Every sport comes with its discomforts, no matter how minor or major. For example, as a cyclist, your seat can become uncomfortable or painful enough to cause saddle sores.
Some cyclists become concerned that they can get hemorrhoids from cycling or aggravate existing ones. But can you get hemorrhoids from biking?
In this post, we will cover:
- What Are Hemorrhoids?
- Can You Get Hemorrhoids From Biking?
- How To Treat Hemorrhoids
- 5 Ways To Prevent Hemorrhoids
Are you ready to find out if you can get hemorrhoids from biking?
What Are Hemorrhoids?
You can experience three different kinds of hemorrhoids, internal, external, and thrombosed.
Internal hemorrhoids occur inside your rectum, the part that holds waste, right at the very end of your digestive system. There are many possible causes of internal hemorrhoids, which are swollen areas on the veins in the rectum.
Sometimes internal hemorrhoids cause pain and discomfort, but the sufferer usually doesn’t notice a problem until they see blood in their stools.
You can get internal hemorrhoids from straining when you go to the toilet. Doing this can push them out of your anus, turning them into external hemorrhoids.
External hemorrhoids are swelling or bulging of the veins around or in your anus. Unsurprisingly, people who suffer from these feel discomfort or irritation. Also, they experience bleeding, pain, or itching too.
If you get external hemorrhoids, it is essential not to do anything that can make them worse or disturb the healing process, such as riding a bike.
The third type of hemorrhoid is the thrombosed hemorrhoid. These occur when blood clots inside existing hemorrhoids, whether internal or external.
It is more challenging to detect an internal thrombosed hemorrhoid, but they can often bleed more. This is because the vein is more swollen and therefore easier to damage.
External thrombosed hemorrhoids feel like a swollen, hard lump around your anus. They are very painful and can also break and bleed. Whenever hemorrhoids bleed, you need to monitor them. If the bleeding gets worse or doesn’t stop after a few days, you need to get it checked out by a doctor.
Can You Get Hemorrhoids cycling?
There is nothing to say that you can get hemorrhoids from biking alone. But, if you are already suffering from them, riding a bike is not a good idea until they have healed.
Hemorrhoids are more common in adults than you may think; it’s just that most people don’t talk about them. Older people tend to get hemorrhoids as their anal tissue and muscles weaken over time. This makes it harder to have comfortable pass bowel movements.
However, hemorrhoids can occur for unknown reasons, but a few other things can cause them.
Anything that puts too much pressure on the veins in and around your anus and rectum can cause hemorrhoids. The most common cause is pushing too hard when you go to the toilet, sitting there for too long, pregnancy, childbirth, obesity, a low-fiber diet, heavy weight lifting, constant diarrhoea, and constipation.
So, can riding a bike cause hemorrhoids? No, but if you ride a bike and have had hemorrhoids, either just once or get them regularly, you don’t have to give up cycling to stay healthy, as the two are not directly connected!
But you need to find out what might be causing them and how to prevent them in the future so you can keep riding.
How To Treat Hemorrhoids
So we have established that you don’t get hemorrhoids cycling. But if you have them, you need to stop riding your bike until they have healed.
Most of the time, hemorrhoids will heal on their own, as long as you don’t aggravate them. But you can help them along their way by drinking more water and eating more fiber. Doing this will mean you don’t have to strain, as you will have easier and smoother bowel movements.
To ease the discomfort of hemorrhoids, you can sit on an ice pack to reduce inflammation. But you can also sit in a warm bath, as both hot and cold can soothe the pain.
If you take it easy and eat well, your problem should sort itself out within a few days or weeks.
However, if they persist or worsen, you need to see a doctor. A doctor will determine how severe your condition is and work out the correct course of action. If you get hemorrhoids often, make sure you give your doctor all the information, so they can work out how to treat and prevent them.
5 Ways To Prevent Hemorrhoids
#1. Add Fiber To Your Diet
As with most things, prevention is better than cure when it comes to hemorrhoids. Many people get them due to not having enough fiber in their diet.
A fibrous diet means that it is much easier to pass bowel movements. You shouldn’t need to strain when you go to the toilet; if you do, add more fiber into your diet.
#2. Cure Other Digestive Issues
Other digestive problems such as bloating, sensitivity, or discomfort can cause uncomfortable bowel movements. Therefore, curing these will help you keep hemorrhoids at bay.
If you are struggling to find out what is causing these issues, speak to a doctor, as they will diagnose the problem and prescribe treatments. They will be able to get to the bottom of your issue, and at the very least, reduce the symptoms.
By improving the health of your digestive system, you will help other aspects of your health.
#3. Get Some Exercise
Now we know that you can’t get hemorrhoids from biking; but you can use your bike as a way of preventing them. An active lifestyle makes an incredible difference to your digestive health.
Exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight for your body, preventing obesity, one of the leading causes of hemorrhoids and other health issues.
Exercise helps move everything through your system, flushing out toxins and waste and making room for incoming food to go through the cycle.
#4. Don’t Hold It In!
You need to go to the toilet for a reason, so don’t hold it in when you need to go. The longer you hold it, the dryer and harder it becomes, putting more pressure on those veins.
So when you feel like you need to go, just go. It will be easier to pass, and you will have smoother bowel movements, preventing discomfort.
#5. Don’t Strain
When sitting on the toilet, it is ok to push a little, but don’t force it. Straining will cause added pressure on your veins and could cause more hemorrhoids. Just relax, but don’t sit there all day scrolling through your phone!
3 Ways To Stay Comfortable On Your Bike
Now you know what hemorrhoids are, how you get them, and how to treat and prevent them. You are probably pleasantly surprised that you don’t get hemorrhoids from biking too. But you can make sure your rides are more comfortable in general.
#1. Make Sure Your Bike Fits You
Much of cycling comfort and your performance comes from bike fit. With the correct bike fit, you can reduce pressure on your upper body, lower body, and behind.
When your bike fits you, you will be able to move correctly while staying comfortable, even during long rides.
The best thing to do to get a comfortable riding position is to book a professional bike fitting session. A bike fitter will measure your body and ensure your bike is the right size for you.
They will also tweak the setup to suit your body’s ergonomics. For example, they will determine the correct handlebar position, crank length, and seat height.
#2. Get The Right Saddle
A bike fitter will be able to give you advice on the perfect saddle for you. Saddles come in all shapes and sizes and have different levels of padding. Everyone’s anatomy is different; therefore, a saddle that is comfortable for one person may be horrendous for another.
Men’s and women’s anatomies are different; therefore, they tend to have different needs when it comes to bike saddles. Women may prefer a saddle with a simple, solid, flat shape. But men usually find seats with grooves or holes towards the front more comfortable.
Bigger, wider saddles can make it easier to relax when sitting, which some people find more comfortable, especially when commuting. Some people benefit from more padding to prevent soreness, but this isn’t the case for everyone, as more of your behind is in contact with the saddle, which can cause more friction.
#3. Wear Comfy Cycling Clothes
You can also improve your comfort with a decent pair of padded bike shorts. These are especially beneficial if you are going on a long bike ride, as they provide padding on the more sensitive areas of your body.
This means you can ride longer with less pain from extended time on the saddle. Padded shorts work best when you are in the proper riding position.
Can You Get Hemorrhoids From Biking? – Answered!
So you don’t get hemorrhoids from biking, but it can make them worse. Also, if you get hemorrhoids, cycling should be avoided for a while.
If you have found this article interesting or helpful and would like to find out more about cycling, check out the blogs below: