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Can Cycling Cause Hemorrhoids or Make It Worse? (The Truth)

Hemorrhoids are a common problem. In this post, we will cover cycling and hemorrhoids and whether or not cycling can cause them.

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If you’re like most people, you’ve probably heard the rumors. Isn’t it true that cycling can cause hemorrhoids?

Cycling does not cause hemorrhoids, but it might be quite painful if you already have them. Cycling places strain on the veins in your anus and lower rectum. You may have discomfort and edema if this occurs. If you have these symptoms while riding, you should see a doctor to rule out anything more serious.

Image of doctor putting on surgical gloves. Source: clay banks, unsplash
Image of doctor putting on surgical gloves. Source: Clay Banks, Unsplash

In this article, you will learn what hemorrhoids are. What can cause hemorrhoids to flare up? And does cycling cause hemorrhoids? So you can ride without the worry of pain.

Editor’s note: This article was updated on July 4, 2022, to include additional information about how cycling can cause hemorrhoids. I am not a doctor. Please speak to your doctor for professional medical advice.

Before learning if cycling can cause hemorrhoids, let’s first understand what a hemorrhoid is.

What is a hemorrhoid?

Hemorrhoids come in a variety of shapes and sizes. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are three types of hemorrhoids:

  • Internal hemorrhoids
  • External hemorrhoids
  • Thrombosed hemorrhoids

Internal Hemroids: These are hemorrhoids located inside the body. These are rarely seen or felt and rarely cause pain. However, straining or irritation when passing stool can damage hemorrhoid’s surface and cause it to bleed.

External hemorrhoids: These are located beneath the skin around your anus. External hemorrhoids can ache or enlarge when agitated.

Thrombosed hemorrhoids: These occur when blood pools in an external hemorrhoid, and a clot (thrombus) forms, causing extreme discomfort, edema, inflammation, and a hard lump near your anus.

Image of doctor with arms crossed. Source: karolina grabowska, pexels
Image of doctor with arms crossed. Source: Karolina Grabowska, Pexels

What can cause hemorrhoids to flare up?

Hemorrhoids are a medical disorder in which the veins in your anus become irritated, bloated, and painful. Your hemorrhoids may itch and bleed in severe cases of this illness.

Internal or if the afflicted veins are located inside the canal, external if it is located near the rectum opening, prolapsed when internal hemorrhoids stick out of your anus, and thrombosed when blot clotting is present within the hemorrhoid tissue. The main cause of this condition is the following:

  • Pregnancy in women
  • Long periods of sitting down
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Low fiber diet

Age also contributes to the development of hemorrhoids due to the weakening of the tissues that support the veins in our rectum. So the older we get, the more likely we will get this ailment.

Does cycling cause hemorrhoids?

Many people associate cycling with hemorrhoids, yet riding a bike does not induce hemorrhoids. So, what is the source of this rumor? It’s most likely because riding is bad for people with hemorrhoids.

The friction of repetitive motion while stroking near your anus would not be pleasant on inflamed hemorrhoids. Ouch! The good news is that most hemorrhoids will go away in a few days. But not if you keep cycling. Unfortunately, for those who enjoy cycling, you may need to take a break to allow those pesky hemorrhoids to heal.

Why do people believe cycling causes hemorrhoids?

Biking aggravates hemorrhoids by putting pressure on and chafing the already sensitive tissue and reducing blood flow to the area. Some people take a break from cycling while healing, but this is entirely up to the individual. On the other hand, Dr. Butler’s ointment can be used to relieve the swelling, pain, itching, and inflammation caused by hemorrhoids.

How can we prevent hemorrhoids?

Fortunately, most occurrences of hemorrhoids disappear within a few days and require relatively minor treatment. Over-the-counter lotions, ointments, suppositories, or pads containing witch hazel or hydrocortisone are examples of home treatment. Below are some options to combat the itch.

Other home treatments that may provide some relief include applying an ice pack to the affected area for 15-20 minutes or soaking in a warm bath for the same time. In addition, a doctor may make an incision to drain and remove blood clots from uncomfortable or bleeding external hemorrhoids.

Rubber Band Ligation is one therapeutic option for internal hemorrhoids. To stop the bleeding, wrap one or two thin rubber bands around the base of the hemorrhoid. Within a week, hemorrhoids will wither and come off, which is quite successful in most cases. Sclerotherapy or injections are another treatment option. To shrink the hemorrhoid tissue, a chemical solution such as Phenol is injected directly into it. Finally, the best preventative measure for hemorrhoids is a healthy diet.

