Can Cycling Cause Hemorrhoids?
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Hemorrhoids is a health condition where swollen blood vessels collect around the rectum and anus. Most people with hemorrhoids won’t know about it until long after the condition has developed. However, when they do outwardly manifest, they do so in the form of extreme pain and discomfort. If you cycle, then you might be asking yourself; can cycling cause hemorrhoids?
First of all, hemorrhoids aren’t usually painful until the blood stops flowing in their direction. There’s no known cause of this condition, but there are several suggestions. This includes factors like family history, pregnancy, and obesity.
Some people blame the use of step-through bikes because they think that the machine will cause the development of hemorrhoids. However, we can say with certainty that cycling and hemorrhoids don’t stay together.
How to Bike with Hemorrhoids
Can riding a bike cause hemorrhoids? Hemorrhoids aren’t a death sentence and shouldn’t keep you bed-ridden. In fact, regular movement can help to reduce the risk of developing hemorrhoids and reduce the existing intensity of an existing condition while promoting regular bowel movement.
Regular exercise can also help to reduce inflammation through increased blood flow. This is in addition to aiding in weight loss thus helping to avoid obesity, which is one of the main risk factors for the development of hemorrhoids from biking.
The good news is that you can continue cycling even after developing hemorrhoids, but only if you follow these tips.
1. Wear Cycling Shorts
Avoid shorts that are too tight and restrictive, as this creates added pressure on the anal area. You can also follow our guide on how to wear cycling shorts.
Instead, opt for form-fitting shorts or padded shorts if you already have hemorrhoids. Padded shorts will provide you with the cushioning you need to improve comfortability.
2. Change Sitting Position
Saddles come in all types of different sizes and are designed to suit different users. For best results, opt for a padded saddle that’s comfortable for you.
The extra padding in something like a gel saddle can go a long way to reduce the amount of friction you experience. But, there’s no one size fits all, as some users prefer a firm leather saddle instead.
Consider a broad saddle for your folding bicycle that provides you with the space needed for optimal weight distribution. Or, you could opt for a split saddle that offers a cut-out center design that’s perfect for hemorrhoid sufferers.
Can biking cause hemorrhoids? The way you sit on the paddle can also affect your comfort level. With the right saddle size, you should ideally rest on the sitz bones which are located at the bottom of the pelvis.
This reduces the amount of pressure placed on your anus. You should also consider re-positioning your body in a way that distributes the weight to your arms.
3. Apply Creams
Hemorrhoid sufferers also have access to certain ointments and creams that can bring relief from the itching and discomfort when training.
These prescription-free creams can also help to reduce the amount of bacterial growth and swelling that you experience while facilitating gradual healing over time.
4. Use a Recumbent Bike
A recumbent bike, such as those found at the gym, can be beneficial when training.
This bike is unlike a normal bike in that it allows you to evenly distribute your weight thanks to the slightly reclined nature of the seat, which places less pressure on your bottom if you’re worried that cycling does cause hemorrhoids.
5. Take a Break
If cycling hemorrhoids is extremely challenging and bothersome for you, then it might be a good idea to take a break from it for a while. There are other fitness activities that you can participate in that don’t require you to exert the same amount of force, such as swimming.
The most effective long-term solution would be to consider one of many surgical procedures that are designed to relieve pressure on the area.
How to Prepare Yourself Before Biking and Hemorrhoids
Can cycling cause hemorrhoids while bike riding? The conclusive answer is no. But, this doesn’t mean that the way you cycle can’t affect an already existing condition.
Here are some tips on how to prepare yourself for a comfortable bike ride if you have hemorrhoids.
1. Walk for a Bit
The best way to engage in exercise in your condition is to take things slow. Warm up with a gentle walk to get the blood flowing and to increase your heart rate. This greatly reduces your chances of developing or worsening hemorrhoids.
2. Use a Cushioned Seat
A hard bike saddle isn’t recommended for current sufferers because they can cause flare-ups. The best way to approach this is to use a cushioned seat that won’t cause any discomfort.
3. Apply Soothing Cream
Use a suitable cream to reduce the amount of skin friction that happens. This also helps to reduce friction that can worsen the condition, thus helping you to enjoy your training without any resulting pain or discomfort.
4. Drink a Lot of Water
Dehydration isn’t only bad for your skin but it can worsen the friction experienced while biking and cause seriously uncomfortable flare-ups.
Hemorrhoids Causes and How to Treat
According to the Texas A&M Health Science Center College, hemorrhoids are actually a normal aspect of the anal cavity. They’re made from a collection of connective tissue and blood vessels and are meant to facilitate bowel movements.
But, the problem arises when inflammation happens. This often happens due to straining during bowel movements, constipation or pregnancy.
There are plenty of at-home precautions and remedies that you can use to treat hemorrhoids. One way is to eat a diet high in fiber and keep yourself hydrated to facilitate smooth bowel movements. Use a fiber supplement if you think it’ll help to avoid constipation. Regular exercise is essential to ensuring regular bowel movements, and a stool softener can be helpful in reducing the intensity of painful bowel movements.
Only wear cotton underwear whenever you’re not on your bike to avoid constriction in the area. Clean it gently with medicated witch hazel cloths or baby wipes and avoid any tissues that have dyes or perfumes in them as this could worsen the condition. You could also soak the area in warm water a couple of times a day for soothing relief.
Should your hemorrhoids get worse, consult with a physician to see if there’s any additional treatment that you can take.
So can you get hemorrhoids from riding a bike? To wrap up, hemorrhoids can make it a challenge to enjoy biking like you used to. Cycling with hemorrhoids can definitely worsen the condition and lead to pain and bleeding but only if not handled properly. If the home remedies and over-the-counter medication doesn’t work, consider seeing your doctor.
There’s no reason why you should stop riding your bike just because you have hemorrhoids. Just use the right paddles, shorts, and seat pads to make your experience more enjoyable.
Cycling with padded bike seats can help to relieve stress on the area, improve blood circulation, and reduce numbness.
Have you ever suffered from cycling hemorrhoids? What did use as a solution? Let us know in the comment section please!