Hemorrhoids are varicose veins that occur in your rectum. Hemorrhoids form right inside your anus and sometimes extrude through the anus, causing external hemorrhoids, which can be very painful. If you experience pain or bleeding after a bowel movement, you may have hemorrhoids. See your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and to discuss a treatment plan.
Exercises for Hemorrhoids
There are safe exercises for hemorrhoids. According to Harvard Health Publishing, moderate aerobic exercise helps to stimulate the bowels. Aerobic exercise increases your heart rate and circulation.
By increasing circulation to your rectum, you can prevent your hemorrhoids from developing painful blood clots and help promote healing. Standing and sitting both put strain on the veins in your rectum and can make hemorrhoids worse. Try adding regular, 20-minute walks to your day.
Aerobic exercise also releases chemicals in your brain that help reduce pain and stress — both of which can occur with hemorrhoids.
Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor
Kegel exercises are highly beneficial in treating hemorrhoids, according to the All About Hemorrhoids website. To perform a Kegel exercise, contract your anal muscle and hold the contraction for three seconds. Repeat five times to complete a set and try to perform three or four sets of Kegels throughout your day.
Kegel exercises work your pelvic floor muscles and help strengthen your anal muscles. By developing stronger anal muscles, you will help prevent your internal hemorrhoids from becoming external hemorrhoids and increase circulation to your anus, helping to treat existing hemorrhoids.
Yoga and Stretching
Yoga and stretching exercises are good for treating and helping to prevent hemorrhoids, according to Asana International Yoga Journal. Focus on stretching your abdomen and thighs to best treat your hemorrhoids.
Try standing up straight, then lifting your legs up to a 90-degree angle one at a time in front of you. Repeat these leg lifts for three to 10 minutes, as you are able, to increase blood flow to your hemorrhoids, providing quicker healing and relief.
To treat external hemorrhoids, stand in an upright position, then come up onto your toes and your reach your hands toward the sky. Bend forward and place your fingertips on the floor, if possible. This exercise will strengthen your anal muscle and help prevent future external hemorrhoids.
Tone your abdominal and rectal muscles to help treat irritating hemorrhoids. While in a tall pushup position, contract your abdominal muscles and hold for 30 seconds. You can also perform a buttock press by contracting the muscles in your buttocks and holding the contraction for several seconds, performing multiple repetitions.
Exercises to Avoid
Some exercises can make hemorrhoids worse. Activities that put direct pressure on your hemorrhoids, such as cycling and rowing, can increase pain and bleeding. Swap these for activities such as walking, hiking, swimming or jogging.
Exercises that heavily use the muscles in your back and abdomen, such as situps and squats, increase internal abdominal pressure, which can make hemorrhoids worse.
Weightlifting also puts added strain on hemorrhoids due to increased muscle tension and abdominal pressure.
- All About... Hemorrhoids: Healing Exercises for Hemorrhoids
- Harvard Health Publishing: Hemorrhoids and What to Do About Them
- World Journal of Gastroenterology: Treatment of Hemorrhoids: A Coloproctologist's View
- Asana International Yoga Journal: Yoga Therapy for Hemorrhoids
- Los Angeles Colon & Rectal: Exercising With Hemorrhoids: The Do's and Dont's