Hemorrhoid Pain 101: A Guide to Dealing with Severe Hemorrhoid Pain
Posted on 07 December 2017
Hemorrhoids are caused by the inflammation of veins in the rectum or anal canal.
They are a common problem among adults today.
While your hemorrhoids may display no symptoms at all, some hemorrhoids are associated with pain and discomfort (1).
Table of Contents [hide]
- 1. Can Hemorrhoids Cause Sharp Pain?
- 2. What to Do for Very Painful Hemorrhoids
- 3. Are External Hemorrhoids Always Painful?
- 4. Can Internal Hemorrhoids Cause Abdominal Pain?
- 5. Thrombosed Hemorrhoid Pain Overview
- 6. How Long Does Thrombosed Hemorrhoid Pain Last?
- 7. Is Hemorrhoid Banding Painful?
- 8. Hemorrhoid Banding Pain
- 9. Hemorrhoid Surgery Pain
- 10. How to Stop Hemorrhoid Pain
- 11. How to Ease Pain After Hemorrhoid Surgery
- 12. Do Hemorrhoids Cause Lower Back Pain?
- 13. Can Hemorrhoid Pain Radiate?
- 14. Severe Hemorrhoid Pain
- 15. How Severe is Hemorrhoid Pain?
- 16. Hemorrhoid Pain Relief at Home
- 17. Acute Pain Related to Hemorrhoids
- 18. How to Get Rid of Internal Hemorrhoid Pain
- 19. How to Ease Hemorrhoid Pain While Pooping
- 20. Hemorrhoid Pain When Sitting
- 21. Excruciating Hemorrhoid Pain
It is important to know the difference between normal hemorrhoid pain and pain that should warrant a doctor’s visit.
Understanding the pain associated with hemorrhoids can help you handle it.
There are four different types of hemorrhoids, including:
Can Hemorrhoids Cause Sharp Pain?
Most hemorrhoids only cause mild pain or discomfort. In some cases, however, you may experience sharp pain.
There are a few different causes of sharp rectal pain. Hemorrhoid pain may become severe if your hemorrhoids become thrombosed.
This means that the blood in your hemorrhoid has developed a clot. A thrombosis can result in a stabbing, sharp pain that comes on suddenly.
Other causes of sharp pain with hemorrhoids include infection, tearing, and severe cases.
What to Do for Very Painful Hemorrhoids
The first step in treating painful hemorrhoids is to contact a hemorrhoid doctor.
Most hemorrhoids only result in mild discomfort. If you experience painful hemorrhoids, there are things you can do to alleviate the pain.
For very painful hemorrhoids, the best thing to do is stay off your feet and in bed for a full day to reduce the pressure from standing in the upright position.
Avoid heavy lifting or straining.
For very swollen hemorrhoids, you can apply a hemorrhoid ice pack or take a warm bath three to four times a day.
Are External Hemorrhoids Always Painful?
While external hemorrhoids aren’t always painful, they generally get worse over time.
Painless hemorrhoids often go undetected.
Painless hemorrhoids are mostly associated with internal hemorrhoids, but small external hemorrhoids can present with no pain as well.
Internal hemorrhoids can become very painful when they protrude from the anus. These prolapsed internal hemorrhoids can cause big problems if they do not retract back into the anus.
Can Internal Hemorrhoids Cause Abdominal Pain?
Internal hemorrhoids often display no symptoms at all. The only symptom of internal hemorrhoids is bleeding after a bowel movement.
If you are experiencing abdominal pain, there is likely an underlying health condition causing this symptom.
Talk to a doctor for proper diagnosis of abdominal pain.
Check out this hemorrhoid bleeding guide for all the details on hemorrhoid bleeding.
Hemorrhoids burst and bleed and can be quite messy and painful.
Thrombosed Hemorrhoid Pain Overview
Thrombosed hemorrhoids form under the skin around the anus and are caused by clotting. Blood clots, or thrombosis, can be extremely painful.
Here are three ways to get thrombosed hemorrhoid pain relief:
Supplements: herbal supplements like HemRid work great for immediate pain relief and help aid in shrinking the clots. For best pain relief, pair a hemorrhoid supplement with wipes or creams.
Creams and wipes: both of these treatement options can be used for powerful and immediate relief of a thrombosed hemorrhoid. Many creams and wipes will help the clot disappear as well as acting as pain relievers.
