Voltarol gel, there may be more am not sure, comes in a tube inside a box, is clear and has no smell, shops such as boots, super-drug etc do their own version of it also and is cheaper
    Hope this helps, it’s advertised for back pain, muscle pain etc.

    1. Hi Debbie,

      I live in the USA…thank you so much for your reply…I will check further with the information you provided!

      Best wishes,

  168. Mine come randomly maybe three to four times a year and will wake me straight up from a sound sleep! The pain as mentioned above is excruciating so much so the bottoms of my feet hurt (I don’t know why this happens)…..I take 3 ibuprofen, bend over a few times and message the right above the anus which does tend to help but not fast enough. I sometimes put a heating pad on the area. My husband has a very hard time understanding what I am talking about and it’s so hard for him to understand but my goodness if he had it he’d KNOW! Good to know other people suffer from this. It happens so randomly that I just forget about it and like many said above once the pain is gone it’s gone! I just cannot imagine having this last up to an hour I think I’d run to the ER for a shot of morphine! I might try the magnesium that someone mentioned above.

  169. I am 56 male and started having episodes 10 years ago. They normally happen at night about once sometimes twice a month. I inevitably sit on the toilet and on occasion it’s been so painful I’ve almost past out. In recent years I’ve bought a Japanese style bidet seat and I turn up the pressure to max and give myself a warm water enema. This definitely relieves the pain almost immediately and also helps to pass any bowl motions. Often I will need to do this several times otherwise the pain comes back. I definitely recommended one of these!

  170. I have been suffering from a wierd pain from past one month. Initially i thought it is because of constipation but later found that it was something else.. A sharp pain in anus which get subside for five minutes if i go for defecation. But haunts me back for almost full day.. Its fine when i sit but pains when i get up from the chair. Please suggest what to do..?

  171. Does anyone have any advice for a child having what appears to be this? My son just turned 4 and the symptoms of Proctalgia Fugax are identilal to what hes experiencing. Mostly nighttime waking, in waves of sever pain located right at rectum. The first time it happened a couple months ago he said he had to “go” with nothing happening. He had 1 episode, we thought and treated for worms. Now 2 months later he has had 5-6 attacks in 4 days. 2 were during the day. This morning applying hard pressure to his bum seemed to help the attack pass quicker 30 mins to 1 hr verses being up with him for 2-3 hours. I feel helpless, he tells me its “totally awful”. Reassurance does nothing for a 4 year old. We have an appointment pending with our family doctor.

    1. So sorry your child is suffering this way. I think you should have him evaluated by a Doctor as soon as possible. As you can see from most everyone on this thread, most of the sufferers are middle-aged and older, a small child should not have to go through this terrible pain. I am scheduled for a colonoscopy to determine if there are any irregularities causing my pf, which began when I was in my 50s. It seems something as simple as a small hemorrhoid inside the rectum can cause these dreaded spasms (learned from online research). My Dr gave me some really strong muscle relaxers to try during my next episode, but because this pain lasts about as long as it takes for most meds to get in my system, I don’t hold out much hope. I’ve found the most relief in using nitroglycerine tabs that I place inside my rectum as they can stop the spasms in minutes. No one, big or small should have to suffer with this pain for 30 minutes plus, and I cannot imagine and hour or more, I’d be in an emergency room. I’m surprised he didn’t pass out from the pain, like I did. Poor baby, sending healing thoughts his way. I hope your Doctor can help him.

    2. Good morning, so sorry your son has to deal with this. As the others have mentioned it is a unimaginable pain (causes me to also pass out). I have however been able to stop mine but I understand that your son may not have the same reason for getting the spasms. I found mine were due to the wind produced in my gut when I ate products with sugar in them and highly processed carb products. I keep it to a minimum and since that time have not had any episodes. We are all different but a common thread for everyone is the passing of wind after or during an episode. I stumbled across my fix by accident. Hope this helps

