Levator Syndrome – Diagnosis and Treatment of Levator Syndrome

Levator syndrome

is a condition where the person experiences an episode of pain, pressure and discomfort in the region of the rectum. The pain is caused by spasm of the levator ani muscle. Other names for this condition are levator ani spasm syndrome, coccydynia, levator ani syndrome, proctalgia fugax and proctodynia. In this article, we shall know how this syndrome is diagnosed and treated.

Diagnosis of levator syndrome:

Levator ani muscle is one of the important muscle of the pelvic floor. It is a broad, thin muscle that is located on the side of the pelvis. Levator ani plays a crucial role in the maintenance of continence.

Levator syndrome is diagnosed by

rectal examination.

Initially, it can exclude painful conditions like thromboses hemorrhoids, fissures, abscesses etc.

Rectal examination may find a tender, delicate levator muscle, which when pressed with fingers, gives great discomfort to the patient. The tenderness or tightness of the muscle is usually on the left.

In occasional cases, there might be some other problems associated with the condition. In such cases, for example where lower back or prostrate disorders are seen along with the syndrome, the diagnosis is done in a different way.

Treatment of levator syndrome:

Following are a few modalities to treat levator syndrome.

  • Analgesics
  • Periodic massage
  • Warm baths
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Application of electrical heating to the anal area
  • Biofeedback training

For the patients who do not respond to massage, electrogalvanic stimulation therapy is preferred.

What is electrogalvanic stimulation:

Galvanic muscle stimulation is based on prior experience of physicians in treating spastic muscle groups. The basic principle of this therapy is that a low frequency oscillating current is applied to the affected muscle to induce fasciculation and fatigue. This breaks the spastic cycle in the muscle and the muscle resumes normalcy.

The patient can ask following questions to the doctor before going for levator syndrome treatment:

  • Is there any other underlying organic cause of the pain?
  • What might causing the discomfort in my rectal?
  • What is the present condition? Will massage help me?
  • Should I take hot baths?
  • Do you recommend galvanic muscle stimulation method for my present condition of rectum?

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