What Causes Rectal Spasms and Levator Ani Syndrome?

There are a number of terms for muscle-based pain in the rectal area, including levator ani syndrome, levator ani spasm syndrome, proctalgia fugax, chronic pelvic pain syndrome, proctodynia, coccygodynia, pelvic floor dysfunction and pelvic floor myalgia.

The root cause of rectal spasm is tension in the pelvic muscles including the levator ani muscle. The levator ani is a broad, thin muscle inside the pelvis that tightens and relaxes to aid in a number of bodily functions, including bowel movements. Levator ani syndrome has been described as “a chronic charlie-horse up inside the pelvis”. Pelvic floor muscle spasms can also cause tightness, burning, and a sensation that the rectum is full.

Sometimes the pelvic muscle spasm is caused by a trapped nerve or ligament, or some sort of adhesion or restriction in your pelvis. Levator ani pain tends to be constant and centered in (but not restricted to) the levator ani muscle, while proctalgia fugax pain is a short, stabbing pain in the rectum.

Natural Remedies For Rectal Spasm and Levator Ani Syndrome

NOTE: This Home Remedy Page provides only basic information about natural treatment for rectal spasm (levator ani syndrome, proctalgia fugax). Check out my book, Jini’s Natural Healing Guide: Rectal Spasm, Prolapse & Pain for complete, detailed instructions and dosages.

If you suffer from levator ani or proctalgia fugax, there are a number of tools you can use to relax the rectal muscles and ease the pain. Pelvic floor muscle spasms often begin when you have a build-up of stool. But once your rectum goes into spasm, it then prevents the stool from coming out, so you get into a really unpleasant feedback loop of: need to poo → pressure causes spasm → can’t poo → more build-up of poo → urgency to poo increases → increased pressure causes stronger spasm, and so on.

The way to break this feedback loop is to get your rectum and/or anus to relax, so that you can have a bowel movement without pushing and straining too much.

Here are several techniques I’ve found work well to relieve rectal spasm, and in severe instances I have had to use all 4 at once! Also be sure and watch my video as that alone may change your life!

1.  Apply a Hot Castor Oil Pack to Rectal Muscles

Apply cold-pressed castor oil with your fingers in a horseshoe shape from the base of your right sitz bone, up to your tailbone, across your sacrum and then down to the bottom of your left sitz bone. We carry kits in our shoppe, or you can make your own by following these instructions.

Once you have massaged in the castor oil, kneel in front of a parabolic electric heat dish or an infrared heater in the “hemorrhoid position”, with your head down and your butt raised in the air – so the heat can directly warm and penetrate the rectal muscles where you applied the castor oil.

Or place a piece of 100% cotton or flannel over the skin where you applied the castor oil. Add more castor oil to saturate the cloth, then apply a layer of plastic (to prevent the castor oil from leaking out). Lie down in your bed on top of an old towel with a heating pad or hot water bottle directly under the area you applied the castor oil. it’s ideal if you can apply heat for 20 to 30 minutes, but I find even 10 minutes brings significant relief.

2.  Take A Hot Magnesium Bath

Magnesium is nature’s muscle relaxant. However, if you take magnesium orally, it will irritate your colon and act as a laxative. If you are prone to rectal spasm, then taking anything that has a laxative effect can make the spasming worse. So the solution is to use either transdermal magnesium (absorbed through the skin), or atom-sized (angstrom) magnesium that also does not require digestion.

Fill your bathtub with hot water and then add 2 ounces of magnesium oil (or, if cost is a factor, one ounce of magnesium oil and 1 cup of epsom salts). Since the magnesium is going in through your skin, it is not passing through your digestive system, triggering a bowel movement. Stay in the bath at least 20 minutes.

3.  Atom-sized or Angstrom Magnesium

If you take regular magnesium (in tablet, capsule or liquid form), it will irritate your colon and stimulate a bowel movement, and make the spasming worse. However, you can take magnesium orally as long as it is in atom-sized or angstrom-sized form. This means the mineral is so tiny it is absorbed instantly (through the lining of your mouth) and thus does not need to pass through the digestive system.

If I’m doing the hot castor oil pack, then the magnesium in the bath, then I only take 1 tbsp of the atom-sized ionic magnesium and that’s usually enough.

4.  Herbal Muscle Relaxants

The two best herbal muscle relaxants and anti-spasmodics I’ve found are cramp bark and black haw. Black haw is the stronger of the two herbs, but they both work well. These herbs will relax cramping in all smooth muscles, including levator ani muscles and  the rectum.

It’s also a very good idea to use a stool softener/bulking agent like pysllium seed, flax, or chia seed once a day during treatment to keep stool soft and reduce stress/irritation on the rectum. I formulated my ideal stool softening product called ColonEaze. ColonEaze is all-natural, mostly organic, with my ideal blend of binding and softening agents, along with targeted herbs.

Why Is Your Rectum Spasming or Cramping?

While obtaining relief is very important, it is equally important for you to understand the root cause, or reasons WHY your rectum is spasming. Be sure and watch my video below. I also have many natural remedies for a variety of conditions that might be the root cause of your anal or pelvic muscle spasm:

Do you have scar tissue or narrowing (stenosis) in your anal or rectal canal? See my remedy for Anal Stenosis and Strictures.

I also have effective remedies for these conditions that may be contributing to your levator syndrome, proctalgia fugax, or other rectal spasm: Internal or external hemorrhoids, anal or rectal fissures, and constipation.

Just select whichever symptom you’re suffering from the Home Remedies drop-down menu.

YouTube video


  • Apply a hot castor oil pack to rectal muscles, then apply heat. We carry kits in our shoppe, or you can make your own by following these instructions.
  • Take transdermal magnesium, either in a hot bath or by taking nanoparticle minerals.
  • Take a herbal muscle relaxant (cramp bark or black haw).
  • Take a stool softening agent like ColonEaze.
  • Find a bodywork therapist who is trained in Active Release Technique (A.R.T.) or myofascial release techniques. You can also join me for a free Lazer Tapping session here. This is my version of EFT or acupressure tapping – and it has been the cornerstone of not only healing myself physically but also emotionally.
  • Identify and address any conditions that are contributing to your pelvic muscle spasm, such as hemorrhoids and constipation. If dealing with constipation, I recommend ColonEaze.

NOTE: This Home Remedy Page provides only basic information about natural treatment for rectal spasm (levator ani syndrome, proctalgia fugax). Check out my book Jini’s Healing Guide: Natural Treatments for Rectal Spasm for complete, detailed instructions and dosages.