How to minimise haemorrhoid pain

Written by: Professor Mark Whiteley
Published: | Updated: 30/01/2019
Edited by: Nicholas Howley

Haemorrhoids are common – over half of us will have haemorrhoids at some point in life. Because of this, demand for treatment is huge and can involve quite a long wait. So what can you do in the meantime to manage the pain? We asked leading venous surgeon Prof Mark Whiteley for his top tips.

Managing haemorrhoids is never fun, but the good news is that there are some things you can do at home to make things a bit easier:

1. Alter your diet to avoid constipation

One of the most effective ways to reduce pain while passing stools is to reduce your chances of becoming constipated. Avoiding constipation is a matter of getting the diet right.

Firstly, it’s important to ensure you get plenty of fibre. Fibre can be found in fruit vegetables, lentils, bread, wholegrain cereals, and beans.

Secondly, avoid foods that cause constipation, such as spicy food, nuts, and processed food.

Finally, stay hydrated! Try to drink around two and a half to three litres of water a day – and avoid drinks that can leave you dehydrated, such as coffee and alcohol.

2. Exercise

Exercising is a good way to keep your bowels moving and avoid putting too much pressure on the affected area. If you’re sat at a desk in your job, try to get up every hour or so for a walk – even if it’s just to get another glass of water (see above!)

3. Take a bath

Having a bath is a good stress-relief measure, but it can also directly help with haemorrhoid pain, and associated symptoms such as tension in the surrounding muscles. A good 15-20 minute bath every day in water that isn’t too hot – aim for about 40 degrees – should improve your symptoms.

4. Use wet wipes

If you have haemorrhoids, using dry toilet paper can irritate the skin and simply make the pain worse. Wet wipes are good to your skin – and they can provide a cool soothing sensation to the affected area.

5. Consider buying a doughnut cushion

Walking is the best way to relieve pressure on the affected area, but if you need to sit down for long periods of time, you can improve your symptoms by purchasing a doughnut-shaped cushion that is designed for haemorrhoids. They don’t just relieve pressure – they’re comfortable to sit on!

New walk-in walk-out haemorrhoid treatment

For many people, these measures should relieve pain and mean you may be able to delay or avoid treatment altogether. However, some patients will benefit from medical treatment. There are many treatment options available depending on the type of haemorrhoids you have, but at The Whiteley Clinic we have introduced the revolutionary Rafaelo Procedure – a safe and effective treatment for internal haemorrhoids using the established technology of radio frequency ablation. Unlike most haemorrhoid procedures, Rafaelo is performed under local anaesthetic with minimal discomfort allowing return to normal life straight away. For more information about the treatments on offer at The Whiteley Clinic, click here.

By Professor Mark Whiteley
Vascular surgery

Professor Mark Whiteley was the first person to perform endovenous surgery for varicose veins in the UK. He did the first case on 12th March 1999. He is a prominent vascular surgeon and the founder of the Whiteley Clinic, with several locations across the UK. Professor Whiteley has a special interest in the treatment of varicose veins, thread veins, leg ulcers, and pelvic congestion syndrome.

He is also the founder of The College of Phlebology, an international group for doctors, nurses, vascular scientists and technologists to discuss venous issues and find educational support. In 2013, Professor Whiteley set up the Leg Ulcer Charity, a UK national charity which aims to help patients with finding a cure for their leg ulcers. He has a strong interest in education and currently lectures as a visiting Professor at the University of Surrey. He has also sponsored PhD students and an MD position, and is highly involved with training and support. Professor Whiteley has pioneered several techniques and developed treatments along the course of his surgical career. He was the first surgeon in the UK to perform keyhole surgery for the treatment of varicose veins. His expertise is such that he has been frequently featured in the Tatler Cosmetic Surgery and Beauty Guide, and is a regular interview guest on the BBC. He has written over 100 peer-reviewed research papers and set up the College of Phlebology. 

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