    3. Hi JoDee,
      I hesitated to respond due to my unorthodox method for relieving my PF. I had my first attack in my middle 30’s and still have one every couple of months or so. But, I feel horrible for your 4-year-old son. It’s bad enough for adults, but no child should have to deal with this. I don’t agree with the one person who wrote that everyone has intestinal gas associated with a PF attack. It was my very first attack that gave me a clue how to treat mine. I woke in the middle of the night with anus pain that I had never felt before and went to the bathroom to attempt to defecate, thinking that I really had to make a bowel movement. Fortunately, I was able to squeeze out some solid waste and my PF went away. However, the next time it happened I wasn’t able to create a bowel movement and no longer remember how long I suffered with pain or how I was able to relieve it. But, that first time it happened gave me a thought–that my PF was a caused by a sphincter muscle cramp. And like leg cramps that I would get occasionally, where a person has to quickly straighten their leg to make the cramp go away, I theorized that by passing that solid waste that first time I had that episode of PF, it stretched my sphincter muscle and restored it to a relaxed state. So–how do I get rid of a PF attack when I can’t pass any solid waste? I bend over and insert a lubricated plastic vibrator (think sex toy) into my anus to stretch the sphincter back to its relaxed state. I’m sure this doesn’t work for everyone, but it instantly alleviates my pain and I can get right back into bed (because it usually happens in the middle of the night). I do hope you can find some relief for your son even if this method isn’t something you would consider.

    4. I been having this attacks for years . @ night when I sleep I put a pillow between my nees so I don’t get an attack of pain . My worst attacks have been @ night a few times my Blood pressure dropped and it was horrid . If I’m out of the house I stand on my left food and hold on to a chair or a bench and breath slowly it’ll the pain goes way . If it happens @ Home I lay in bed on my right side and bread slowly intl is gone . The pain is so Horrid and I can take anything for it becouse of my kidney disease and if I did take a pain killer by the time it takes effect the pain is gone usually lasting 30 mins . Tonight I had an attack and it came and went for 1 hour . If you have PF my Heart goes to you all : (

    1. I have suffered with this since I was 20yrs old when they discovered I had cervical cancer. I am soooo sorry your son has been suffering with this. I can’t tell you how painful it is. I also have lumbar scoliosis and degenerative disc and degenerative vertebrae and take muscle relaxers and Lyrica which blocks nerve pain and Hyslinga and Oxycodone. I can tell you even with all those medicine and even with those meds I suffer everyday in pain and Proctalgia Fugax still drops me to my knees worst than any back surgery I have ever had. If your son as you believe is suffering with this PLEASE, take him to his doctor for a referral to a proctologist as soon as possible. Even now at age 44 it is as painful as when I was 20yrs. old. I can tell you for me and others I know that sometimes you can have several episodes in a week or in a month and then not have an episode for several months. Most believing that they are cured until another episode happens again. I can’t even imagine what your son goes through being so young when I take all those meds and it drops me the way it does. I have heard that the botox injections do help since he is too young for any kind of pain medications. Good luck, I pray something can be done to help your son.

  172. The Hylands Leg Cramp pills with Quiinine really work very well. Not a cure, but bring relief fairly quickly. You can put 2-3 under you tongue and in 5 minutes or so, some relief will come. My wife has been using them for a long time and they seem to work pretty well. Fairly cheap on Amazon or at Wal-mart.

  173. Here’s the thing,… Your son probably developed this after taking a round of antibiotics. These antibiotics kil all good bacteria in your gut causing big problems with digestion for several months to years after. Start your child on probiotics to re introduce good bacteria to his/her gut.
    A probiotic capsule just before each meal will significantly help his digestion and therefore help with less strain on his anus. It’s a natural remedy and much better than pumping your child with unnecessary medication.

  174. I’m going to add to my previous post about taking probiotics before meals to help with digestion. I’m going to let you know about a little secret the government has been keeping hush for many years.
    You will notice that these attacks will happen more frequently after eating meat and especially chicken. Why?!!! Because farmers are pumping these animals with antibiotics throughout their growth an lifespan. This as you know prevents illness amongst the massive hurds they raise in these massive farms.
    You are essentially eating antibiotics which for some people affect them more as they kill presuous bacteria in your gut.
    This is why you need to take probiotics.
    We need to go back to the way we farmed in the past. More smaller run farms with natural ways of producing out food. Big business is killing everyone.
    Demand change from your government. Because without the proper food chain we will all die.

