There are many causes of a sore penis, and most of the time, pain in this area occurs for straightforward reasons (for instance, injury and infection, to name the most common). But one possible cause of penile discomfort is a relatively recent discovery, known as RGS, or restless genital syndrome. While there is still a lot being learned about this condition, what is known suggests it can have a significant impact on penis health, and that men who suspect they might suffer from it should take steps to address it.

What is RGS?

Many people have heard of restless leg syndrome, a neurological condition in which there are sensations in the leg that are often accompanied by involuntary movement. Similarly, RGS is described in a MedScape interview as "a somatosensory disorder characterized by an unpleasant sensation involving the genital area and pelvis. It has been defined as a spontaneous, intrusive, and unwanted genital arousal (e.g., tingling, throbbing, pulsating) that occurs in the absence of sexual interest and desire."

In other words, RGS is a condition in which a person experiences an arousal in the genitals that is unrelated to sensual stimuli. The condition had been known to exist in women for a few years, but it is only recently that cases have been described in men.

So what?

Some men may look at the description of RGS and think, "What’s the big deal? So a guy’s ready for action all the time - what’s the problem?"

The issue is that we’re talking about unwanted arousal. Most guys have some stories of having popped an obvious erection at an inappropriate time, such as when making a presentation. With RGS, this may be a persistent problem, rather than a random occurrence.

Of course, it’s not just the embarrassment factor that is at play here. While the arousal in this instance is not due to sensual stimuli or sexual desire, it has the same consequences - it makes a person feel horny. The persistent nature of it means that this sense of arousal can prove very distracting and interfere with a person’s ability to focus or engage in many activities. (Try riding a bike when RGS strikes, for example.)

As a result, many people with RGS find themselves masturbating, sometimes several times a day. Again, there’s nothing wrong with masturbating, but for a person with RGS, it’s not happening necessarily because they want to masturbate. It’s more because they have to masturbate in order to rid themselves of a distraction so that they can get back to concentrating on other issues or activities.

What (else) to do?

Other than masturbating, is there anything a man with RGS can do? Because this is a condition about which little is known, it’s unclear what treatments are best. Many doctors treat it with the same medications prescribed for restless leg syndrome, such as selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or dopamine agonists. Their exact effectiveness in treating RGS, especially in males, is still a question mark - and as with any drug, there may be some side effects (including sexual side effects) that can limit their usefulness. Men with RGS should definitely consult with a doctor if the condition is causing them problems and work out possible treatment options.

RGS often results in a sore penis, either from the frequent masturbation that it may require or from the erect penis rubbing against clothing for extended periods of time. To help alleviate that sore penis, men should regularly use a top drawer penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil). Spreading on a crème that includes a combination of a high end emollient (such as shea butter) and a superior natural hydrator (such as vitamin E) can help to provide soothing relief to a sore member while helping to keep the penile skin nice and healthy. Rough use can also contribute to a thinning of penis skin, so a crème that also contains alpha lipoic acid is advised. The potent antioxidant power of alpha lipoic acid combats free radicals that can cause damage to the skin. The crème may not cure RGS, but it can help alleviate complications that may result from it.