You can never over-emphasize the plight of a person suffering from hemorrhoids. From swelling to inflammation, hemorrhoids are about getting caught up in the cycle of constant pain and suffering. This is the pain you would not even wish on your worst enemy.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people suffering from hemorrhoids. This list does not exclude cyclists. Saddle soreness, skin chafing, and regular discomfort are some of the most typical troubles pertaining to biking.
Riding a bike has also proved to aggravate existing hemorrhoids in many cases. This has led people to wonder if it is possible for cycling to cause hemorrhoids. But before we dive into all those possibilities, it is crucial to understand what hemorrhoids are.
What Are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are enlarged and swollen veins located in and around your anus and rectum, caused by tension in your rectal veins. Hemorrhoids can be of three types: internal, external, and thrombosed.
The kind of hemorrhoids that occur inside the rectum, resulting in swollen and bulged veins, are called internal hemorrhoids. On the other hand, external hemorrhoids occur in or around the anus, leading to swollen veins in this area. Sometimes, blood is collected to form a clot inside an existing hemorrhoid, which results in a thrombosed hemorrhoid.
It can both be internal and external. A hard swollen lump around your anus indicates an external thrombosed hemorrhoid. It may be difficult to notice an internal thrombosed hemorrhoid, but increased bleeding due to swollen veins could be a sign.
There are several home treatment option available for hemorrhoids, but we request you to take medical expertise and control bleeding first.
Can Riding A Bike Cause Hemorrhoids?
Does the possibility of getting hemorrhoids by riding your bike fill you with fear? There have been so many cases where biking has triggered existing hemorrhoids, leading to a lot of pain and discomfort. All of these cases have sparked debates and questions. Can riding a bike cause hemorrhoids? Should you avoid biking until you heal swollen veins around your rectum and anus?
Well, you should be relieved to know that there is no direct connection between cycling and hemorrhoids. There could be a lot of reasons behind your hemorrhoids, but biking cannot be one. However, we cannot overlook the fact that both biking and hemorrhoids are indirectly related.
Biking cannot instigate hemorrhoids, but it can definitely worsen your existing condition. Riding a bike can cause chafed skin and pressure on the tissues around your anus, which are already sensitive due to hemorrhoids. This can cause internal as well as external bleeding. Understanding that biking does not make you prone or risk getting hemorrhoids is essential.
The only link between biking and hemorrhoids is the possibility of triggering an existing case of hemorrhoids. It cannot result in hemorrhoids, nor can it make you susceptible to developing them in the future. Prolonged periods of sitting on your bike seat and friction due to riding can restrict your blood flow, especially in the region around your anus.
This could exasperate your pain and make your symptoms worse. Sitting on a saddle for long periods is already uncomfortable; now, imagine doing that with swollen veins around your anus. It can be harrowing.
Some cyclists avoid biking to heal their hemorrhoids completely. However, with specific measures that ensure comfort and minimize soreness, you may not have to sacrifice your hobby of biking even while suffering from hemorrhoids.
Before we get to know the precautions and tips to follow while biking with hemorrhoids, it is crucial to understand the symptoms of hemorrhoids. Your course of action should be guided by how grave and concerning your symptoms are.
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Symptoms Of Hemorrhoids
A hemorrhoid is the kind of medical condition whose symptoms vary according to type. You could face different issues depending upon the kind of hemorrhoids you have. Let’s glance at the signs you may be able to detect for each type.
As discussed before, internal hemorrhoids occur inside of your rectum. You cannot physically notice any sign. These hemorrhoids rarely hurt unless they are prolapsed.
However, a few indications might lead you to believe that you have internal hemorrhoids. These indications include painless bleeding, especially noticing blood during bowel movements or a prolapsed hemorrhoid tissue trying to protrude through your anal opening.
When internal hemorrhoids stick out of your anal opening, and you notice tissues are pushing through your anus and some strain while passing stool, it could be a prolapsed hemorrhoid, a sign of internal hemorrhoids.
If you notice swelling and discomfort around the area of your anus, you could possibly have an external hemorrhoid. These hemorrhoids are responsible for causing pain and irritation under your skin. Any sort of itching around your anal opening or bleeding could be a potential indication of external hemorrhoids.
Its symptoms could also include a series of sharp pains when the affected area rubs around any surface. You can feel a burning sensation when sitting down and suffer from bleeding external hemorrhoids.
Spotting a lump around your anal region could be a prominent symptom of thrombosed hemorrhoids. These signs may be followed by sharp pains while walking or passing a stool. You may also notice some blood while doing so.
Since these occur when your blood is accumulated inside existing hemorrhoids, inflammation or hard lumps around the region of your anus are some signs you need to look for.