    1. No mine are quite clearly to do with too much sugar in the diet. Still an issue with gut bacteria but not anti b’s. I think everyones trigger is slightly different

  175. My husband was having this issue 2-3 times a year just out of the blue. He has a really stressful job and he takes Nexium which can reduce the absorption of some minerals like calcium. He now regularly takes caclium tablets that include magnesium in it and if he has had a really hard strenuous day I give him an extra magnesium tablet. Please research what magnesium does in your body and why you may need to take magnesium supplements. For those only taking it when they have an attack of proctalia fugax I would suggest you consider taking magnesium regularly especially if you get leg cramps regularly. My husband has not had an attack for over 4 years now since he has regularly been taking both his calcium and magnesium tablets.

  176. I have had this problem for quite a few years and nothing seemed to help. Then I found a way to decrease the pain in a very short period of time – it is inexpensive and you don’t have to take any pills. I got one of my kids’ old tennis balls, put in on the closed toilet seat (or a chair with a hard seat) and sat down on it with the ball centered right under the anus. This seems to put pressure on the spasming muscles and soon there is no pain at all. This may not work for everyone but it has saved me from a lot of very painful episodes.

  177. I’m 67, male and suffered from this since I was 14 & broke my coccyx high jumping. The Local NHS in Exeter in 1963 was very bad. (it’s no better now). I was told t stop making a fuss. My coccyx was broken again then torn off. Still no help until I went to university where there was a medical school. I learned about PF then. It got better, but when my arthritis got worse and my discs degenerated it got worse. I’m back at the same hospital where I started and they still don’t recognise it as PF. Just my being ‘neurotic’ and worse, since I’m gay ‘my fault’, though I don’t get penetrated – too damned painful with my problem. But no help from anybody in the NHS. I find that hot water bottles/Baths help as do ‘poppers’ alky nitrites bought in Sex stores. I have eventually has my coccyx removed, my piles sorted – all privately, of course. and appendisectomy stopped my IBS. But I still get pain when my back hurts badly. You learn to cope, as most of us have done. Most UKGPs and hospitals are ignorant & actively unhelpful.

  178. I’m 23 year’s old an have had this pain since i was a small child sometimes it would hurt for a second other time’s up to 2 hour’s i would give anything for it to stop

  179. I’m a 22 year old female and I’ve suffered with this for years, though I had no idea until reading this what it was. The pains have become more frequent and are so bad even when I’m in work they take my breath away and make my knees buckle. I can go a couple of weeks between episodes but I get say 5-10 severe attacks within a day and they happen over the space of a few days. The pain is so vile and intense it makes me feel like my head is going to pop off, the only thing I could liken the pain to is someone ramming a samurai sword through my body. If anyone has any tips on how to help ease the pain then I’m interested. I can’t move when the pain strikes so massage or anything similar isn’t an option. The pain isn’t just localised around my anus, it affects my vagina too. Any advice is greatly welcome. I also have anxiety (managed by medication and therapy) and IBS (managed by medication). Please help me. This is no way for a 22 year old to live.

    1. The only relief I have found useful during an attack is with nitro-glycerin, the same kind of pills people use when they are having a heart attack. It works as a fast-acting muscle relaxer and can end the spasms. If I can, because like you the pain can be so severe that you can’t do anything, I place it in my anus or vagina depending on where it seems to be spasming the most, this was at the recommendation of my Dr. I believe it works taking the nitro by mouth too, but I think the fastest acting method is to put it where you’re hurting most. Your IBS may be making it worse, so I hope you tell your Dr about all of your issues. I read here where someone talked about staying hydrated helps and I have been making sure to get plenty of water and I haven’t had an attack in months. I’m not sure if the extra water is actually helping because there are many times that I don’t have an attack for months. I wish you well.