Baths: a warm bath can help reduce the swelling of thrombosed hemorrhoids and offer relief of the pain associated with them.
How Long Does Thrombosed Hemorrhoid Pain Last?
Thrombosed hemorrhoids can be very painful. How long the pain lasts depends on what action you take to treat these hemorrhoids.
A surgical procedure is often performed within three days of the onset of thrombosed hemorrhoids.
While you may still experience pain after hemorrhoid surgery, you should notice a substantial difference.
Pain of thrombosed hemorrhoids should subside within seven to ten days when no treatment is provided.
Make sure you do not lift anything heavy after your surgery (2). A very common procedure for thrombosed hemorrhoids is called banding.
Is Hemorrhoid Banding Painful?
The procedure of rubber band ligation, also known as banding, is painful.
Your doctor will work with you to keep pain to a minimum.
For severe pain during the procedure, your doctor can inject a medication to numb the area (3).
Pain is likely to last 24 to 48 hours after the procedure.
Take a look at our guide on laser hemorrhoid surgery for a different option.
Hemorrhoid Banding Pain
Hemorrhoid banding is a nonsurgical procedure performed by your doctor. Despite the fact that this procedure is not a surgery, it is still painful to recover from.
It is recommended that for post procedure pain, you get at least 2-3 days of bed rest.
For hemorrhoid banding post-procedure pain management it is recommended that patients try these methods:
- Warm bath: patients of this hemorrhoid banding procedure can take warm baths for 10 minutes multiple times throughout the day.
- Stool softener: over the counter stool softeners will help with the pain during bowel movements.
- Acetaminophen: patients can take this over the counter pain reliever to help with the pain, but it is important that ibuprofen be avoided.
What Can I Use for Hemorrhoid Pain?
Topical treatments such as hemorrhoid cream or suppositories can be used to reduce the pain associated with hemorrhoids.
Our OTC hemorrhoid medicine guide can help you pick out the right OTC treatment for you.
We put together a list of the best hemorrhoid products of 2018.
Some over-the-counter options include pads that contain numbing agents to temporarily reduce the feeling of pain.
Applying ice packs or cold compresses can also help with pain and possibly even reduce and eliminate strangulated prolapsed hemorrhoids (3).
For more severe pain, you can use over-the-counter acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen products.
If these options do not relieve your pain, contact your doctor.
Check out our hemorrhoid cream reviews guide for more information on creams that can help.
Hemorrhoid Surgery Pain
Hemorrhoid surgeries, although some are minimally invasive, can lead to a painful recovery process. Your doctor will help with pain management by prescribing you pain medication to ease the recovery process.
It is important that you remember to follow your doctor’s care instructions post surgery for best pain management results.
These simple steps can also help you manage pain after hemorrhoid surgery:
- Bed rest: the first couple of days after your surgery, make sure you are off of your feet and giving yourself time to recover while avoiding strenuous activities.
- Walks: after 2-3 days, a brisk walk will help with pain because it will promote healthier bowel movements that won’t strain the rectal veins.
- Water: drinking plenty of water will allow for softer stools. Passing softer stools will help avoid pain during bowel movements.
You can also include pain relief methods like taking baths, using ice packs, OTC pain medicines, and prescription hemorrhoid products.
How to Stop Hemorrhoid Pain
There are many different methods that can be used to stop hemorrhoid pain. A few effective methods for pain management and immediate relief are:
- Take a warm bath: soak in the bathtub for 15 to 20 minutes to relieve hemorrhoid pain. You can add Epsom salt to help relax your muscles or other essential oils with properties that aid in anti-inflammation to reduce pain.
- Use an ointment or paste on painful external hemorrhoids: over the counter creams like Preparation H can be applied to external hemorrhoids to ease the pain. You can also use other natural ingredients with soothing properties like aloe vera to help manage the pain, too.
- Take pain relievers: over the counter pain relievers offer near-immediate relief for hemorrhoid pain. They help relax the muscles and reduce inflammation, which will result in alleviating pain caused by the hemorrhoids.
How to Ease Pain After Hemorrhoid Surgery
After hemorrhoid surgery, your doctor will likely prescribe a painkiller to ease the discomfort associated with the expected rectal and anal pain after surgery.
To help the recovery process, you can eat a high fiber diet, stay hydrated, and use a stool softener.