How Do You Avoid Getting Hemorrhoids While Cycling?
Riding a bike is not enough to entirely cause the medical condition of hemorrhoids. However, cycling is known to exasperate your pain and discomfort if you already have this condition. Nothing in the world should make you cut down on your hobby or give up physical exercises, not even the excruciating pain of hemorrhoids.
In fact, regular exercises help to regulate your bowel movements. Some bikers prefer to give up cycling until their pain of pesky hemorrhoids is completely cured. This does not have to be the case for everyone, though.
Some cyclists are even scared of developing hemorrhoids if they ride their bikes regularly. However, this is not reasonably possible. The primary causes of hemorrhoids are known to be a low fiber diet, strain while passing a stool, and constipation. A poor digestive system can also cause them.
These causes, when coupled with biking, can cause hemorrhoids. Just by keeping in mind 7 of the following tips and precautions, you can avoid the severe discomfort of hemorrhoids and continue to cycle.
1. Make sure your saddle is comfortable
It is pretty evident that sitting on bike seats for extended periods will lead to soreness and restrict blood circulation. At this time, the area around your anus is more prone to feel irritated. A stiff and uncomfortable saddle will only add to your plight.
Therefore, you need to ensure that your bike has a softer seat that feels like a cushion and is not hard on your sit bones or anus. For this, you can consider getting an additional padded cover for your saddle, which will work as a cushion between your skin and seat, eventually minimizing friction.
Sometimes, a saddle too wide or thin could create trouble for you. There is no right size when it comes to saddles. You should make sure the one that you use fits you perfectly, or else you can resort to replacing it with a new one. Therefore, picking a properly sized saddle is essential.
2. Invest in padded bike shorts
A good pair of cycling shorts can ensure your comfort and help you avoid the excruciating pain of hemorrhoids while biking. Padded shorts should be prioritized over regular ones as they provide an extra cushion between your anal region and the bike seat.
Make sure not to use bad-fitted shorts as they will put more pressure on the area of your anus and irritate hemorrhoids. If this happens, your anal region will itch and feel sore. It may also lead to chafing of already sensitive tissue, apparently triggering most hemorrhoids.
3. Correct your posture while riding
While riding, ensure your posture allows your weight to be evenly distributed on your sit bones, handlebars, and pedals. Your saddle is not meant to handle all of your body weight.
Directing most of it on the bike seat will create more friction and cause saddle soreness. Whatever weight of yours is directed toward the saddle should be felt by your sit bones and not your anal region. If your anus feels irritated, you are more likely to trigger hemorrhoids.
4. Take care of your diet
The primary cause of hemorrhoids is straining due to constipation. Keeping a check on your diet will undoubtedly lead to improved bowel movements. This can be facilitated by eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fiber.
Including enough fiber in your diet also helps you with gas and is one of the best treatment options. Eventually, a healthy diet will minimize straining, helping you to prevent hemorrhoids.
5. Focus on fluid intake
Being hydrated and drinking adequate water is crucial for preventing hemorrhoids. Six to eight glasses of water and other liquid intakes will help you with soft stools and minimum straining. This way, with appropriate fluid intake, you can avoid the pain of hemorrhoids.
6. Train on a recumbent bike
A recumbent Bike is the kind of bike you find in gyms. Training on one such bike will allow you to maintain your riding posture better. This is possible due to this bike’s even distribution of body weight.
If your body weight is directed towards your anal region instead of sit bones, your bottom can feel irritated, triggering your hemorrhoids. This type of bike allows your weight to be directed towards other areas except for your anal region. This will not put any sort of strain or pressure on that area.
7. Avoid straining
As discussed before, it is actually straining that causes hemorrhoids. Your hemorrhoids can be exasperated if you strain while passing a stool or while cycling. In order to avoid this, you must avoid straining and putting pressure on your anus. Doing so might create tension in the veins of your rectum, causing hemorrhoids.
Most Comfortable Bike Seat For Hemorrhoids
A comfortable saddle can minimize the risk of triggering or exasperating hemorrhoids while cycling. It is essential to use a saddle that fits your size perfectly, avoiding skin chafing. Apart from this, your seat must be equipped with appropriate padding, which will work as a soft cushion for your sit bones and anal region.
A stiff saddle can further aggravate your blood flow, eventually exerting too much pressure on your anal opening and the veins of your rectum. You must choose the most comfortable bike seat for hemorrhoids to avoid this.
After deep research, I have included my top 2 picks in this article to make it much more convenient for you. You can have a look at their features and choose the best saddle for yourself.
