Sitting pain in men can have a number of different underlying causes. Here are the facts about a rare condition called pudendal neuralgia that could be the cause.
The pudendal nerve runs through the pelvic area and entrapment or pressure on this nerve can cause pain in the genitals, perineum (the area between the scrotum and anus), and urethra, especially while sitting, according to WebMD. Pudendal neuralgia
is also known as Alcock’s syndrome.
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In addition to general sitting pain, symptoms of pudendal neuralgia include burning, numbness, electric shock sensation or stabbing pain, constipation, painful sexual intercourse, painful urination, and either persistent genital arousal without sexual desire or a complete loss of sensation, says the Health Organization for Pudendal Education (HOPE)
3. The University of Rochester says pudendal neuralgia
can be caused by tumors or trauma in the pelvic region, compression and inflammation due to prolonged sitting, cycling or horseback riding, or tension from constipation or straining to lift heavy weights. HOPE says that many patients can recall a specific event such as a wrong move or sudden trauma as the beginning of their sitting pain symptoms.
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4. According to Dr. Jason Attaman
, there is an unfortunate lack of understanding of the pudendal nerve and pudendal neuralgia in the medical community. Because many physicians do not receive adequate training about pudendal neuralgia during their educations, the condition can be difficult to diagnose. If the condition is suspected, patients should seek advice from a practitioner who is well-versed on the pelvic region.
Attaman explains that treatment for sitting pain usually involves several different approaches. He typically engages physical therapists who specialize in the pelvic region. Custom-made prescription suppositories can help relieve pain and encourage relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles. Finally, physicians can also order a nerve block procedure for the pudendal nerve. This process involves temporarily “turning off” the pudendal nerve using an injection of local anesthetic. A pudendal nerve block is helpful for both confirming diagnosis of pudendal neuralgia and in treatment of the disorder.
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