  180. Seems like I’ve had this problem since I was a kid, I am now in my 50s.
    I used to be asleep and have a recurring nightmare about being stabbed by a sword in my rectum
    I now know what it was.
    I’ve started getting pains through the day when I reached my 40s.
    It started at first after intercourse and I had to make excuses to my wife that I had a stomach ache whilst writhing on the floor.
    I also have had episodes straight after being for a poo or while sitting on a hard wooden chair.
    The pain can be excruciating and it impossible to function whilst having the pain.
    I now can recognise the signals of on onset of the attack.
    I quickly take two Ibruprofen and lay on my back and lift my hips of the floor.
    I usually get two or three attacks a month that last for approx 20 mins.
    The relief after the pain has gone is like winning the lottery.
    Feel good to read other people’s comments and I understand this problem a bit more now,

  181. Update to my prior post from a few years back:

    – For me – high quality dark chocolate with minimal ingredients is not an issue. That said, I’ve spent years dialing in on what activities, conditions or foods are tied to this – and to almost a 100% certainty, it’s tied to something that is used in “cheap” chocolates (for me) – especially the chocolates that need to solidify quickly in the candy-making process, i.e. the chocolate coats the outside of some other candy, fruit, treat, etc.

    I can repeat the issue or avoid the issue – it’s all tied to consumption of that type of chocolate for me.

    1. Hi Ron
      My sons experience with chocolate is similar to yours. PF started when he was 9. It was very distressing and clearly agony. After initial doctors examination ruled out obvious things, I linked it to phases of eating Nutella and we ruled out eating hazelnuts. Outbreaks dramatically reduced and when they did occur we could always tie it back to eating chocolate which contained hazelnuts – lots of the European ones do – Lindt, milka, Kinda. I mentioned this hunch to a paediatrician during an unrelated visit. Luck was on our side. He wrote to our doctor recommending our child was blood tested for a hazelnut allergy. We were called in and two weeks later received the call he was severely allergic to hazelnuts. He is now 15 and the only mild outbreaks he has had since are when hazelnuts sneak into food. It can be as small amount as a handful of m and ms that aren’t the nut ones, but when you read the packet they specify they can not guarantee being hazelnuts free because of manufacturing processes. He avoids all hazelnuts now, even if they are used in savoury meals, so if you ever have an episode outside chocolate eating it may be worth considering. If some hazelnuts do get through he uses an antihistamine- piraton for relief. From reading all these entries I know that everyones causes seem as varied as the possible solutions so I know this won’t be an answer for many and my heart goes out to all suffers having witnessed my son, but it may be interesting for those considering food allergies.

  182. Hello fellow suffers of this condition. To start with, I’m 49yrs old and my symptoms began approximately 6yrs ago. The first one woke me with pain while I was sleeping, following that episode I had more, each one occurring at different times of the day/night. I reported it to my primary health care physician after dealing with it for a year. I was sent for a colon cancer screening with a colonoscopy, the results of the colonoscopy showed nothing out of the norm. I also suffer from disc degeneration disease in my low back and also had broke my tailbone from a severe fall in my early twenties. It seems after each episode I google my symptoms hoping to find a resolution to this and to no avail I couldn’t find anything….until today. Throughout my episodes I was thankful that most happened while I was at home and my husband was there for me to help me get me thru it. We discovered that while I sat in agonizing pain we applied a cool compress to my forehead because I was sweating and on the verge of passing out helped(I have passed out/fainted in the past). I also discovered that applying a cold pack to the throbbing area helped to stabilize my pain which helped it to go away, numbing the pain. I’m a truck driver and in my truck I keep a cold pack in the freezer/refrigerator at all times for the unfortunate times it does happen while I’m on the road. Luckily, I’ve only had to deal with the episodes a few times out on the road and as soon as I feel the pain start, I find a safe place to pull over to deal with the 20 minutes of pure H*LL. I’m not self diagnosing myself entirely, but I believe the cause of this for me is due to my disc degeneration and having had my tailbone broke and after years the degeneration has caused this predicament. What a relief it is to know I am not alone, that I’m not some strange case of science.

  183. Hi to all of you I’m 73 and been getting Proctalgia for years, so this helps me 1 Panadol osteo smothered in Zylocaine jelly from the chemist and put gently into the rectum squeeze cheeks together and sit on a hard chair this works most of the time for me, but it is a horrible pain and sure makes me sweat and cry.