With a dual shock absorbing ball, this faux leather saddle filled with memory foam is all that you look for in bike seats. Tonbux bicycle seat is the perfect mix of wear-resistant PVC and breathable memory foam. Being equipped with shock absorber spring suspension allows bump-free rides with no shock or vibrations while riding.
This further ensures comfortable rides which do not strain your anal region. This faux-leather seat possesses a universal fit as you can fit it on any type of bicycle. Its installation is quick and easy. For convenience, Tonbux provides a complimentary wrench and a rail clamp which you would require while putting the seat up.
A unique feature of this bike saddle is the inclusion of safety stickers that allow you to ride safely at night. They are put in the rear of your seat and are quite reflective. You will be more visible to the people driving behind you. This saddle also comprises an airflow vent in the center.
This allows the air to flow quickly, making your bottom and the anal region feel cool and dry while riding. This Tonbux Bike Seat also offers a groove at the top to minimize stress and pressure on sensitive nerves. This is what makes it the best bike seat ever. With an optimum profile and cushion-like padding, this saddle allows you to minimize the risk of hemorrhoids.
Wittkop Bike Seat is an 8.5 inches wide waterproof bike seat built of good-quality memory foam. It is equipped with an excellent Wittkop airflow system that ensures ventilation and curbs sweating, making it one of the best bike seats. This will also help to keep your bottom and anal region dry and cool.
Partition of this seat into five zones is behind its comfort and adjustable design. It fits best on road bikes and mountain bikes. This unisex saddle comes in various sizes for you to choose from. Wittkop offers a range of 5.4-8.5 inches. To make it easy for you to put this up, you receive an instructions manual along with a saddle adapter.
This saddle may not feel cushiony soft, but it will support a wide part of your behind. This will help with an even distribution of your body weight which will not be directed toward your anal region.
Dealing with the discomfort of inflamed hemorrhoids can be a challenging task. Riding a bike with this excruciating pain can be even more exhausting, considering the risks involved. Although cycling cannot cause hemorrhoids, it does not help either. In fact, it can trigger your existing pain and soreness.
Symptoms of hemorrhoids depend on their type. The most common signs are swelling, hard lumps, bleeding, itching, and irritation around your anal region. Hemorrhoids do not mean giving up on cycling. You might do that until your condition is cured, but with the proper techniques, you can continue to ride your bike.
Since biking is known to aggravate hemorrhoids, you will have to be really careful about the minute details, which are often overlooked. From posture to saddle, you should ensure that you leave no stone unturned. A good diet with plenty of water intake is required, and so is a saddle that comforts your behind.
For your convenience, this article included two of the best saddles that work perfectly for hemorrhoids. Both of them work efficiently. Based on their features and your budget, you can make a choice. Keeping a check on these aspects and making specific changes to how you ride will help you avoid triggering hemorrhoids while biking.
Is It Ok To Ride A Bike With Hemorrhoids?
Even though cycling does not cause hemorrhoids, it would not be best to ride your bike while you are dealing with this condition. This is because cycling is known to aggravate the existing pain and discomfort associated with hemorrhoids.
However, making modifications such as installing a comfortable saddle, getting padded bike shorts, keeping a check on your diet, and avoiding strains can help you avoid hemorrhoids while riding.
Can Riding A Stationary Bike Cause Hemorrhoids?
No, riding a stationary bike alone cannot cause hemorrhoids. They are mainly caused by strain due to constipation resulting in your rectum veins or anus getting tensed.
Riding a stationary bike can exasperate this strain on your anal region. Your hemorrhoids may worsen due to this, but they cannot be solely instigated by riding a stationary bike.
Can Cycling Cause Fissures?
An uncomfortable saddle that causes pain and soreness can also result in fissures and inflammation if your body has dealt with long-term saddle vibrations while riding on a road full of bumps. It may be possible that these fissures are not solely caused by cycling but by a combination of other factors, including straining due to constipation.
Can Riding An Exercise Bike Cause Hemorrhoids?
Riding an exercise bike cannot cause hemorrhoids, but swollen veins around your anus could make your rides severely uncomfortable.
This can also worsen your hemorrhoids as biking causes your veins to bulge and strain even more. Even if riding an exercise bike would not cause hemorrhoids, it might aggravate the pain and irritate the affected area around your anus.
Can Bike Riding Cause Hemorrhoids To Bleed?
Riding a bike can definitely aggravate an already existing condition of hemorrhoids. This is because sitting on a saddle for a prolonged period restricts blood flow from the area that comes in contact with the saddle.
This can irritate the veins around your anus and exasperate your symptoms. Since bleeding is a common symptom of hemorrhoids, bike riding can quickly cause it.