Hemorrhoid pain may stop you from enjoying your usual daily activities. Learn more about hemorrhoid pain, including causes and options for relief.
Living with Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoid pain can ruin your day. Not only is the pain uncomfortable, but it’s also slightly embarrassing to talk about—making you feel isolated. First off, if you’re experiencing hemorrhoid pain, we’re here to tell you you’re not alone. About half of all people have hemorrhoids by age 50, and pain is one of the most common symptoms.1 However, even though hemorrhoids are common, it doesn’t mean you have to white knuckle it through the rough ride. In fact, there are ways to both prevent and manage symptoms. Continue reading to learn more about hemorrhoids and how to relieve hemorrhoid pain.
Causes of Hemorrhoid Pain
Hemorrhoid pain happens when there is extra pressure on the veins in and around your anus.1 This pressure causes veins to become swollen,1 leading to hemorrhoid pain. As you may already know, pain isn’t the only symptom of hemorrhoids. Itching, irritation, and bright red blood (either in your stool, in the toilet, or on the toilet paper) are other common signs.1
If hemorrhoids happen when there is too much pressure on the veins, what causes the pressure? It depends. Straining during bowel movements, or increased straining during your normal daily activities (for example, if you lift heavy weights) can put more pressure on your internal organs and blood vessels.1 Pregnancy also puts more pressure on the blood vessels near the anus, as does giving birth.1 Some people may just be more prone to hemorrhoids than others. For instance, if you have a family history of hemorrhoids, you may be more likely to have hemorrhoids and hemorrhoid pain.1
How to Relieve Hemorrhoid Pain
If you’re experiencing pain from your hemorrhoids, there are ways to find relief. Below, we’ll explore a few different ways you can manage hemorrhoid pain.
In an ideal world, the best way to avoid hemorrhoid pain is to prevent hemorrhoids from developing in the first place. Of course, we’re not always so lucky! Even so, be sure to avoid these bad habits, which can lead to hemorrhoids:
- Straining too hard when you go to the bathroom
- Sitting on the toilet for long periods of time
- Eating a low-fiber diet (which sometimes causes constipation)2
Instead, focus on eating a fiber-rich diet complete with whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. Drink plenty of fluids, too! If you’re having issues with occasional constipation, don’t strain. Instead, try again later when you feel the urge to go.
2) Home Remedies
There are several remedies you can try at home to help relieve hemorrhoid pain:
- Use over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen
- Apply topical hemorrhoid treatments, which contain hydrocortisone, witch hazel, or another numbing agent
- Take a stool softener to avoid straining or occasional constipation
- Take a warm sitz bath 2-3 times a day for temporary pain relief3
3) Medical/Professional Treatment
If at-home methods don’t resolve your hemorrhoid pain, and you’ve been experiencing hemorrhoids for an extended period of time, your doctor may makeother recommendations. In a small number of cases, doctors may recommend one of the following approaches:
- Prescription therapies, such as a topical nitroglycerin
- Injections (for external hemorrhoid pain)
- Surgical treatments, such as rubber band ligation4
Say Bye to Hemorrhoid Pain
Hemorrhoid pain can be bothersome, but it doesn’t have to stand in the way of you living your life. If you’re experiencing pain from hemorrhoids, there are a number of options to get relief, including Preparation H. Preparation H ointment provides prompt, soothing relief from painful burning, itching, and discomfort. Learn more about Preparation H ointment.
- Hemorrhoids. John Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/hemorrhoids. Accessed 3/23/2021. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
- Hemorrhoids | Piles. MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/hemorrhoids.html. Accessed 3/23/2021. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
- Hemorrhoids - Diagnosis and treatment. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hemorrhoids/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20360280/. Accessed 3/23/2021. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
- Hemorrhoids. Diagnosis and Treatment Options. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2018/0201/p172.html. Accessed 3/23/2021. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.