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What are the Best Ways to Relieve Hemorrhoid Pain?

By J. Beam
Updated Feb 06, 2024
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Hemorrhoids, a condition that results from swollen tissue and blood vessels surrounding the anal canal, are an uncomfortable and painful fact of life for many people. Everyone has the potential to develop abnormal swelling of this tissue from time to time. Though this condition affects men and women equally, only a small percentage of the population actually suffers from a significant problem as a result of hemorrhoids. Most people experience temporary hemorrhoid pain temporarily on occasion. The best ways to relieve hemorrhoid pain are to avoid foods and conditions that trigger them and to treat them when they first become noticeable.

There are certain foods and activities that can trigger a bout with hemorrhoids. Heavy lifting, as well as prolonged walking or standing, and irregular bowel movements for instance, can aggravate an existing hemorrhoid condition. Many people find that one of the best ways to relieve hemorrhoid pain is to avoid these activities and to incorporate fiber into their daily diet. Eating fresh fruit, vegetables, and grains high in fiber may be beneficial in regulating bowel habits. Similarly, over the counter stool softeners may also help relieve symptoms of hemorrhoids by preventing constipation and further irritation by easing bowel movements.

Once hemorrhoids have surfaced, one of the best ways to relieve hemorrhoid pain is to treat the affected area with an over the counter (OTC), topical ointment. Many ointments manufactured to reduce or relieve the symptoms of hemorrhoids contain some type of anesthetic to reduce burning and also contain a vasoconstrictor. Vasoconstrictors, such as ephedrine sulfate, epinephrine, and phenylephrine, can make the blood vessels within the swollen tissue smaller and therefore reduce swelling. The most common symptoms associated with hemorrhoids are burning, itching, and swelling, all of which cause discomfort and often pain. Choosing an OTC ointment that treats all three symptoms is one of the best ways to relieve hemorrhoid pain until they dissipate on their own.

Other helpful, non-medical ways to relieve hemorrhoid pain include soaking the affected area in very warm water and cushioning the affected area while sitting or lying down. Avoid heavy lifting and straining during bowel movements while affected, as both can aggravate the situation. If you have frequent or pro-longed problems with hemorrhoid pain, you should consult your doctor for possible medical or surgical treatments. Prescription strength ointments, suppositories, and non-surgical treatments, may be exhausted before surgical treatment is recommended.

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