If you’ve never heard of a condition called anismus, you’re in good company. It’s not something that anyone brings up in normal daily conversation, and it’s a topic that can be uncomfortable to discuss, even in the doctor’s office.

So what is anismus? To put it into layman’s terms, anismus refers to a failure of the pelvic floor muscles to relax during the process of defecation, which would happen under normal circumstances. Some cases of anismus are the result of physical defects such as pelvic floor dysfunction, while others have causes that are indefinable.

A Building Issue

Anismus symptoms include a sensation that the rectum has not been fully emptied during defecation as well as constipation. Fecal loading, which is the retention of stool of any type of consistency, or fecal impaction, which is the retention of stool that has a hardened consistency, is often the result; and either of these types of masses may cause stretching of the walls of the rectum and the colon. If fecal impaction has developed and liquid stool then leaks around it, liquid fecal incontinence may result.

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Finding an Evacuation Plan

The most effective type of anismus treatment is an adjustment of the diet to include supplementation of dietary fiber, though some cases might require biofeedback therapy. Biofeedback provides information on the amount of pressure being exerted by the pelvic floor muscles, which can then be used to help the patient regain proper muscle control. Other forms of treatment include the use of Botox injections into the puborectalis muscle, which supports the rectum, or a surgical resectioning of the muscle.

At Coyle Institute, we have years of experience in treating patients with anismus. We’ll take your full medical history, discuss your symptoms, conduct a physical exam, and run diagnostic testing to pinpoint your condition so that we can identify the cause and guide you to a treatment plan that will eliminate the problem.

Don’t hold off on getting relief! Call the experienced, friendly staff at Coyle Institute to schedule an appointment today!