Do Ice Packs Work for Hemorrhoid Relief?

Ice packs and hemorrhoids pain relief

Does the hemorrhoid pain frequently leave you doubled over and gasping? Does the thought of sitting down make you wince? Are you having shooting pains in your anal area? Does your inability to stand for long leave you unable to focus on anything else? Do you want to get quick relief from this nightmare of pain and get on with your life? Lucky for you, instant relief is possible.

Continue reading to find some practical treatment tips!

Home Remedies

A lot of home remedies exist when it comes to (almost) instant relief from pain and swelling. Some of the most commonly used ones include:

  • Sitz Baths
  • Ice Packs
  • Hot Compress
  • Witch Hazel

You can choose your pick depending upon the availability of items and the time on hand. Some of these remedies, such as sitz baths, require preparation in advance. Heating the water and filling the tub and the actual bath may take up to 45 minutes if you include the time for drying off and applying any prescribed medicine as well.

How to Make an Ice Pack for Hemorrhoids at Home

Grab a few ice cubes from your freezer. Crush them a bit and wrap them in a clean cotton cloth. Voila! Your temporary hemorrhoid pain relief compress is ready! Best thing? It doesn’t cost anything.

Ready-to-use Ice Packs

You can grab a gel pack from a drug store and freeze it in advance so that it is ready to use whenever you need it. A pro tip is to use a flat-shaped pack because you will be sitting on top of it for the course of icing or, as it is also called, cold therapy.

How to Use It?

Hold your ice pack, put it on a flat surface, and sit on top of it. This, of course, works best if you have a drug store bought flat gel pad.

For a homemade ice pack, you can crush the ice cubes, wrap them in a cotton cloth, sit down and apply the pack gently onto the area requiring treatment and pain relief.

Be sure not to put the ice or gel pack directly to the skin as this will cause an irritation or give you an ice burn. Always wear breathable clothes so the cold can easily pass through.

If hemorrhoids are a frequently occurring nuisance, you should consider ordering one or two from your local drug store. They are easy to apply and always ready to use compared to homemade packs, as it is a tad bit uncomfortable staying in awkward poses while you apply that!

But, What Does It Do?

A cold compress or ice pack does the following:

  • Eases pain by numbing the affected area
  • Reduces swelling and inflammation
  • Reduces bleeding

Cold therapy helps with hemorrhoids as it slows blood flow to the area, bringing the swelling down. Additionally, the cold will numb the region to provide immediate relief.

How Does it Work?

Icing tends to slow the blood flow to hemorrhoids – which are swollen blood vessels present in the rectal area, so icing will decrease and then gradually make the swelling go down. Regular icing for one to three days can significantly decrease the resultant swelling. That depends upon the severity of the situation too.

How Often Can You Use Ice Packs to Relieve Hemorrhoid Pain?

The best thing about cold therapy is that you can keep using the ice pack to reduce the pain and swelling from the hemorrhoids till it brings you relief. It poses no health risks as long as the ice pack doesn’t directly come in contact with the hemorrhoid and is always shielded with a cloth.

You can apply the ice pack as often as four times a day and get immediate relief. If you are using a gel pad, a practical solution will be to purchase two of them and keep both in the freezer. In this way, the second one will always be ready to use while the first one gets washed and put back into the freezer.

Side Effects

Ice packs and cold compresses do not have any serious side effects. However, keep in mind that direct application for a prolonged time can cause ice burns and make the already painful area feel worse. So just wear breathable cotton clothes before icing, and you will be good to go!

At-Home Treatments for Hemorrhoid Pain Relief

The following tips will come in handy if you are looking for easy at-home treatments to treat hemorrhoid pain:

  • Always pat yourself dry after every bowel movement. Wiping is never a good idea.
  • Increase fluid and fiber intake to improve digestion and treat constipation, which is usually the cause of painful hemorrhoids.
  • Try having a sitz bath after every bowel movement to help with the swelling and pain.
  • Apply witch hazel to help relieve the symptoms and speed up healing.

Bonus tip:

Applying an ice pack after a sitz bath works miraculously! The hot water from sitz baths increases blood flow to the swollen hemorrhoids. Immediately applying the ice pack after a sitz bath contracts the veins, lessens the swelling, and relieves the pain.


If you have tried your luck with ice packs and other home remedies and things do not seem to be improving, then you should stop self-medication and immediately get in touch with your healthcare provider.

How often do ice packs come in handy for you when treating hemorrhoid pain? Let us know in the comments section below!