Be sure to avoid activities of lifting or pulling.
Soaking in a few inches of warm salt water can help to temporarily alleviate pain.
As recovery continues, you can use an over-the-counter pain medication for additional pain regulation.
Do Hemorrhoids Cause Lower Back Pain?
Hemorrhoids have been linked to lower back pain due to lack of blood flow as hemorrhoids pull blood from other sources.
While this is a topic that is often discussed, there is no scientific evidence to prove that back pain is a result of hemorrhoids.
If you experience hemorrhoids and lower back pain simultaneously, chances are the source of your back pain is another underlying health factor.
Can Hemorrhoid Pain Radiate?
In rare cases, hemorrhoids can create pressure on nerves and cause pain elsewhere.
Except in rare cases, radiating pain is not generally linked to hemorrhoids.
Anal fissures, which are tears in the lining of the anal canal, are more likely to cause radiating pain.
While many cases of external or thrombosed hemorrhoids are accompanied by pain, there are many ways to control the pain associated with hemorrhoids.
Severe Hemorrhoid Pain
If you are experiencing severe hemorrhoid pain, you may want to consult your doctor about prescription medication options, like prescription pain pills or prescription wipes.
Sometimes, doctors will suggest options for surgical or nonsurgical procedures if pain is extreme and severe.
These options are designed for those suffering from chronic hemorrhoids with this severe pain so that the hemorrhoids occur less often or not at all.
For severe hemorrhoid pain, methods that offer immediate relief are best.
Warm baths are helpful, especially with hemorrhoid bath soak added to them.
Pain relievers like Tylenol or Aspirin will also work in minutes, helping with the severe pain.
How Severe is Hemorrhoid Pain?
Hemorrhoid pain can range from mild to severe. While internal hemorrhoids rarely have pain, external hemorrhoids are commonly painful.
The best way to handle hemorrhoid pain is to prevent them, but there are many hemorrhoid treatment options available if you end up with hemorrhoids.
Here are list of the best hemorrhoid products by category:
There are many questions associated with hemorrhoids and the pain that comes with them.
Talk to your doctor if pain becomes unbearable.
Hemorrhoid Pain Relief at Home
You don’t need to see a doctor immediately if you experience hemorrhoid pain unless it is so severe you become concerned.
Most hemorrhoids can be treated at home.
One at-home treatment option is a sitz bath or lukewarm bath.
It can be place directly on your toilet seat and makes it easy to soak and alleviate discomfort.
If you don’t have a sitz bath available, you can soak in a bathtub filled with a few inches of warm water and the Better Bath Better Body hemorrhoid Soak.
Doing this for increments of fifteen minutes two to three times a day can reduce inflammation and irritation.
On the other hand, placing a small cold pack can dull the pain and bring down the swelling as well.
Over-the-counter pain medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help with the pain associated with hemorrhoids.
If you must sit for extended periods, sit on a pillow to reduce swelling. Additionally, taking breaks from sitting can help.
While all of these at-home treatments are great options to alleviate pain, prevention is the best way to handle hemorrhoids.
Eat plenty of fiber and drink lots of water. Be sure to follow proper hygiene after bowel movements.
Do your best to avoid scratching and wear loose clothing and underwear made of cotton.
There are many different causes of hemorrhoids. Determining what factors are causing your hemorrhoids are a very important step in getting rid of hemorrhoids for good.
Acute Pain Related to Hemorrhoids
Many people experience acute pain related to hemorrhoids.
Acute pain lasts for a short period of time and resolves when the injured tissues heal.
Since hemorrhoids become bothersome when the veins in the rectum and anal canal become swollen, the pain will subside as the swelling subsides.
Most hemorrhoids will resolve on their own. You can speed up the process with over-the-counter creams and wipes or sitz baths.
If your pain is not acute and seems to get worse, contact your doctor to find out the best treatment option for your situation.
There are many different products you can use to stop hemorrhoid itching and burning.
How to Get Rid of Internal Hemorrhoid Pain
Internal hemorrhoids are located in the lower rectal region where we do not have many nerves that can sense pain.
While internal hemorrhoids are typically not painful, protruding hemorrhoids can be.
These protruding or prolapsed hemorrhoids form when internal hemorrhoids fall through the anal opening.
Prolapsed hemorrhoids can lead to pain, discomfort, and itching.
