This section is meant to describe specific exercises that will strengthen your rectal and anal muscles so that you can heal your hemorrhoids and anal fissure. Of course, it is important to exercise regularly, but we will focus on specific practices for this condition. If you are already working out regularly, any exercise that gets the blood moving is beneficial.
This is the most effective exercise you can do to heal your hemorrhoids and anal fissure, and it will have other dramatic effects on your health. I personally went back and forth on this while I was in the middle of the worst period of pain, and chose not to do Kegels because I did not think they would help. Had I done them, I believe I would have recovered much sooner than I eventually did.
Now I always make sure to do at least one hundred Kegels a day while lying in bed before going to sleep. Sometimes I forget to do them, and I do notice that on the nights I do the Kegels, the next day’s bowel movements are much smoother and easier to pass. I also make sure to do several sets of Kegels after using the bathroom.
The reason why I did not initially do Kegels was, first, because they were incredibly painful. One of the worst pains was that moment right after finishing urinating or defecating, when your body does that one involuntary Kegel to bring all the muscles back in. This was an excruciating moment for me, and I always dreaded it. I dreaded it so much that I convinced myself that doing Kegels was not good for me and neglected to do them for most of the time while I was experiencing severe pain from the fissure.
The second reason is that they are not very fun or pleasant to do. They are difficult, since it is a part of the body you are not used to flexing, and it is hard to do a Kegel without squeezing your butt cheeks or straining your abdomen, and it is hard to keep breathing. Oftentimes when doing Kegels, I would notice that I wasn’t breathing anymore. The only thing I can say is, as you keep doing the Kegels, they will get easier and easier to do and you will be able to do them under all sorts of conditions.
Here is another reason to do Kegels. If you are experiencing hemorrhoids and you are male, chances are that you also suffer a bit from erectile disfunction. When I started doing Kegels, I noticed my sexual drive and ability to maintain an erection were dramatically better than they were before I started doing them. For me, doing one hundred Kegels after bowel movements and before going to bed completely fixed my issues with erectile disfunction. Try it for yourself and see. The little bit of inconvenience will pay many dividends.
These are those large inflatable balls that you can sit on and do various exercises with. They are also used widely for pregnancy and are sometimes referred to as “birthing balls.” I find that sitting on the ball provides relief by applying upward pressure to the anal area. This helps to physically push in your hemorrhoids and also provides pressure to close back the fissure, the same way you squeeze your skin together if you get a cut and want the bleeding to stop. It also keeps your body in motion and keeps any blood from stagnating in your lower body.
An alternative to an exercise ball (since it can be quite large), is to use a small cushion that does something similar. You don’t want something too big, but a firm cushion or pillow that can sit between the buttocks and apply that pressure. You can find small cushions that use barley or rice hulls online – these would be the ideal type of cushion.
I discovered recently that sleeping at night with a soft lumbar cushion to support your lower back is incredibly effective in improving digestion and bowel health, and your overall health. A soft pillow or rolled up towel will do. I found this hard to do consistently, so I purchased an inexpensive memory foam-type cushion. For the first two weeks I woke up with a sore back, but in a strange sense it was a “good pain” – like the feeling you get the day after a good workout. I also felt much more rested in the morning and noticed a significant difference in how easily I was able to pass stool. After several weeks of using the lumbar pillow the soreness went away and I just felt better in all areas – my circulation and energy levels were significantly better, and I didn’t need to sleep as much in order to feel rested.
For the times when the pain was hard to manage and I was not able to sit down on a exercise ball or cushion, I found kneeling down to be very therapeutic. Essentially, you squat down on your toes but one knee will be higher than the other. Position one foot so that your heel and ankle press into the rectal area. This provides the same comfort you get from some of the props listed above, and it is discreet.