  184. Im 37 and I have been suffering with this pain since I was a teenager. I was diagnosed with IBS at the age of 17. They said my colon was small and I had a hard time passing gas. I still suffered when I ate greasy food or high fiber foods. Over these years my only treatment was muscle relaxers pain meds and gas x. Well now im pregnant and cannot take these. My episodes when it happens at night last from an hour to three hours. Unfortunately I just had and episode. Which is kinda my own fault i drank to much apple juice today. Its 4:30 am im exhausted but able to lay in bed. This episode lasted an hour and a half and im hoping its gone. After reading everyone’s story I decided to try warm compressions hoping and prayingnit wouldnt make it worse. I took a wash cloth held it under hot water then applied it to the area I did this three times and I could feel it relax. I almost cried as the pain started to subside. I cant believe this worked! Im so excited to share this which may not help others i know we all are different but I hope it might. I hate that others go thru this but relieved to known im not alone. Thank you all for your comments and good luck into helping ease the pain we all suffer from.

  185. Hi all. This is a living nightmare for me and I have daily fear that I will have pain at any time. Often in the middle of the night but often at random times of the day for no apparent reason. All I find that works is controlled helps, warm shower onto the area, raising legs to my chest while lying down, on all fours and rocking motion and because it’s a spasm I try and stop it with a sharp direct poke on the area. I know that sounds drastic but it works! But I feel the spasm work it’s way up over and back down the passage, which also gives me pelvic pain and makes me feel sick. Hurts so much I can’t even cry.
    I am 41 and have had these symptoms for about 5 years. I’m glad I’m not alone and I sympathise with each and every one for you!

    1. Hi Claire
      Just to let you know I sympathise with exactly the same symptoms. Not that it would be any helpful for you but same thing here: feeling a cramp coming up at night, squatting position and endure the pain travelling slowly from one side to the other around the bottom tailbone, sometimes all the way back, then relieve with ability to wee again. All that a couple of times per year (or sometimes more frequent) since I was a teenager. Mindful breathing is always a good way to deal with it, too. Very brave to poke it, haven’t dared that yet. Good luck.

  186. I suffer from this occasionally – incredible, overbearing pain that last for a few minutes. For me it often comes on in my sleep and wakes me up. This might sound strange but a way ive dealt i with it that kind of works is to give yourself an orgasm. It masks the pain slightly, and can offer quick relief. I also think it may help relax whatever spasm that is causing the pain. Healthier and more efficient than popping a pill!

  187. This happens to me in the middle of the night lasting 15 minutes or so. It ONLY happens (but not ALWAYS happens) after I eat a LOT of leafy greens (for two or three meals) that day. For example, a big salad for lunch, and a big salad to supper. Yes, I do love salads. I have noticed that if I take Ibuprofen before bed in anticipation of the pain, it does not come. Also, if I take Ibuprofen during the pain, it gone in like two minutes.

  188. I too get this pain mostly during night. I get up and drink a lot of water, and then walk a little. The pain goes away in few minutes and doesn’t come back again, atleast on the same day. Please share if someone has a reason for its occurrence.

  189. Proctalgia fugax can happen if a person has a common but under aware genetic problem called Ehlers danlos syndrome….At first glance one might disregard….But if you look into the 6 different kinds of EDS you can see it causes proctalgia fugax

  190. This is so nice to read and realise that there’s so many people going through the same thing. I had a sigmoid colectomy due to diverticulitis 4 years ago and had my first attack 6 weeks after the operation and my consultant said that this is PF and there’s no cure. Since then I’ve have an attack every 4/6 months until recently where I’ve had 5 over the last 2 months, I cannot bear the pain or find any relief, I try to massage the area but it’s so painful it brings me to tears and feel very sick. There’s a few techniques I’ve read which I will try, thank you all for sharing your stories with this awful thing and sympathise with you all.

    1. Hi Michelle,
      I am facing the same surgery and my fear is that it will increase the PF episodes I’ve been suffering for 20 years. How are you now? Is it still as bad/frequent as it was when you first posted?

    2. Hi Michelle,
      I am facing the same surgery–removal of the sigmoid colon after multiple diverticulitis attacks–and my fear is that the surgery will increase the PF episodes I’ve been suffering for 20 years. How are you now? Is it still as bad/frequent as it was when you first posted?

