We know better than anyone that hemorrhoids hurt. The discomfort that comes along with hemorrhoids has many people asking if they should adjust their routine or avoid exercise completely until symptoms diminish and the rectum has healed.

Q: Does walking make hemorrhoids worse?

A: No. While it’s possible that symptoms of hemorrhoids can get worse with some exercise, the simple act of walking is unlikely to cause irritation. 

Ideally, you shouldn’t have to give up on exercising. In fact, cardiovascular exercise (like walking) actually promotes the healing of hemorrhoids – it increases the blood flow that delivers beneficial oxygen and nutrients to the affected area. 

There are plenty of exercises you can do to stay active, and walking is a low-impact exercise that you can do at a pace you are comfortable with.  

Before you put on those sneakers, let’s talk more about hemorrhoids and exercise best practices during a flare-up.

What Are Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids (“piles”) are formed when the swelling of veins occurs along the wall of the rectum. Too much pressure on one or more veins causes them to swell. 

  • Internal hemorrhoids: Are inside the rectum and aren’t usually seen nor felt. However, during a bowel movement, they may be pushed outward. Blood may be seen when wiping.
  • External hemorrhoids: Form under the skin around the anus where more pain sensors are present. In this case, symptoms include swelling, pain, itching, and bleeding. Sometimes mucus excretions occur.

Mild cases of hemorrhoids clear up after a few days, but more severe situations may carry on for weeks. Symptoms that persist after a few weeks warrant contacting a doctor.

Hemorrhoids are commonly the result of straining (lifting heavy objects), pregnancy, obesity, etc. Sitting on the toilet too long, chronic constipation, straining during a bowel movement, and persistent diarrhea also contribute to hemorrhoid flare ups.

Hemorrhoids get worse if left untreated. Topical solutions (like Doctor Butler’s Hemorrhoid Cream) and a self-care regimen (like regular exercise) is necessary to address the problem.

Does Walking Aggravate Hemorrhoids?

Under normal circumstances, walking shouldn’t aggravate hemorrhoids. Self-care methods like wearing breathable and comfortable undergarments prevent further irritation.

Does walking make hemorrhoids worse? Walking typically has the opposite effect on hemorrhoids because of its healing benefits:

  • Counteracts against inflammation
  • Reduces constipation and encourages regularity
  • Promotes lower muscle strength
  • Increases healing blood flow to the affected area
  • Increases endorphins that reduce pain and stress

Because walking is an easy exercise with cardiovascular benefits, making it a part of your regular routine promotes healing rather than makes hemorrhoids worse.

What About Running With Hemorrhoids?

Those who love to run, live to run, so not slipping into those running shoes for a few weeks is a real bummer. Running should be alright for mild to moderate hemorrhoids as long as it doesn’t cause more swelling or irritation to the affected area.

More severe cases of hemorrhoids might be agitated by running as this movement may involve bouncing of swollen tissue and chafing in the area.

Pay Attention To Pain When Exercising With Hemorrhoids

As mentioned above, running with hemorrhoids may cause irritation that makes the affected area more swollen and painful. In that case, you might try an activity with less friction in the area like swimming or walking.

Pain is what told you that you have a hemorrhoids issue in the first place, and pain also lets you know if the exercise is aggravating the hemorrhoids even more. 

Preventative Tips to Take Before Exercising or Walking With Hemorrhoids

The fear of discomfort is what makes some reluctant to exercise. Practicing self-care during a hemorrhoid flareup not only makes exercise more comfortable, but it helps the issue clear up faster. Here are some tips on how to make your walking routine easier by taking care of yourself.

  • Appropriate clothing: Friction easily makes a hemorrhoid flareup worse. The best favor you can do for yourself is to wear non-restrictive and breathable clothing while exercising. Underwear, shorts, or pants that ride up or are restricting are likely to cause friction. Additional irritation makes exercise unpleasant and could slow the healing process.
  • Clean hygiene: Put on clean underwear. Be sure to keep your backside clean and dry before and after exercise. 
  • Drink water: It has always been important to stay hydrated for exercise, but when you are working out with hemorrhoids, getting enough fluids is even more important. Dehydration causes constipation and makes bowel movements more difficult. So, after working up a sweat, be sure to replenish your fluid loss.
  • Healthy eating: What comes in does affect what comes out. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fiber helps with hemorrhoids as it keeps you regular and makes bowel movements smoother. 

How to Treat Painful Hemorrhoids

Does walking make hemorrhoids worse? Those with acute or worsening symptoms might be reluctant to do any exercise. The problem with being sedentary is that sitting for long periods makes hemorrhoids worse. 

In such cases where a hemorrhoid flareup makes movement difficult, consulting with a doctor is best. A physician will put together a treatment plan and advise you what activities are best for exercising with hemorrhoids

Remedies for hemorrhoids include:

  • Stool softeners or laxatives
  • Pain medication
  • Sitz bath
  • Doctor Butler’s hemorrhoid products

Doctor Butler’s hemorrhoid cream and hemorrhoid wipes were created by an experienced proctologist. Our cream is made with FDA approved ingredients and is designed to provide superior topical treatment of hemorrhoids. 

With Doctor Butler’s Hemorrhoid & Fissure Ointment proprietary blend, you get enhanced pain relief as it shrinks swollen tissue and works to stop the bleeding.

Our healing cream is made from a blend of herbs, minerals, and amino acids with antimicrobial properties (that keeps the affected area clean). It’s designed for better absorption to maximize the formula benefits.

Get superior hemorrhoid relief with Doctor Butler’s!

About Robert Cutler, D.O.

Dr. Robert Cutler has performed duties as a specialist in the field of Proctology over 30 years as a practicing physician. Over this time, he has had great success integrating patient care from both an efficiency standpoint and as a practical approach to holistic and preventative medicine. Dr. Cutler also performs FDA approved Clinical Trials and has had formal research training in Human Subject Assurance Training, OHRP/NIH and Good Clinical Practice for Investigators, Quintiles. Dr. Cutler continues to work on creating more affordable solutions to help people who are affected by ano-rectal problems as well as various chronic or acute skin issues.