Drink plenty of water and eat extra fiber. The idea is to promote mobility in your digestive system, so you don’t develop constipation and strain during bowel movements, which is the leading cause of hemorrhoids.

Is it OK to bike with hemorrhoids?

Although seasoned cyclists have testified that cycling does not cause hemorrhoids, they claim that the action can aggravate the problem to the point of being painful, preventing them from cycling in the future. Furthermore, riding might cause internal and external bleeding due to friction and tension.

You can still ride your bike technically, but it is not recommended to do so while suffering from the disease. The increased pressure on your rectal veins might aggravate and bleed your hemorrhoids. If you have hemorrhoids and are experiencing pain and bleeding, try not to cycle.

To keep your hemorrhoids from worsening, buy over-the-counter itch relievers, soak the affected area in warm water to reduce irritation, and wear breathable shorts while not biking.

Best bike seat for hemorrhoids?

Although our medical expertise is in the buttocks, we cannot offer the best bike seats for bikers because they are neither the source nor the remedy for hemorrhoids. A softer seat may provide some relief, but it is preferable to consult your local bicycle store about various seat options. We can assure you that a seat will not cure your hemorrhoid. The best course of action is to try to avoid them in the first place. Specially constructed chairs and saddles allow many people to continue exercising without exacerbating their ailment.

Below are some great comfortable bike seats that may reduce pain if you are affected by hemorrhoids.

If you want even more tips, watch this video called “Can Bicycle Riding Cause Hemorrhoids” from the Almeda Fontaine YouTube Channel.

A video called “Can Bicycle Riding Cause Hemorrhoids” from the Almeda Fontaine YouTube Channel.
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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Do you still have questions? Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about whether cycling can cause hemorrhoids.

Can exercise give you hemorrhoids?

When lifting heavy weights, people frequently hold their breath and struggle. Holding your breath and grunting (you’ve probably heard that person at the gym) forces air into your lungs while raising pressure on your internal organs, causing veins around your rectum to expand and become hemorrhoids.

What activities aggravate hemorrhoids?

In weightlifting and gym-based exercises, holding your breath while pushing to exhale (the Valsalva maneuver) may aggravate hemorrhoid pain.

Is biking good for hemorrhoids?

Cycling, as we have discovered, can not create hemorrhoids, but it is not the ideal practice if you already have them. In addition, because cycling can irritate hemorrhoids and cause further discomfort and swelling in the affected area, you may need to take a short hiatus while your hemorrhoids diminish.

Does exercise help hemorrhoids go away?

Exercise is a good method for preventing or treating hemorrhoids. In addition, frequent physical activity helps keep the bowels functioning correctly, aiding constipation. Exercises can also help to strengthen abdominal and pelvic muscles and enhance circulation.

Conclusion

Cycling, fortunately, does not cause hemorrhoids. However, it can aggravate hemorrhoids in people who already have them. If you are one of these people, we recommend taking the necessary precautions to avoid hemorrhoids.

This article covered what hemorrhoids are. What can cause hemorrhoids to flare up? Does cycling cause hemorrhoids? Here are some key takeaways:

Key takeaways

  • Hemorrhoids come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
  • Hemorrhoids are a medical disorder in which the veins in your anus become irritated, bloated, and painful.
  • Hemorrhoids may itch and bleed in severe cases of this illness.
  • Many people associate cycling with hemorrhoids, yet riding a bike does not induce hemorrhoids.
  • Cycling may aggravate hemorrhoids.
  • The friction of repetitive motion while stroking near your anus would not be pleasant on inflamed hemorrhoids.
  • Most hemorrhoids will go away in a few days.
  • Those who enjoy cycling may need to take a break to allow those pesky hemorrhoids to heal.

So, have you ever been affected by this terrible affliction? Did we cover everything you wanted to know? Let us know in the comments section below (we read and reply to every comment). If you found this article helpful, check our full blog for more tips and tricks on fixed-gear and single-speed bikes. Thanks for reading, and stay fixed.

Helpful resources

Image of doctor putting on surgical gloves pinterest
Image of a doctor putting on surgical gloves, Pinterest

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