Hemorrhoids are swollen veins around the anus or rectum. They can be painful and uncomfortable, especially during bowel movements. Some people even experience bleeding from their rectums.
Hemorrhoids are caused by increased pressure inside the anal canal. This causes blood vessels to swell and become inflamed. The condition usually occurs after prolonged sitting or standing.
Running can increase the risk of developing hemorrhoids because it puts pressure on the lower back and pelvic area. If you already have hemorrhoids, then running can worsen them.
In the following article, we have gathered some important information concerning running and hemorrhoids, to determine whether running can cause the condition or make it worse…
What Are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins inside or outside the anus. They can cause pain and discomfort during bowel movements.
If left untreated, they can become inflamed and bleed. Hemorrhoids are common, affecting around half of adults at some point in their lives.
Hemorrhoid symptoms include itching, burning, bleeding, swelling, and pain. The condition typically occurs after straining or sitting too long. Some people experience them only once or twice a year, but others suffer from chronic hemorrhoids.
There are several ways to treat hemorrhoids. These include over-the-counter medications, topical creams, and surgery. In addition to these treatments, you can also try natural remedies such as apple cider vinegar.
What Causes Hemorrhoids?
The exact cause of hemorrhoids is unknown. However, there are many factors that may contribute to the development of this condition. These include:
- Prolonged sitting or standing
- Straining while having a bowel movement
- Birth defects
- Chronic constipation
- Irregular diet
- Laxative use
Of course, another cause of hemorrhoids is diarrhea, as sitting on the toilet for extensive amounts of time can also swell the veins and produce piles.
Can Running Cause Hemorrhoids?
The short and simple answer to this question is no – running and physical fitness do not cause hemorrhoids.
However, this does not mean that running has no impact on your chances of developing the condition. In fact, there are dynamic movements associated with running that are said to cause hemorrhoid symptoms.
Marathon runners are also known to develop hemorrhoids through constipation, as many dedicated runners will often skimp out on drinking water to reach the finishing line.
Dehydration is one of the main causes of constipation, which in turn can result in the development of hemorrhoids. In some cases, chronic constipation can also worsen the condition of your hemorrhoids, as the strain will leave the veins swollen and inflamed.
Can You Run With Hemorrhoids?
If you want to know if you should be concerned about the possibility of running causing hemorrhoids, you need to consider two things:
1) How severe are your hemorrhoids?
2) Do you have any other health issues?
If you have mild hemorrhoids, then you probably don’t need to worry about the effects of running on your condition. This is because most people who have hemorrhoids do not have any serious complications.
However, if you have more severe hemorrhoids, then you should definitely avoid prolonged periods of exercise. This includes running marathons, as well as intense workouts like weightlifting.
If you already have hemorrhoids, then you need to take extra care when exercising. This means avoiding strenuous activities, especially those that involve prolonged periods of standing or sitting. It is also important to drink plenty of fluids before and after exercising.
This helps prevent dehydration, which can lead to constipation and hemorrhoids.
If you have severe hemorrhoids, then you may experience some discomfort during running and exercise. In some cases, you may even bleed from the rectal area. This is because the friction of running can cause the veins to swell and tear.
Fortunately, there are many ways to treat your hemorrhoids before running, whether that be over the counter creams or natural products.
How To Treat Hemorrhoids Before Running
There are several methods of treating hemorrhoids that you can try before hitting the road. Some of these treatments include:
- Over-the-counter medications such as Preparation H® cream
- Natural remedies such as apple cider vinegar
These treatments work by either shrinking the size of the blood vessels, reducing inflammation, or stopping bleeding altogether.
Another popular treatment involves sitting in a bath of shallow warm water for 10 – 15 minutes, which helps to reduce the size of the hemorrhoids and the potential of future friction.
However, there is one other way to ensure a comfortable run. This particular method involves placing a soft pad between your buttocks, which will help to relieve friction and unwanted contact.
If your hemorrhoids become worse, then you will need to consult a physician about possible remedies or treatments.
In some cases, severe hemorrhoids will need to be treated with rubber band ligation or laser treatment. However, it is also possible to have them removed via minor surgery.
How To Avoid Getting Hemorrhoids While Running
You can use the following tips to keep yourself healthy while running:
- Drink lots of water – This is essential to stay hydrated and prevent dehydration. The best time to consume this fluid is right before and after exercising.
- Don’t eat too much before heading out – You want to make sure that you have enough energy to complete your workout without feeling tired.
- Eat foods rich in fiber – These foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, and legumes. They all contain soluble fibers, which help to soften stools and prevent constipation.
- Use stool softeners – These are available at drugstores and health food stores. They come in different forms, including suppositories, tablets, and liquids.
- Try not to sit down for long periods of time – Sitting for more than an hour can cause the muscles around the anus to tighten up, which can lead to hemorrhoids.
- Keep your feet elevated during bowel movements – If you keep your feet up while on the toilet, you can improve the angle of your rectum and make it easier for the stool to come out. This will reduce the chance of hemorrhoids and relieve discomfort for existing piles.
While there is no evidence to suggest that running causes hemorrhoids, the lifestyle associated with the sport can take its toll on your body, which can result in piles and other problems.
Fortunately, you can combat the risk of hemorrhoids by staying hydrated and eating foods that are rich in fiber. However, if you already suffer from hemorrhoids, there are other methods you can use to relieve the pain and exercise in peace.