Another factor of pain associated with protruding hemorrhoids is the occurrence of pruritus ani, or the itching and irritation of the anal opening.
Pruritus ani is when bacteria and mucus collects around the anal opening.
This itching and irritation can also be painful if you are constantly attempting to relieve it by scratching or persistent wiping with toilet paper.
How to Ease Hemorrhoid Pain While Pooping
Constipation is one of the leading causes of hemorrhoid pain. For those with external hemorrhoids, bowel movements can be particularly painful.
To ease the pain associated with hemorrhoids, include more fiber in your diet to ensure your stool is soft. Drink plenty of fluids and exercise regularly. Avoid laxatives, as they can make your hemorrhoids worse.
Don’t wait too long to use the bathroom. If you need to have a bowel movement, waiting to go will cause your stool to become drier and harder.
Practice proper hygiene, especially after your bowel movement. Rinsing in the shower can be helpful to both hygiene practices and easing the pain of wiping.
Avoid straining during your bowel movements. Elevating your feet can also be very helpful.
Place a step stool at the base of your toilet to change the position of the rectum and allow easier stool passage.
Dealing with hemorrhoids after pregnancy can be very trying. Be sure to take a ganders at our full guide on dealing with hemorrhoids when pregnant.
Feeling Pain After Hemorrhoid Banding
Pain after a hemorrhoid rubber band ligation, also known as banding, is completely normal.
Over-the-counter pain medications may be helpful, or your doctor can prescribe a pain medication.
After your rubber band ligation, it is important to stay off your feet as directed and avoid lifting anything heavy.
While some pain is normal, you should contact your doctor immediately if you have pain that doesn’t get better after taking your pain medication.
An increase in pain can be a sign of infection. Pay close attention to any pain in your calf, the back of your knee, your thigh, or groin. This can be a sign of deep vein thrombosis.
Hemorrhoid Pain When Sitting
Prolonged sitting can lead to increased pain associated with hemorrhoids. The pressure of sitting can lead to additional pain and discomfort.
If you experience hemorrhoid pain when sitting, using the best hemorrhoid pillow to soften the surface you are sitting on will help.
Try to take a break from sitting every hour and stay upright for at least five minutes.
For pain from sitting on the toilet, using a small step stool to elevate your feet can reduce the pressure and allow for easier passage of your stool.
Lower Abdominal Pain and Hemorrhoids
Lower abdominal pain is not associated with hemorrhoids. If you have lower abdominal pain, contact your doctor immediately. Lower abdominal pain may be a sign of a more serious condition.
What Can I Do to Ease Hemorrhoid Pain?
There are many ways to ease the pain of hemorrhoids.
At-home methods include over-the-counter pain medications, creams or wipes, sitz baths, and many lifestyle changes to prevent the worsening of your hemorrhoids.
If at-home treatments are not working, talk to your doctor about non-invasive treatments.
Rubber band ligation is a non-invasive procedure that involves placing one or two rubber bands on the internal hemorrhoids to cut off the circulation.
Injection or sclerotherapy involves the injection of a chemical solution to shrink the hemorrhoid tissue.
Coagulation is also an option. Lasers, infrared light, or heat can be used to harden and shrivel your hemorrhoids.
If all else fails, you can talk to your doctor about the surgical procedures to alleviate hemorrhoids.
Be careful when trying laser hemorrhoid surgery, as it can be very painful.
Excruciating Hemorrhoid Pain
Some hemorrhoids can be accompanied by serious pain, but excruciating pain can be associated with other problems.
Since excruciating pain can also be a sign of anal fissures, abscesses, tears in the anal tissue, and fistula disease, it is important to contact your doctor if you experience excruciating pain.
Hemorrhoid Pain Treatment
Fortunately, there are many different pain management techniques that can be used in the treatment of hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoid treatments that help with painful symptoms can be done at home.
For hemorrhoid pain treatment, try:
- Sitz baths
- Warm baths with Epsom salt
- Witch Hazel wipes
- Over the counter pain relievers
- Cushion ring for sitting
For external hemorrhoids, you can manage the pain by rubbing creams, oils, or ointments gently on their surface.
If you are experiencing pain from hemorrhoids, try standing or taking brisk walk if you find yourself sitting for long periods of time.
Avoid sitting on too hard of surfaces, and if you do, use a cushion ring to protect your lower region from pain and discomfort.