A large percentage of the population suffers from hemorrhoids – usually between the ages of 45 – 65. Pregnant women can also be susceptible to them.
If you are a cyclist and you are experiencing this issue, should you be riding? In this article, we will discuss, what you should do for cycling with hemorrhoids and some tips for healing and ultimately avoiding this condition.
Is Cycling bad for Hemorrhoids? Cycling can be bad for hemorrhoids because the blood flows into the affected area can be constricted due to long periods of sitting on a normal bike seat and from the additional friction from the motion of riding. But, with the use of a specially designed bike seat, cycling can be possible.
Many factors can cause this medical condition to arise, but cycling is not one of them. To help you deal with this condition, a high fiber diet with lots of water is recommended to prevent your hemorrhoids from worsening.
And since hemorrhoids and biking normally don’t mix, specially designed bike seats/saddles that are wider and offer comfort are now available in the market. Choose one that can provide you with proper support while riding your bike.
Is it OK to bike with hemorrhoids?
Although seasoned cyclists have testified that biking does not cause hemorrhoids, they do say that the activity can aggravate the condition to a point where it is painful and ultimately prevent them from cycling.
Furthermore, the action of biking can lead to bleeding both internally and externally due to friction and stress.
Technically, you can still ride your bike, but it is recommended that you don’t while suffering from the condition. The added pressure on your rectal veins can cause your hemorrhoids to worsen and bleed. If possible, refrain from cycling if you have hemorrhoids and are experiencing pain and bleeding.
To prevent your hemorrhoids from developing into a severe condition, you can buy over the counter drugs to control itchiness, soak the area in warm water to soothe the inflammation and also wear breathable shorts when not biking.
Eating food that is high in fiber can also help as well as drinking plenty of water to prevent constipation.
What can cause hemorrhoids to flare up?
Hemorrhoids can be simply defined as a medical condition where the veins in your anus are inflamed, swollen and painful. In worse cases of this condition, your hemorrhoids can also itch and bleed.
It can be categorized as internal or if the affected veins are located inside the canal, external if it is located near the opening of the rectum, prolapsed when internal hemorrhoids stick out of your anus and thrombosed when blot clotting is present within the hemorrhoid tissue.
The main cause of this condition is the following:
- Pregnancy in women
- Long periods of time sitting down
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Low fiber diet
Age also plays a big part in developing hemorrhoids because of the weakening of the tissues that supports the veins in our rectum. The older we get, the higher the risk we have of developing this condition.
Best Bike Seat for Hemorrhoids?
Cycling can be very uncomfortable if you are suffering from hemorrhoids. That is why there are specially designed seats and saddles that allow many to continue this exercise without aggravating the condition.
Two of the best in the market are:
The Hobson Easy Seat (Budget Option)
Constructed to support your rear perfectly with its two padded design. The same design allows cyclists suffering from hemorrhoid to bike without suffering from numbness, chaffing, and pain. The cutaway, two padded design also allows for better ventilation and better blood flow.
This ergonomically designed bike seat ranges in price depending on which model you go for. Amazon has them – click here to see reviews and latest prices.
Nextride Pro Noseless Saddle (With Seat Post)
This bike seat has a design that offers riders to avoid pressure on important nerves. Traditional saddles with nose have been associated with moderate to severe erectile dysfunction.
Nextride is a bike seat designed liked a bench which allows you to sit on your sit bones rather than supporting your body weight on your pubic arch.
This is priced at $118.50 each. It weighs about 1.90lbs and can be shipped to your address for an additional cost. Their website is here.
Both of these bicycle seats are highly recommended for riders who suffer from hemorrhoids. However, if you are just looking for a replacement for your bike seat and still prefer the traditional design with a nose, then the Brooks of England Saddle collection is a good place to start.
Find one of the tried and tested models that will mold to your butt over time. The B17 is a great place to start. Check the fantastic feedback from Amazon reviewers.
Don’t sacrifice comfort even if you are not going for a noseless design especially if you plan on longer rides. Remember that longer periods of bike ride can aggravate your condition.
Noseless Bike Seat Advantages
Riding a bike for more than three hours with traditional seats can cause moderate to severe erectile dysfunction in men. Moreso, these type of seats have been shown to damage private parts due to pressure on them. They are very uncomfortable especially during long bike rides and can prevent you from cycling if you suffer from hemorrhoids.
These issues spurred on many alterations on bike seats to allow riders to ride more comfortably without putting pressure on important veins located in the area. This is actually the main issue why noseless bike saddles were made.
The fact that you are putting 25% to 40% of your body weight on this sensitive area is already enough to make you worry. Veins down below suffer from less blood and can cause numbness that can lead to major problems in the future.
Noseless bike seats are a great alternative for the traditional ones because of the health benefit it gives. Less numbness and pain can be experienced by both professional cyclists and recreational ones.
People suffering from hemorrhoids can still ride with saddles that are noseless because this type of saddle reduces chafing and pressure on the rectal area. The pressure is directed on the sit bone where it should be relieving stress on the important veins around your bum.
Things To Do Before Going For A Bike Ride When You Have Hemorrhoids.
These steps can help you in managing the symptoms of your hemorrhoids if you still are seriously planning to ride your bike.
- Check that you have a very comfortable and soft seat. This will prevent further irritation of the condition.
- Ensure that plenty of water is present during your ride and stay hydrated always.
- Improve the blood circulation on your legs by taking a short brisk walk before your ride.
- Apply some soothing cream to relieve itchiness and discomfort.
- Additionally, you can wear cycling shorts that provide added padding to your bum.
Doing the steps above can reduce the discomfort you feel during your bike ride and prevent your hemorrhoids from becoming worse.
To quickly give you a recap of this article. Biking can be hard when you are suffering from hemorrhoids. It can aggravate the condition and which can lead to pain and bleeding. If after over the counter medication and home remedies don’t work the next step is for you to visit a doctor.
You can still ride your bike even with hemorrhoids with the use of ergonomically designed bike seats/saddles that removes the pressure on the affected area.
These bike seat designs have the ability to relieve stress on your private parts and also to the veins surrounding it, reduce numbness and increase blood circulation, and lastly allow you to ride comfortably for a longer period of time.
How can I make my bike seat more comfortable?
There are a number of ways to make your seat more comfortable. You can change it into a design that is specifically made for comfort, or you can provide additional padding on your seat. Check if your saddle mold and support your butt and determine the right height of your seat to preventing sliding forward and back.
Can bicycle seat cause erectile dysfunction?
The answer is a resounding yes. Long periods of biking can put pressure on a nerve that is called perineum nerve which is responsible for the feeling and sensation of the male genital.
This pressure can cause moderate to severe erectile dysfunction according to a study conducted to policemen who ride bikes every day during work.
Is it okay to ride my bike every day?
Yes, it is. Riding your bike every day for thirty minutes is a great way to increase your heart rate and metabolism and help you manage your weight. A half an hour bike ride is equivalent to burning five kilograms of fat for the whole year. Couple your thirty-minute bike ride session with a healthy diet and you’ll be shedding those pounds fast.