Hemorrhoids, caused by swollen or inflamed veins around the anus or rectum, can be unpleasant and painful. If you’re a cyclist, riding can exacerbate existing hemorrhoids by restricting blood flow to the anus or causing pressure and chaffing against the damaged tissues. However, cycling does not cause hemorrhoids. If hemorrhoids are producing pain during your rides, a few tips may reduce the discomfort. If the problem persists, be sure to see a doctor, as prescription medication may be needed.
How to Bike With Hemorrhoids
Use an over-the-counter hemorrhoid cream or suppository to reduce tissue inflammation, itching and bleeding associated with hemorrhoids. Wear bike shorts with a padded chamois to reduce saddle pressure and apply a chamois cream to your shorts. Chamois cream can reduce friction and chaffing that may irritate existing hemorrhoids. When you’re not in the saddle, wear cotton underwear to allow the area to breathe, and gently clean with baby wipes or medicated witch hazel cloths. Soaking the area in warm water can also help soothe hemorrhoids. If your hemorrhoids do not improve, you may need to take some time off the bike to allow them to heal completely.
Once you have hemorrhoids, bicycling can cause discomfort, depending on how large and inflamed the hemorrhoid is and on how you sit on the saddle. If you have a properly sized saddle, you should be sitting on the sitz bones, two aptly-named bones that protrude from the pelvis. These two bones are biologically designed to direct pressure away from your anus and the pudendal nerve that travels between the sitz bones toward the external genitals. When you sit on your bike seat, you should be placing pressure on the sitz bones and not on the fatty tissue, pudental nerve or anus that lie between. Of course, if you have a particularly large or inflamed hemorrhoid, you can have pain even when seated on a regular chair, so your bicycle saddle may also cause discomfort.
What to Do
First off, treat the underlying problem. Speak with your doctor about diet and medicine that can help improve and prevent hemorrhoids. For short distances, try repositioning yourself so you perch more weight forward on your legs and arms. For a longer term solution, try different saddles and seats to find the kind that provides you the greatest comfort. You might think that a heavily padded seat or a gel seat would be most comfortable, but in fact the padding can place additional pressure on the fatty tissue and on sensitive areas. You might be best off finding a firm leather saddle. Alternatively, try a broader seat that gives you a larger space on which to position your perhaps wider-than-usual sitz bones. Also, consider getting a split saddle seat. These bike saddles, available online in many bike shops, have a split down the middle that might help you ride tall in the saddle once again.
Bicycles and Hemorrhoids
“Cycling hemorrhoids” aren’t indeed their own classification of medical issue. But if you currently have hemorrhoids or get them frequently, cycling can be a challenge. Sitting on a bike saddle reduces the amount of blood that can flow to the rectum and anus. In turn, this blood restriction can worsen existing hemorrhoids.
Also, bicycle seats often come in contact with external hemorrhoids if they are present. Continuous rubbing can increase the irritation felt when dealing with a severe case of anal swelling. As an added note, thrombosed hemorrhoids may bleed if externally stimulated for an extended period.
Cycling does not increase direct irritation of internal hemorrhoids except in the case of prolapse. Also, because biking for long periods of time decreases circulation to the anus and rectum, internal hemorrhoids may take longer to resolve themselves if you’re biking regularly.
Can Exercise Bikes Lead to Hemorrhoids?
Because bicycle training does not inherently lead to hemorrhoids, it is highly unlikely that using an exercise bike will cause so-called cycling hemorrhoids. However, if you already have hemorrhoids, the same irritations can occur using a stationary bike as you might experience from frequent outdoor biking.
It’s important to note that obesity fosters an increased risk for the development of hemorrhoids. Taking this fact into consideration, it seems more likely that regular use of an exercise bike would ultimately lead to fewer hemorrhoids. Also, any form of regular exercise improves blood circulation throughout the body, including in the rectum and anus.
Why Use an Exercise Bike?
As mentioned above exercise is an excellent way to counteract obesity. However, there are many other reasons to consider using an exercise bike. Activity is an essential component of any healthy lifestyle, and stationary bikes make getting a good work out in easier for many people.
Exercise Bikes for Heart Health
Because our bodies depend on a healthy heart to get blood from point A to point B, it is essential to nurture good heart health. For many, cycling presents a great way to get a good quality cardio workout while having fun. Exercise bikes are an effective way to increase your heart rate and foster good cardio health.
Exercise Bikes Healthy Joints
If you have troublesome knees or other joints, stationary bikes present an excellent opportunity to practice cardiovascular training. Unlike walking or running, biking is very low-impact on your bones and joints. This point is particularly important if you are already overweight or suffer from any bone fragility.
