Weightlifters and Hemorrhoids

When it comes to fitness and health, lifting weights regularly paired with good nutrition can create lasting results. Being dedicated to this method of exercise can benefit our entire mind, body and spiritual health. It can control body weight issues, keep us focused and relaxed, and make us strong. Sounds pretty positive, right? Sure, but are there any negatives to lifting weights?

Lifting Weights Can Lead to Hemorrhoids

Incorrect movement can cause injury and unnecessary pain. Regularly lifting heavy objects that our bodies can’t handle may lead to obvious pulled muscles and aching bones. There’s also something else that most of us don’t like to talk about. Hemorrhoids! Yup, those pesky “piles” that come with unpleasant circumstances (bleeding, itching, pain) can be caused by improper weight lifting.

How Hemorrhoids Develop from Lifting Heavy Objects

Weight lifting itself isn’t the cause of hemorrhoids – they are a result of poor technique! It is more difficult than we think to lift weights correctly. People frequently hold their breath and strain as they lift heavy weights. Holding your breath and grunting (you know, you’ve heard that person at the gym) will force the air down into your lungs while increasing the pressure on your internal organs, thus creating the veins near your rectum to swell into hemorrhoids.

The process of creating unwanted pressure in your abdomen is similar to the strain you may have experienced when trying to have an uneasy bowel movement (which is also one of the most common causes of hemorrhoids). This lack of proper breathing can happen when lifting heavy objects in your everyday life, too, not necessarily barbells or weights, but a piece of furniture perhaps. Sometimes we think we can handle more weight than our body can, which can cause the straining mentioned above.

How to Prevent Hemorrhoids When Lifting Weights–Just Breathe!

Learning how to breathe properly during weight training is very important in reducing the risk of hemorrhoids. Certified personal trainers and exercise professionals are trained on the mechanics of proper breathing during exercise, so make sure you ask a professional. If you lift on your own, or have already been educated on these breathing methods, remember to consistently inhale and exhale. We often take for granted the power of a simple breath.  

So, 1) don’t think you’re Hercules, and 2) breathe when lifting something heavy.

Can I lift weights with hemorrhoids?

If you are currently experiencing painful hemorrhoids, weight lifting is not recommended.

Lifting with hemorrhoids will only prolong the healing process, and can make those bothersome hemorrhoids worse. However, other exercise such as walking, stretching, or even a yoga class may even relieve some of the symptoms.

Anytime you have bleeding, feel a lump in the anal area, or have rectal pain you should see a colorectal specialist to rule out a more serious condition. More than likely these issues are symptomatic to hemorrhoids, but it is always good to check with your doctor. If you have already been diagnosed with hemorrhoids, and your symptoms are lingering–schedule an appointment.  

What are hemorrhoids? What are the symptoms? When should you see a colorectal specialist?

Hemorrhoids are enlarged blood vessels in and around the anus and lower rectum. Hemorrhoids may be internal or external. Symptoms include:

  • Bleeding during bowel movements
  • Protrusion of skin around the anus during bowel movements
  • Itching in the anal area
  • Pain in the anal area
  • Sensitive lump(s)

For more detailed information on hemorrhoids go to: https://coloradocolonandrectalspecialists.com/ hemorrhoids-treatment/.

Caring for Hemorrhoids at Home

Although hemorrhoids will never go away on their own completely, you might try some of these tips at home to reduce inflammation and provide temporary pain relief:

    • Sit in a tub of warm water for 15 minutes at a time.
    • Wrap a cold pack with a towel. Carefully sit on it for 20 minutes at a time to reduce hemorrhoidal inflammation.
    • Don’t strain or sit on the toilet for too long. This puts more pressure on the area and can increase pain.

If the above measures aren’t working for you and those unwanted hemorrhoids rear their ugly heads (pun intended), Dr. Perryman is here to discuss personalized treatment options while making you more comfortable to live your life as YOU want to!

 

For now, keep your squats low, your standards high, and remember to always BREATHE!

Contact Dr. Lisa A. Perryman, board certified colon & rectal surgeon at (303)840-8822, or request an appointment on our contact page.