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Yoga for Hemorrhoids - Does Yoga Help a Hemorrhoid or Make It Worse?

Posted on 14 July 2018 by

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For centuries, yoga has placed itself as a mind, body, and spiritual practice with its roots in ancient Indian philosophy.  For many people, yoga is an old answer to new age problems, and these problems include anything from back pain to hemorrhoids.  Yoga is used as a complementary approach to wellness and treatment for a wide-ranging spectrum of physical and mental needs.

Integrated as a means for hemorrhoids, yoga is much like other muscle-strengthening exercises and can bolster control over the rectal veins that are prone to inflammation. 

Pregnant women, women who have just given birth, and older adults are found to be most vulnerable for hemorrhoid flare-ups.  Although young people can still experience hemorrhoids, studies have shown that hemorrhoids affect these particular categories of people for specific reasons. 

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Pregnancy and the growing and expanding uterus puts pressure on the pelvic floor muscles.  The third trimester brings about enlarged hemorrhoids and even bleeding internal hemorrhoids due to the pinnacle growth of the fetus. 

These groups of muscles are also home to sensitive rectal veins, and when these veins become swollen from the growing pressure, they become hemorrhoids, sometimes called piles.

Childbirth, specifically vaginal delivery, involves hours of straining and pushing, and very rarely do women emerge from this without hemorrhoids.  The immense pressure on the rectal veins can encourage the formation of internal and external, leaving new mothers with very painful postpartum hemorrhoids.

Yoga is a beneficial tool for pregnant or postpartum women to utilize.  Poses can be modified based on comfort level in regards to pregnancy, offering a way for pregnant and postpartum women to perform exercises advantageous in hemorrhoid prevention.  

Age is a variable that many doctors and researchers believe to play a deciding role in hemorrhoid inflammation.  The tissues in our bodies weaken with age, and this lingering support can affect the status and condition of the rectal veins.  In our older age, swelling can come easier to these rectal veins, and this leads to internal and external hemorrhoids taking shape and causing an array of typical symptoms. 

While age is an unavoidable factor in concern with hemorrhoids, yoga can be coupled with other prevention methods as a platform for older adults to engage in.  With modified poses to accommodate a wide range of abilities, certain yoga poses are a complementary method to treat and relieve symptoms of hemorrhoids.

Yoga Poses for Hemorrhoids

Yoga poses and techniques have been implemented in the treatment and relief of numerous bodily dysfunctions, and among them are constipation, abdominal and intestinal disorders, and bowel problems, including hemorrhoid concerns.  Certain poses target these problematic areas of the body, striving to strengthen, stretch, and work muscles as a means of relief. 

The Shoulder Stand

The Shoulder Stand, and poses similar to it, recirculates blood throughout the body, and this can help the body heal more quickly.  This quickened repair is immensely helpful to hemorrhoids and can assist in shrinking them faster.  The Shoulder Stand is easy to achieve, requiring you to lie on your back, placing your palms against your side for stability, and raising your body upward.  This enables the shoulders to support all of your body weight. 

Fish Pose

The Fish Pose is one of the more complex yoga poses and not as easily achievable for women who are heavily pregnant.  This pose consists of laying on a mat cross-legged in Lotus Position, slowly arching your back off of the mat while shifting your body weight to the top of your head.  Fish Pose should be held for at least half of a minute.  This pose considerably reduces inflammation in the skin specifically surrounding the anal region. 

Wind Relieving Pose

Wind Relieving Pose is an excellent method to ensure normalcy in venous functions, abdominal problems, loosening joints, and calming stomach issues.  Hemorrhoids and venous issues go hand-in-hand.  Poses that focus on venous wellness can in turn, calm inflammation of hemorrhoids, which are comprised of swollen blood vessels and veins.  This multi-purpose pose is executed by lying flat on your back and bringing your heels together, lifting your legs upwards towards your chest.  Hold this position and concentrate on your breathing throughout, remaining in Wind Relieving Pose for a few seconds.

Yoga for Internal Hemorrhoids

Internal hemorrhoids are often a sign of an imbalanced diet, typically lacking in fiber.  These painless hemorrhoids commonly produce only one symptom, and that is rectal bleeding. Internal hemorrhoids, however, can result in complications if not treated immediately.  These complications involve progressive prolapses in which the internal hemorrhoid falls through the rectum in varying degrees. 

The Squatting Pose 

This simple pose targets issues of constipation, a leading cause of hemorrhoids.  The more we struggle to pass hardened stools, the more straining is involved.  Straining places abnormal pressure on the rectal veins, resulting in swelling and subsequently, hemorrhoids.  The Squatting Pose is conducted by spreading your feet wider than the width of you hips, and then with bending your knees, lowering yourself into a squatting position.  Squats and yoga poses that involve this positioning of the body is known to relive issues of constipation and hemorrhoids by promoting circulation to the anal-rectal veins.

Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose is considered to be a restorative yoga position that enables the blood to circulate throughout the body.  Healthy circulation can encourage hemorrhoids to heal as well as aid in subsiding their painful symptoms.  Beginning in Tabletop Position, place your body weight completely on your hands and knees.  Your buttocks should touch the heels of your feet and your arms should be stretched above your head with your chest against the floor.  Child’s Pose should be held for no less than a minute to effectively aid in alleviating symptoms of constipation and hemorrhoids.

Yoga for External Hemorrhoids

External hemorrhoids take shape outside of the anal opening and sometimes, directly on the anus itself.  These small, sore lumps are painful, itchy, and can get in the way of everyday activities.  Yoga is among one of the natural methods to encourage external hemorrhoids to shrink faster, relieving you of their hindering symptoms and presence.

Legs Up the Wall Stand 

Legs Up the Wall Stand is another restorative pose in yoga used to assist the body in its moments of recovery.  The pose is simple, as it only involves lying on the floor and placing your legs parallel to the wall.  This action recirculates the blood throughout the body, which can ease the symptoms of hemorrhoids, constipation, and other abdominal issues.  This pose can also minimize the pain and discomfort produced by external hemorrhoids by quickening their shrinkage and minimizing their symptoms.

Bound Angle Pose

Bound Angle Pose stimulates the blood supply to the lower abdomen, aiding in the recovery of anal-rectal issues such as hemorrhoids. It is an easy pose to complete, with just the legs bent at the knees in a sitting position so that the bottoms of your feet meet.  Keeping straight posture and focusing on your breathing is essential for Bound Angle Pose.

Natural Treatments for Hemorrhoids

Low-risk treatments are the best approach for hemorrhoids, especially if the hemorrhoids are in mild form.  Yoga is a beneficial method for hemorrhoid relief, but it also can provide a way to eliminate stress, provide physical exercise without overexertion, and promote overall healing throughout the body.

Of course, if you find that you are experiencing hemorrhoids, you should talk to your doctor about a treatment method.  While yoga can be performed regardless, your doctor may want you to include other forms of complementary treatments.  These solutions for your hemorrhoids could include a fiber supplement, a stool softener, or a recommended change of diet. 

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Yoga, pelvic floor exercises, and Pilates are all means of exercises that can reduce the presence and symptoms of hemorrhoids.  Hemorrhoids tend to be more prominent for postpartum women, or women in the throes of pregnancy.  Older adults, both men and women, find themselves facing frequent hemorrhoid flare-ups as well.  

Fortunately, those who are pregnant or postpartum can complete these forms of exercises, and they are even accessible for older people looking for a hemorrhoid solution, too.

Yoga may lower the frequency of hemorrhoid flare-ups and make symptoms more manageable because it promotes circulation for bodily healing and strengthens the pelvic floor muscles, which support venous functionality.

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