Exercise Bikes are Convenient
While regular bicycles are a great way to get some high-quality and low-impact cardio workouts in, they can be inconvenient. If you don’t live in a bike-friendly area, it can be challenging to find a safe place to ride your bicycle.
In contrast, by owning an exercise bike, you can perform your cardio workout anytime you’re sitting around at home. You can even set your bike up in front of a TV and catch up on your favorite programming while getting a great workout. Exercise bikes are also a great option if you’d prefer not to bike outside at night.
Association Between Hemorrhoids And Exercise Biking
For one to keep fit, exercising is essential. One easy way to train is by use of stationery bikes. The association between cycling and hemorrhoids occurs only you already you have them. In fact, if you don’t have, there are no chances of getting due to cycling. The only people will experience the discomfort, are one living with the condition. This is because sitting on the bike seat can aggravate the problem. The logic behind it is that biking causes more pressure in the rectal area.
The major way to annoy hemorrhoids when biking is when the seat is uncomfortable. It leads to build up of pressure leading to the limited blood supply in the buttock area. Also, if there is a lot of friction, it may worsen the situation. The training period can also trigger discomfort. Sitting is one of the predisposing factors. Thus, if you train for a longer period, chances are you may end up flaring up hemorrhoids.
How To Cope With Hemorrhoids When Exercising With Stationery Bicycle
As we have stated above, biking doesn’t cause hemorrhoids. In fact, exercising can be a relieving factor to this condition. This is through increased blood circulation in the body. You can take these measures to counter the severity of hemorrhoids.
I. Use of creams to treat and reduce inflammation
There are creams available over the counter. These creams are for easing the blood vessel inflammation. When you keep swelling in check, it prevents bleeding and itching. By inhibiting bleeding, it provides a good chance for slow healing. Creams also prevent frictions. Thus, you can pedal without worry of flaring them up.
II. Wearing padded shorts when exercising
Wearing regular shorts as you train can play part in exacerbating hemorrhoids. Unpadded shorts don’t cushion you from friction. Working out for a longer time induces pressure. This, in turn, can cause blood vessels inflammation. As a result, this alleviates pain and bleeding. Further, find a short with breathable padding material like cotton. It will prevent sweating which can irritate the existing hemorrhoids.
III. Ensure the seat fits you and it’s well padded
Everyone body structure is different from the others. When installing a seat on your bike, make sure it conforms to your buttocks. A well-configured seat allows full butt accommodation. This reduces strains on the bottom section as you train. Also, it is wise to ensure you install extra padding on the seat. The extra padding prevents excess friction that can aggravate hemorrhoids.
IV. Soak the area with warm water before exercising
Before you embark on training, it is important to soak the area with warm water. The soaking allows for the soothing and more blood flow. This increase in blood flow is useful in relieving pain and inflammation. As a result, it will prevent discomfort as you pedal.
V. If hemorrhoids are severe, abstain from bike exercising for a while
If exercising is bothering you, the best thing is to refrain from biking. After a while when hemorrhoids heal completely, you can return to your routine training. With correct treatment, healing takes short duration. In most cases, two months are enough. But, in a severe condition, they can go up to three months. After healing, you can return to your exercises.
The Ideal Bike To Use For People With Hemorrhoids
A recumbent bike is excellent. Unlike upright bikes, they enhance uniform weight distribution. So, there is no straining on one body section. Their ergonomic design allows you to seat in a reclined position. This relieves you from exerting excess pressure to your butts. This machine offers the best option, compared to the upright bikes.
Preparations Before Engaging In Biking If You Have Hemorrhoids
I. Take a brisk walk
If you want to engage in exercising, don’t do it at over a sudden. Improve blood circulation by taking a warm up walk. The practice raises your heart rate, thus, more blood flow. With more blood in the vessels, you lower chances of annoying hemorrhoids.
II. Ensures your seat is super soft
Hard bike saddles are more likely to flare-up the existing hemorrhoids. Before you decide to train, ensure the seat has enough cushion.
III. Apply soothing cream
For the reduction of the skin friction, a cream is necessary. It reduces chances of arousing the condition. Thereby, you can achieve your training with minimal discomforts.
IV. Keep your body dehydrated throughout the exercising period
Dehydration can have severe effects on the skin. Drying will only make the situation worse. It can lead to excess friction, thereby, rupturing blood vessels hence bleeding.
Hemorrhoid is a common condition. Estimates are that 50% of total population in the US is living with this condition. Having it is not a death sentence, you can continue with daily activities. They should not limit you training too. With proper precautions, you can still enjoy as other people. By exercising, you increase your body blood circulation. Also, it increases metabolism associated with causing hemorrhoids. Let no one cheats you that exercise bike causes hemorrhoids.