  191. I believe my 18 year old son has begun suffering from PF. For the past week he has had attacks of stabbing rectal pain that have occurred in the evening, wake him during the night, and sometimes wake him in the morning. The pain is very intense and lasts for up to 20 minutes. He has at least five each day. He has had high anxiety for the past 9 years following a traumatic illness that left him with gut issues (years of daily nausea and alternating constipation and diarrhea.) He may also have an anal fissure or hemorrhoids. Recently he tried some diet changes such as no sugar, dairy or grains other than rice, and was taking Hydro-C for constipation when these painful attacks began waking him up at night. We are so grateful for everyone sharing their stories and interventions. The only thing we have tried so far was a regular dose of naproxen sodium and it has not helped much. We will be trying your other ideas. Thanks so much!

  192. Dr. Bharwani, and all sufferers of PF,

    I’ve experienced PF for decades now… and like many who have written here, at first tried various remedies. But finally came to the conclusion that trying to “do something” was not only fruitless, but was in a very real sense, the perfect mechanism for creating false beliefs regarding relief in that human psychology is to attribute causality to that which preceded cessation of pain. So, instead, as a study of N=1, I started paying attention to the sensations, noting that they tended to “wander” in their exact locus, both from episode to episode and within a single episode. Sometimes the pain felt to be located on one side of the coccyx then move to the other. Sometimes the pain was as far away from the anus and rectum, in the pelvis bone. I came to hypothesize that this was because the pain’s location was merely referred from some real pain. Then I remembered my anatomy studies (I have a dual degree in physics and psychology, with a very strong minor in biology) and noted that most of my PF episodes began moments after having awoken from intense nocturnal orgasms… and noted that all of the referred pain locations are served by the pudendal nerves. So, imagine my delight when after a short search of the literature, I found this gem of a paper:

    This suggests that the root problem is neurological and muscles spasms, should they arise, are a sequelae, rather than a cause.

  193. I’m so glad I found this site!

    My first attack 2 years ago happened when I was working in hospital and I couldn’t sit stand walk nothing I was in so much pain I was crying they gave me that much drugs but nothing helped no one knew what was happening.. seen my gynocolgist, gp, they didn’t know. I didn’t really have pain In my bum mostly my vagina and pelvis then it would radiate from bum to vagina…

    Finally I seen a doctor who did a colonoscopy and he told me I had this. So now when I have an attack my husband quickly gets me 2 buscopans, 5mg endone a heat pack and my ventolin nebuliser and a diazepam, has been working great my attacks have gone from 1-24hours to an hour and for me that’s so much better! I find if I lay the heat pack between my legs so it’s on my vagina and bum it helps too!

    Hopefully one day they can find something else to help with this!

    1. I’m so very glad you got relief. Those do seem like a lot of meds.
      for this. But they must be so so bad I’m sorry for you.
      You mean your attacks can last 1 to 24 hrs long at times? that seems like a lot of time..I think I’d die! I have a low pain threshold.
      I posted way above [thought all the posts were older until I scrolled down to see a new one here].
      I use a puff of my albuterol inhaler after reading about this pain and it works, and I thank God did…one puff and voila.
      I get them maybe 3 times a month or less.
      Used to get them more intense. Horrible…no words to describe but feels like a knife slowly and spasmodically is being shoved up there…goodness it’s unreal.
      I’m a nurse and never really had these till late in life…that I can recall.
      I take stomach medicine for gastritis [severe acid production] many of those meds even Pepcid 40 mg which I take now deplete the body of magnesium so I always take 2 mags a day (a certain kind that are very bioavailable for our body and they do not cause loose BM]. I also get charlie horses and use to get them so often but since on these I rarely get them. I think they help so much long run to prevent both anal and leg muscle spasms which are for me extremely painful and nearly tear up my calf muscle..I hear some do. UGH!.
      So look into magnesium gluconate chelate 400mg caps.
      My sis is a Dr. of Integrative medicine (like Dr. Oz) and she ordered the mag for me ages ago and I can’t be without for fear of these spasms (both areas) coming on a lot more often.
      No side effects of course and most people need more magnesium anyway since our diets lack this and it is overlooked and helps our muscles. Hope this helps you AND anyone reading this.
      My best, Mimi

  194. I started with Proctalgia Fugax at 21 and I still get it aged 58. I have greatly reduced the number of attacks for many years now by taking magnesium in the right ratio with calcium daily. This made a huge difference to me. I get the occasional attack usually because I’m dehydrated. A good tip for getting through an attack is to squeeze the muscle as tight as possible and hold. Let it relax gradually and repeat until the pain subsides.

