Hemorrhoids, caused by swollen or inflamed veins around the anus or rectum, can be unpleasant and painful. If you're a cyclist, riding can exacerbate existing hemorrhoids by restricting blood flow to the anus or causing pressure and chaffing against the damaged tissues. However, cycling does not cause hemorrhoids. If hemorrhoids are producing pain during your rides, a few tips may reduce the discomfort. If the problem persists, be sure to see a doctor, as prescription medication may be needed.
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Use an over-the-counter hemorrhoid cream or suppository to reduce tissue inflammation, itching and bleeding associated with hemorrhoids. Wear bike shorts with a padded chamois to reduce saddle pressure and apply a chamois cream to your shorts. Chamois cream can reduce friction and chaffing that may irritate existing hemorrhoids. When you're not in the saddle, wear cotton underwear to allow the area to breathe, and gently clean with baby wipes or medicated witch hazel cloths. Soaking the area in warm water can also help soothe hemorrhoids. If your hemorrhoids do not improve, you may need to take some time off the bike to allow them to heal completely.