Cycling and Hemorrhoids… Is there a connection?

Creative common How I bike from Presurfer from office.com copyright cc 2011

The amazing trails and panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains make Colorado one of the best places in the country for cycling enthusiasts. It is more of an anomaly to not have a bike here than to have one. It is a great exercise for most age groups and a way of life for many. But are there any side effects to our backsides when sitting on a bike?

Many people indirectly link cycling to hemorrhoids but in fact, riding a bike does not cause hemorrhoids. It can, however, exacerbate them.

It seems obvious that sitting on a somewhat hard bike seat for extended periods of time with hemorrhoids would be quite unpleasant. The friction of repetitive motion while rubbing near your anus certainly would not feel great on flared up hemorrhoids. Ouch! The good news is most hemorrhoids will resolve in a few days…but not if you continue to cycle. Unfortunately, for those avid cyclists out there, you may have to stop biking to allow those pesky hemorrhoids to heal.

Many cyclists will ask: Are there any cycling bike seats that may help ease the pain of hemorrhoids?

Although our medical expertise lies within the buttocks area, we can’t recommend the best bike seats for cyclists as it is not really the cause or solution for hemorrhoids. There certainly may be some relief from a softer seat but it is best to speak with your local cycling shop to inquire about various seat options. We can ensure that a seat itself will not solve your hemorrhoid problem. The best thing to do is to try to prevent them from happening in the first place…

How can we prevent hemorrhoids?

The best precaution for limiting hemorrhoids is diet. Eat more fiber and drink lots of water. The goal is to increase motion in your intestinal track so you don’t become constipated and strain during bowel movements, which is the most common cause of hemorrhoid problems.

What exactly is a hemorrhoid?

Well, there are several different variations of hemorrhoids. The Mayo Clinic defines the 3 types of hemorrhoids as follows:

  • Internal hemorrhoids: These lie inside the rectum. You usually can’t see or feel these hemorrhoids, and they rarely cause discomfort. But straining or irritation when passing stool can damage a hemorrhoid’s surface and cause it to bleed.
  • External hemorrhoids: These are under the skin around your anus. When irritated, external hemorrhoids can itch or swell.
  • Thrombosed hemorrhoids: Sometimes blood may pool in an external hemorrhoid and form a clot (thrombus) that can result in severe pain, swelling, inflammation and a hard lump near your anus.

For symptoms of internal and external hemorrhoids, see the hemorrhoid section on our website at: https://coloradocolonandrectalspecialists.com/hemorrhoids-treatment/

As we have learned, cycling does not cause hemorrhoids but it certainly isn’t the best practice if you are currently experiencing them. Because cycling can irritate hemorrhoids and cause more pain and swelling in the affected area, you may have to take a break –just for a little bit– while your hemorrhoids subside. If halting your passion for a short time is not an option for you, we recommend you seek treatment for your hemorrhoids with Dr. Lisa Perryman. Call us at 303-840-8822 to schedule your appointment.

Even with hemorrhoids, we still recommend exercising. Maybe take a hike just not your bike.