  195. Unfortunately I become rooted, just before I crawl then lay down, I cannot always maintain standing or seated position. Seated with something under me firm helps sometimes and sometimes not. Striking the anus up toward the belly button sometimes helps. Sweat profusely, thirst unquenchable, I have retched and passed out briefly. Those who say ibuprofen, drawing a warm bath, waiting for the cold water to turn hot…not enough time to wait for these things. Count yourself lucky if you can stay sitting even to cry. If I am working sometimes I make it to the toilet. I lay on a urine soaked mens room floor and I am thankful I made it to lie on such a cool floor. A doctor prescribed albuterol so I won’t kill someone when I am driving. If I can’t pull over in time and I pass out, well, it is anyone’s guess. I keep a water bottle beside the toilet. Sometimes this helps but if it is too deep inside I just breathe and wait for it to be over. It won’t kill you unless you are driving, sky diving, walking a high wire. Just wait it out. You will feel tired and weak afterward and very meek, but is there is something in your life that is triggering it? Think about that while you writhe and try to breathe. You will be able to really scrutinize as you writhe around.
    Opiates are not a fix or a solution for this one. It is something else.
    If it is as severe as we claim the intense pain helps us keep perspective over life. If a child is experiencing this doctor’s say it is psychological. What is in the child’s life that could be the trigger? What ever you do as a parent look in the mirror. Don’t make the child feel worse than they already do…they are scared and if it is PF, just explain it to them. If they have PF that young, they can handle it. Mine occurs when ever, where ever including sleep, in public, during sex or bm but I can go months without it happening. Magnesium. Water bottle, meditation albuterol and breathing striking the area. If endured every day, life would either become sweeter or drain away entirely. Someone on here mentioned spasms associated with the bowel attempting to cleanse small fecal matter. I have multiple large diverticuli throughout the colon. When the spasm becomes really bad as in during a bm, the entire colon opens up and fecal matter just drops out. This is a hilarious issue to have as a human being. People think you are experiencing a heart attack and you are just trying not to grab your rear end or crap your pants. Funny really. Especially if you are a medical professional. ha ha You aren’t going to die although you might wish you were if it lasts long enough. Be thankful it is not worse than it is. If it gets too bad the body saves you and you pass out as the muscle spasms against the phrenic nerve. Everything will be ok and you will continue on a bit shaky but still alive right? Be thankful for the experience, marvel at how little medicine really knows about our body and move on. Something is going to take life from the body one day. Your mind claims it will be PF. That is false.

  196. Oh dear, my bad. Not the phrenic nerve but a vaso-vagal response. My apologies. I am reading on physicians pages that some are trying to discuss this disease. It is after all called “The doctor’s disease” and they have it as well. They are being met with some very cruel responses by their fellow physicians. Please know I am not trying to de-value anyone’s suffering. It is just that you need to know that even doctor’s who have this are being treated as losers by their fellow physicians. So keep you chin up and keep breathing.

  197. 06/04/17

    Proctalgia fugax and Fentanyl

    My issue with Proctalgia fugax started soon after I started using Fentanyl patches almost 10 years ago and episodes occurred throughout the duration of my Fentanyl use. I have gotten off Fentanyl within the past year and the attacks (which had been sever in my view, certainly debilitating) have stopped, they essentially subsided and completely stopped within 2 months of getting off the Fentanyl,(I had no prior history of these attacks) has anyone else questioned the possible link between opioid medications that work on the nerve receptors and the Proctalgia fugax condition?
    My hopes are with all of you that have in the past and do in the present deal with this issue.