Levator Ani Syndrome
Levator Ani Syndrome is recurrent and chronic anorectal pain or spasms or pelvic pain. People with this syndrome often describe the pain as deep or dull. They might also experience bloating, bowel and bladder problems, or the sensation of pressure or foreign body (the feeling that something is in the pelvic area or that one is “sitting on a ball”). Pain can be felt in the perineum, rectum, vagina, coccyx, lower sacral area, buttock, or thigh. In men, pain associated with Levator Ani Syndrome may affect the testicles, prostate, and penis.
Pain caused by Levator Ani Syndrome can last from several hours to days or longer and is associated with tenderness to palpation of the levator ani (also known as the pelvic floor) muscles. Sitting, bowel movements, or sexual intercourse can all exacerbate symptoms of Levator Ani Syndrome. Other conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome, might present like Levator Ani Syndrome and should be ruled out.
This syndrome is generally caused by pelvic floor muscles that are too tight or prone to spasms, and can be—though not always—a result of trauma in the pelvic area. Weak muscles in and around the pelvis may also be a contributing factor. People of all ages and backgrounds can be affected.
Finding Relief From Levator Ani Syndrome
Did you know physical therapy is an effective form of treatment for Levator Ani Syndrome? A personalized approach featuring therapeutic exercises and stretches, manual therapy, mind-body interventions, and stress reduction techniques can help alleviate tightness or tension in the pelvic floor and restore normal function in these important muscles.
If you live near Bethesda, MD or McLean, VA and would like to speak to a pelvic floor physical therapist about Levator Ani Syndrome, contact ITR Physical Therapy today schedule an appointment!