Hemorrhoids are swollen, enlarged, or inflamed veins in or around the anus or inside the lower rectum that cause severe pain. They also make it difficult for a person to carry out day-to-day activities. This piece is a must-read if you or someone you know has been dealing with hemorrhoid pain.
It contains a few simple exercises that you can do to manage the pain. Read on to learn more about them and say goodbye to hemorrhoid pain becoming a hindrance in your life.
6 Exercises to Take Care of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids aren’t always a pain in the backside, though they’re never fun. There’s also the case of swollen veins that form inside the anus and then extrude to the outside, becoming external hemorrhoids in the process. They can be extremely painful.
Here are six simple exercises (in no particular order) that you can start today to prevent that from happening.
Deep breathing aims to promote relaxation by alleviating pelvic muscle tension. Follow the steps below.
- Sit straight and put your hands above the waist on both sides of the lower rib cage;
- Next, when you inhale, breathe deeply into the abdomen. This will enable your belly to expand;
- While exhaling, draw the navel inward in the direction of your spine;
- Continue this “inhale-exhale” motion for 5 to 8 minutes.
High planks strengthen your rectal and abdominal muscles. Just make sure not to bear down on your anus to prevent the risk of irritating hemorrhoids. And since they don’t require your backside to touch the floor, this also reduces the possibility of hemorrhoids.
Below are the steps involved in doing high planks.
- Lie on your belly with your face down and palms parallel with the floor underneath your shoulders. Keep your feet flexed and your toes on the floor;
- Lift yourself by the palms and hold a push-up position. Make sure your body is in a straight line from the heels to the back of your head;
- Breathe normally while holding this position;
- Lower your body back to the floor after holding and breathing for 10 to 12 seconds.
This pose puts pressure on the abdomen, which can enhance digestive comfort. It is also an effective way of relaxing your anus, buttocks, and abdomen muscles. Here are the steps.
- Lie flat on your back;
- Bend both or one of the knees, drawing them into your chest;
- Put your hands around the shin area on both sides;
- Clasp your hands together or hold your left elbow with the right hand and vice versa;
- Stay in this position for about 60 seconds and then relax before doing it again.
Kegels can help strengthen your anal muscles and the pelvic floor. As a result, there will be lesser chances of you developing hemorrhoids, especially the internal ones.
- Contract the anal sphincter muscle. In other words, think about how you can stop bowel movements by not straining. This contraction is similar to that practice;
- Hold the position for three seconds and then let go;
- Repeat this contraction five times to complete one set of Kegels. It would be best to try to perform at least three sets of Kegels in a day.
Pelvic Floor Contraction
The stronger your pelvic muscles, the easier it will be to pass stool, prevent straining, and relax the anal sphincter. Your bowel movements will be healthy too!
Follow the process below to perform pelvic floor contractions.
- Sit on the floor or lie flat on your back;
- Contract the anal muscles like you’re stopping yourself from farting;
- Hold this position for five seconds;
- After that, take a break for ten seconds;
- Repeat the same contraction five times, with 10-second intervals.
Remember to use only half your strength when repeating the contractions. Try to relax and squeeze the muscles as fast as possible. Ideally, you should perform 2 to 4 sets of these contractions at different times in a day.
Marching In Place
This is a form of yoga and stretching with effective results against hemorrhoids. To best treat your hemorrhoids, focus on stretching the thighs and abdomen.
- Stand up straight;
- Lift the right leg in the direction of your chest. Hold your position when the thigh is parallel to the floor;
- Form a right angle (90 degrees) with your knee. Do this by moving the knee outwards to your right;
- Bring your right leg down and repeat the same motion with your left;
- Do these leg lifts for around 5 to 10 minutes.
This exercise will also increase blood flow to any hemorrhoids that may have formed inside or outside your anus. As a result, you can expect faster healing.
Things to Do Other Than Exercise
Drink Plenty of Water
Adequate water intake is the simplest but also highly effective hemorrhoid prevention strategy. It doesn’t cost much either. Yet, very few people do it. Aside from eating well, hydration is important for healthy bowel movements. The result is less vulnerability to hemorrhoids formation.
Drinking more water also keeps constipation away. With healthy bowel movements and less straining, the likelihood of contracting hemorrhoids will decrease too. Most doctors agree that you should drink a minimum of 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. Ideally, you should drink 12 to 14, but that’s primarily for the summers.
A good rule of thumb is to drink around ten glasses in a day. This should keep you hydrated irrespective of the weather. The bowel movements will remain healthy too.
Improve Your Fiber Intake
Unhealthy and infrequent bowel movements are among the biggest causes of hemorrhoids. To fix them, you need to improve your fiber intake. You can do that by taking supplements or eating fiber-rich food.
The latter is strongly emphasized by gastroenterologists and family doctors around the world. Admittedly, consuming a high-fiber diet will increase the gas in your belly. However, the alternative (unhealthy bowel movements) isn’t desirable either.
Try to eat around 25 to 30 grams of fiber every day. Examples of fiber-heavy food sources include oatmeal, barley, brown rice, lentils, split peas, baked beans, black beans, lima beans, green peas, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, apples, pears, bananas, and raspberries.
When it comes to preventing hemorrhoids, you need to make certain lifestyle changes. Exercises like the ones mentioned above, high-fiber but balanced diet, and increased water intake are some of the ways you can keep hemorrhoids at bay. If you do have a recurring problem, do seek medical assistance and treat your hemorrhoids before they aggravate further.