Other Names for this Disease
- Levator ani syndrome
- Levator ani spasm syndrome
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Levator syndrome is characterized by sporadic pain in the rectum caused by spasm of a muscle near the anus (the levator ani muscle). The muscle spasm causes pain that typically is not related to defecation. The pain usually lasts less than 20 minutes. Pain may be brief and intense or a vague ache high in the rectum. It may occur spontaneously or with sitting and can waken a person from sleep. The pain may feel as if it would be relieved by the passage of gas or a bowel movement. In severe cases, the pain can persist for many hours and can recur frequently. A person may have undergone various unsuccessful rectal operations to relieve these symptoms.
Last updated: 11/11/2011
- Ansari P & Smith N. Levator Syndrome. Merck Manual Home Health Handbook. October 2007; http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/digestive_disorders/anal_and_rectal_disorders/levator_syndrome.html. Accessed 11/11/2011.
- The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library provides information on this condition for patients and caregivers.
- PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Levator syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.